Heading into Spring Training, I thought it would be nice to take a look at some projected offensive numbers for the eight players believed to be in the lead for starting positions on the 2013 edition of the New York Mets. This analysis is only meant to reflect offensive production and doesn’t attempt to reflect any defensive contributions the player might or might not make. It also doesn’t get into complete offensive output on a position basis. That is to say, a platoon situation like that of 2B in 1986 had two significant contributors: Backman and Teufel; for this exercise, only Backman is considered. An analysis of Bench Contributions is in the development stage.
There are two sections: 1) the final production numbers from those players who had the most starts at each position (catcher through right field) and 2) some projected numbers based on statistics accrued over the past two full* seasons.
(*Note: I tried to go with numbers that made sense. For instance, in the case of Ike Davis, I skipped the 2011 season because he only had a limited number of bats).
I used Keith Hernandez’s 1986 number of AB’s as an artificial ceiling so as not to over-inflate some numbers accrued over the past couple of years. So no player for 2013, projects to have more than 551 AB’s.
|At Bats||Runs||Hits||Home Runs||RBIs||SBs||SacFlys|
|LF M. Wilson||381||61||110||9||45||25||1|
|1B I Davis||514||65||117||31||89||0||3|
1. First Base: Davis stands up competitively with Hernandez. He’s got significantly more power. We can see a slight deficiency in expected runs scored. The biggest difference between the two is in number of hits (Hernandez had 171 and Davis projects to 117).
2. Second Base: Murphy also matches up well against Backman. Murphy exceeds Backman’s production in most categories. There is a slight edge to Backman in Runs Scored and SB’s but otherwise Murphy is better than Backman. However, we must again note that Backman was in a full-time platoon with Teufel. So although Murphy’s totals exceed Backman, they might not exceed the sum total of the Backman/Teufel tandem. Analysis of “Positional Output” is still to come.
3. Shortstop: Tejada matches up against Santana well and exceeds him in some notable categories: AB’s, Runs Scored, and Hits.
4. Third Base: Wright exceeds Knight in all offensive categories but note that Knight in a platoon role, still amassed 145 hits and 76 RBI’s. Again, when “Positional Output” numbers are computed, we might see that the Knight/HoJo platoon might exceed Wrights’ potential All-Star offensive contributions.
5. Catcher: (Note: I went with Buck as the starter here). Buck has some decent power for a catcher; he projects at 9 HR’s and 30 RBI’s. Obviously, there is a major gap between what Buck is expected to do when compared to what Carter did do. (Second note: You have to expect D’Arnaud to get the call at some point during the 2013 season, and there probably isn’t a Met fan out there who can’t wait for him to get behind the plate in Citi Field. Everyone will accept the Rookie’s production this year in anticipation of production yet to come).
6. LF: Mookie Wilson contributed 110 Hits, 61 Runs Scored, 45 RBI’s, and 25 SB’s in only 381 AB’s (Note: George Foster was the original full-time starter in 1986 but Wilson had more total AB’s that year). Will Cowgill be the Opening Day left fielder for the 2013 Mets? He hasn’t amassed enough major league AB’s to full predict his production over a full season with a reasonable amount of plate appearances. Right now, he is not projecting as a significant contributor in any offensive category.
7. CF: Lenny Dykstra was also a significant contributor to the 1986 Mets Offense. With 77 Runs Scored, 127 Hits, 45 RBI’s, and 31 SB’s. Will Nieuwenhuis be the Opening Day center fielder for the 2013 Mets? His numbers project out more positively than Cowgill. He has a bit more power. At 282 projected AB’s though, he doesn’t seem to be a full-time contributor but he is not without some offensive merit.
8. RF: Strawberry led the team with 27 HR’s. He was second with 93 RBI’s and contributed 28 SB’s. Will Duda be the Opening Day right fielder for the 2013 Mets? His numbers project out higher than both Cowgill or Nieuwenhuis. He projects to be a significant contributor with 20 HR’s and 76 RBI’s.
Where can the 2013 Mets use help? Its probably no surprise but at least two of three OF spots seem to lack any offensive punch. What is the single biggest missing offensive weapon? Speed. How could it be resolved? It might cost us a draft-pick.