Marlon Byrd: This year’s Scott Hairston?

I’m not sure who said it; I think it was SNY’s play-by-play man Gary Cohen, but someone had a valid comparison recently. And that is Marlon Byrd is turning into this year’s Scott Hairston.

Just like when the Mets picked Hairston off the scrap heap, Byrd is doing his best to impersonate Hairston while playing a little bit above his head. Through 57 games, Byrd has posted a more-than impressive .817 OPS to go with 11 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Those are fine numbers and even better when you consider Byrd doesn’t even play every day.

Outside of David Wright, the Mets don’t have a righty bat they can count on. So, the presence of Byrd has been a pleasant surprise and a needed one.

After battling injuries and suspensions Byrd’s career got sidetracked, as he only appeared in 166 games in the previous two years. Combining the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Byrd had 10 home runs and 44 RBI’s in 589 at bats. This year, Byrd is on pace for 26 home runs and 79 RBI’s in 449 at bats.

Obviously, Byrd will have a hard time reaching those numbers this year, but his veteran presence and newfound power stroke is a nice asset any team would love to have.

With that said, Byrd may be on borrowed time in Queens, as he’ll likely be shopped at the trade deadline. While Byrd will not yield a fruitful package of prospects, the Mets have to do the right thing and sell high on him and get something for him. This is what they should have done with Hairston (who posted a similar OPS—.803—with the Mets last year) at last year’s deadline. You know the rest of the story. Hairston would end his season with the Mets while offering little for a losing team. He would then get stiffed by the Mets in the offseason and wound up in Chicago.

Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson has reiterated time and time again that the Mets will make the necessary moves to make the team more formidable on offense in the years to come. This is all about building for the future, a future Byrd likely has no shot of being part of.   

Again, we should salute the effort and production Byrd is bringing to the table this year and enough can’t be said about how rejuvenated he looks at the plate. However, the Mets have been preaching about the future and they have to strike while the iron is hot. They must deal Byrd while getting some lower-level products in return.

Just like Hairston, there is no reason for Byrd to rot here with a losing club just to bolt the team in the offseason with no compensation.

21 comments for “Marlon Byrd: This year’s Scott Hairston?

  1. blastingzone
    June 22, 2013 at 8:40 am

    When the mets bring Davis back and it looks like it will be soon they will move Duda back to LF and then they will have to many outfielders so Byrd could and should be the odd man out?
    I know TC would rather play Byrd than a young outfielder but he is not part of the mets future
    so I hope SA trades him at the deadline or sooner!!

  2. Name
    June 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    “get something for him”

    The sentiment for most fans is that it is always better to have a guy in the low minors who has no chance of making the major league rather than a major leaguer who can contribute right now. I’m not so sure this is the best philosophy.

    • Dan Stack
      June 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      True, Name. But I’ll just ask you this simple question. Do you want Byrd as your everyday right-fielder next year? If you don’t, then you have to trade him while his value is highest.

      • Metsense
        June 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Building for the future is necessary and smart. Playing replacement level minor league outfielders (or outfielders that can’t field) is just plain dumb. DePodesta says a minor leaguer is ideally ready when he forces his way onto the roster.
        None of the minor league outfielders have done this so why not play Byrd, an above average 2013 NL RF, and put a competitive team on the field. Byrd , at his age, should not be the 2014 RF but what is wrong as a 4th OF in 2014? Is Byrd going to bring back a prospect better than Puello or Vaughn? I think not so why bother. Byrd has more value helping win 2013 games for the psyche of Harvey, Wheeler, Gee and Heffner than minor league fill. It is time to start making the ML roster better because these young pitchers are now on the clock.

      • Name
        June 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        That’s not a simple question. You make it seem like we should trade him no matter what, even if all we can get is a bag of baseball.
        Byrd still has value to this team, and if Sandy can’t get a player who projects to provide more value to the team, then a deal should not be done.
        Of course, the hard part is attaching numbers on each player’s value, while discounting for the future and putting premiums on players on playoff-bound teams.

        • Jerry Grote
          June 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm

          I would agree with this … trading Byrd for a guy that has 40% chance of being Byrd in three years is not a good trade.

          And asking if I’d like Byrd to be my RFer next year begs another question of Dan: If Byrd could contribute 20-25 HR, a 340/460 800 OPS, and continue to be a positive force for everyone on this team …

          Why wouldn’t you want him to be the OFer next year?

          The one thing Byrd talks about constantly is about being the “Doug Glanville” to someone else. I have no problem letting Travis, or Puello, or whomever, be Byrd’s caddie in May of ’14.

          • Dan Stack
            June 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

            Fair enough, I’m not sure what Byrd’s value is on the market at the moment right now. Has his hot start upped his value? I guess, depending on what you get back, you could hold Byrd, but if there is a chance, even if it’s a small chance, I don’t mind shopping Byrd. Alderson will likely (yeah, fancy that) improve the outfield between now and next year and, I dunno, but I don’t see Byrd coming back.

