Mets position players by offense and defense

If you are statistically inclined, and check FanGraphs religiously, you would know that they rolled out some new features on the site a couple of days ago. They added new statistics called “offense” and “defense,” which try to answer the questions like: Who is the best offensive player in the game? Or: Who is the best defensive player in the game? The offense stat is calculated by combining baserunning and batting to find the total runs a player contributes. The defense stat is an improvement upon Fld, which was featured on FanGraphs for awhile. Defense takes into account a player’s defensive contribution, however the player’s value is adjusted based on the position he plays. I could get more in depth with how these stats are calculated, but there’s a piece on FanGraphs that does just that.

Given that there is a new set of statistics, I thought it would be interesting to see how some of Mets players rate based on the new offense and defense statistics.

Name Offense Defense WAR
David Wright 33.1 5.4 5.7
Marlon Byrd* 18.9 -0.9 3.5
Daniel Murphy 6.5 -1.6 2.7
Lucas Duda 6.5 -15.4 0.2
Eric Young Jr. 2.9 -0.3 1.5
Ike Davis -3.7 -8.4 -0.1
John Buck* -6.9 6.3 1.3
Juan Lagares -7.7 21.7 2.8
Omar Quintanilla -10.9 -0.4 -0.1

*Byrd and Buck were both traded to the Pirates in August.

It’s not that surprising that Wright is rated as the Mets’ best offensive weapon. Despite being sidelined for almost all of August and the better part of September with a hamstring injury, Wright’s contribution to the team is that of an MVP. He probably would be in the discussion right now with Andrew McCutchen and Joey Votto for NL MVP if it weren’t for his time spent on the disabled list.

The most interesting part of the ratings has to be what follows Byrd‘s and Wright’s performances. Duda and Murphy rate as equals when it comes to offense. However, Murphy has a better WAR because of his defense, and it helps that he plays second base, which is a familiar position to for him — unlike Duda who the Mets tried to hide in outfield. Hiding Duda in the outfield didn’t work out, and it hurt his overall value. When we compartmentalize Duda’s performance, we see the potential he has. He could be a very valuable role player like Murphy, however he has to be used correctly so that his bad weak defense doesn’t offset his potentially powerful offense. The organization seems to be heading in the right direction with how they have been handling Duda, and letting him play first base through September. Hopefully, the front office doesn’t jump on the “We like Ike” bandwagon come April.

Lagares has been praised for his stellar arm in the outfield. If there’s one thing teams should know about Lagares, it’s that you don’t run on Lagares. Lagares’s bat has improved steadily this season, however the offense and defense statistics confirm that he’s really a glove-only player. His defense rating of 21.7 puts him right in between Carlos Gomez (22.7) and Shane Victorino (19.6). Although it takes some time for defensive statistics to stabilize, it’s fair to say that Lagares is a great defender.

These statistics are great tools to look at player performance, however they are not the only two numbers to look at when trying to evaluate a team or player. All statistical models have some sort of flaw, and I am sure these are imperfect, too. However, it’s a nice way to compartmentalize a player’s contributions on both aspects of the game: offense and defense.

10 comments for “Mets position players by offense and defense

  1. steevy
    September 22, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Duda is probably league average at first base,so that negative disappears.

    • September 22, 2013 at 11:37 am

      In 566 lifetime innings at first base, Duda has a +3 DRS and a +0.8 UZR. That’s a little less than half a season of innings, as 1,200 is usually considered a full year. We need to get past the idea that Duda is a terrible defensive player and amend it to that he’s a terrible defensive outfielder. It looks like he’s average defensively at first base and if anything – he’d be a slightly above-average defensive first baseman.

  2. Metsense
    September 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I saw this on Fangraphs the other day and it only reinforced my belief that the Mets don’t have any complete ballplayers except for David Wright. They don’t have players that are above average offensively AND defensively. It is no wonder that they can’t play .500 ball in a season. Frankly the talent isn’t there.

    • Name
      September 22, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Not saying that this new stat for Fangraphs is perfect, but I took a look at the competitive teams in the NL and tried to count the number of “complete” ballplayers. I used 200 PA as the cutoff.

      Braves: Heyward, McCann
      Cards: Carpenter, Molina
      Pirates: McCutchen, Marte, Martin, Mercer
      Reds: Frazier
      Dodgers: Crawford, Uribe, Ramirez

      And the Mets have Wright and Satin.

      Per Fangraphs definitions, above-average offensive and defensive players are rare in the game (probably even less if I increased the PA minimum to a starter-level number)