      • Chris F
        June 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        My two cents for what its worth. I have to confess I dont care about the 2013 Mets final win total from a positive standpoint. The worst thing is in the world is where we have been finishing between 70-75 wins. This is nowhere near enough to be in the playoff, and worst of all, not bad enough to get a top draft pick. At 11, we were forced to skip out on Bourn because of forfeiting a first rounder. At 11, we are already moving down the best of the best in hurry. I want to see Harvey rack up the Ws as much as anyone. But the best way this team moves forward is with solid draft picks, and the higher up the better. Look at what that did for the Nats: Strasburg and Harper…and BOOM right to the top. I hate to say it, but I’d just assume be a bottom feeder, if we are only gonna be “near” bottom feeders at best. Im not arguing for throwing the season, but Im also ready to keep the auditions up and see who an play this game after the proper seasoning in AA and AAA without specifically worrying about the win total, which is no way gonna eclipse 70 this year. I think we are far better served losing 95 than losing 90. I think this is part of the “medicine may make you temporarily sicker” approach. Im sure this will not be popular, and I love seeing the team win, but 70 is a terrible number.

        • Metsense
          June 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

          Chris, as presently constituted, Fangraphs projected standings has the Mets with the 3rd worst record at 72 wins. They would need 78 wins to get out of the bottom ten. Bottom ten teams have their draft position protected if they sign a qualified free agent. Please reconsider and cheer for at least 77 wins, or 47-43 the rest of the way. That record would be something to build on (and save my sanity). 🙂

  3. Chris F
    June 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Oh Metsense, trust me, my sanity is equally on the line. One question I would ask is, could we be willing to figure out how to endure a few more ugly nights this summer if we could get an exponentially better draft that will be 1-2 years from the show. Wright knows this, and don’t kid yourself, Harvey does too. Outside of Miami and Houston (who is quickly stocking some amazing talent) it’s a crowded field at the near bottom: Mets, Cubs, Brewers etc.. Picking 10th for the sake of a few ultimately fruitless wins simply does not register with me. I’d far rather pick third on the notion that our scouting is up to snuff to get a very high quality player close to the show in round 1. I’m celebrating little streaks, the Yankees, a possible no-no (is this the year Harvey dials up a perfect game????), DW and MH in the ASG. is it that a cure for Mets fans…he’ll no. But we gotta get to 95 Ws and major talent is the only way. I don’t believe Free agency will solve the problem, so we are left with strategic trades (and little major talent to offer as a rental) and drafting. I can’t see SA emptying the farm for 1 big name.

    • Name
      June 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Unless it’s a no-doubter such as Harper or Strasburg, there’s absolutely no reason to lose games on purpose. The difference in pick #3 compared to pick #10 is almost negligible because of the crapshoot nature of the draft. I’d even argue that there is very little difference between #3 and #30.
      I mean, Trout was picked 25th, Wright was picked 38th, Stanton was picked in the 2nd round. Harvey was passed by 6 other teams. And Pelfrey was picked 9th.

      So I think would be quite foolish to “hope” for a high draft pick, especially when it’s only June.

  4. Chris F
    June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    David, With your depth of minors knowledge etc, do you know what the state of potential “cant miss”
    2014 draftees looks like?

    Name, I certainly understand your point, but there may be real potential in the top few. To me a 70 W season and a 77 W season are identical: total losers.

    • Name
      June 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      There are plenty of “can’t miss” prospects. There are only a few once-in-a-generation talents. Those are the only guys that you should tank games for. Anyone with some baseball knowledge knew about Harper and Strasburg well before it was even close to draft time. That player does not exist in the 2014 draft.
      My days are a lot brighter when the Mets win; so there is a difference to me whether they win 70 or even 71. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing you don’t feel that way.

      • Chris F
        June 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        I used to think there were the “once in a generation” types, but with them coming up year after year, I no longer subscribe to that. To wit: Stras, Harper, Machado, Puig, Cespedes, Harvey (and the pitchers list seems to grow daily…Miller, Locke etc), just in the last few. All MLB game changers in about zero time. If we can increase our chances to be signficantly better with a higher draft, Im all for it. I have never advocated for throwing games.

        We definitely see the game from a different angle. I love the season, game by game, but it serves 1 end: to win a world series. I only see three possible outcomes for a season: Success is winning the WS. Moderate success is getting to the Playoffs. Failure includes all other positions and W-L records. I believe every FO move should be structured around one thing only: building a championship team.

        Of course Im happier when the Mets win. But I can feel ok losing if the path is to a greater good. I dont mean a Marlin’s like path either, but one where tangible results are on the visible horizon. I get that’s a different perspective than yours.

        • Name
          June 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

          Yes, we have different perspectives. I don’t measure sucess in championships. Pennants I like though. I emphasize the journey much more than the result.

          Machado, Puig, Cespedes, and even Harvey aren’t once in a generation type talent. They’re just players who have above average talent playing really well right now.
          Once in a generation type players are like Bonds and A-rod, people who had exceptional talents(the key in my mind) and you just knew would be game-changers well before they were drafted.

      • Jerry Grote
        June 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        How would you do with this team …
        C: Mike Piazza, drafted in the 68th round
        1B: Albert Pujols, drafted in the 13th round
        2B: Ryne Sandberg, drafted in the 20th round
        SS: Ozzie Smith, drafted in the 4th round or Cal Ripken, signed in the 2nd
        3B: Miguel Cabrera, signed as an amateur
        LF: Manny Rameriz, signed 13th overall or Juan Gonzalez, signed as amateur
        CF: Ichiro Suzuki, signed as a free agent or you can have Andre Dawson, 11th round
        RF: Vlad Guerrero, signed as an amateur
        SP: Pedro Martinez, signed as an amateur

        There are only a small portion of “can’t miss guys” I’d take over that team. Yeah, the Kid plays center, and you can have ARod at SS. The greatest 1B since Lou Gehrig, the greatest hitting C of all time, the best 2B since Hornsby’s era, the most dominant starter since ?, and Cabrera just might be the only back-to-back Triple Crown winner.

        I heard this from someone: All you need to know about drafting players, is the two best QBs in the history of the NFL were drafted in the third and sixth rounds. End of discussion.

        • Name
          June 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

          So you’ve bought into baseball “draft is a crapshoot” now? I remember last year we had a good discussion about it.

          As for the NFL, it’s a bit different. College football is basically the equivalent of baseball’s minor league system, so nfl draft would be akin to drafting players at AA/AAA. And the fact that football is much more of a team sport. If you’re a QB, and you don’t have anyone to defend for you or pass the football to, you will never get the chance to rack up stats and wins. In baseball, you can really do it alone.

  5. Chris F
    June 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    End of discussion? Hardly. Of course there will be great players that show up in later rounds. Lets just look at who had “made it” from the top 10 for 2001-2011 drafts:

    Geritt Cole
    Dylan Bundy
    Bryce Harper
    Matt Harvey
    Manny Machado
    Stephen Strasburg
    Zack Wheeler
    Mike Minor
    Mike Leake
    Eric Hosmer
    Buster Posey
    David Price
    Mike Moustakis
    Matt Weiters
    Madison Bumgarner
    Evan Longoria
    Clayton Kershaw
    Tim Lincecum
    Justin Upton
    Ryan Braun
    Troy Tulowitzki
    Justi Verlander
    Nick Markakis
    BJ Upton
    Zack Grienke
    Prince Fielder
    Joe Mauer
    Mark Prior
    Mark Texiera

  6. Chris F
    June 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    so heres a team of active players I think might play pretty well today (not a composite through the ages). Admittedly, 2B is open…but Im sure it could be filled by someone

    1B Fielder
    SS Tulo
    3B Longoria
    C Posey, Mauer
    OF Harper
    OF Upton
    OF Braun (a doper however)

    SP Verlander, Harvey, Kershaw, Grienke, Strasburg, Price

  7. Jerry Grote
    June 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    You have an All-Star team, no doubt.

    I have a HOF team, no doubt. I’ll take mine, thanks … and of course, the point here is that you don’t have to draft #10.

    But I’ll play your game. Scouting Book ( labels the top ten prospects in baseball today as Profar, Myers, Miller, Cole, Taveras, Sano, Walker, Puig, Teheran and Fernandez. Only two of them were drafted in the top ten … Cole and Miller.

    Go to the top 20? OK. Wheeler and Bauer were top 10 picks … but they aren’t with the team that drafted them! Neither is Yelich (not a top ten pick) or D’Arnaud (not a top ten). Of the top 20 prospects, only 4 came from the top of the draft AND are still with the team that drafted them.

    So that means you are as likely to get a top 20 pick *by not drafting him at all* as you are to be a truly horrific team.

    Lots a different ways to get great players without losing 100 ball games.

    • Chris F
      June 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Sure I agree, theres more than 1 way to do it. Im not saying play to the gutter to get #1, but you can see what drafting #11 got us, or didnt in the case of Bourn. Sandy was never going to give up what turned out to be Dom Smith for Michael Bourn. teams are so protective of top draft picks that parting with them is pure hell. My only point is that over time, the number of major impact players that fill the league coming from the top 10 is quite noticeable, whereas losing 80 or 95 games makes no material difference. In either case the team sucks.

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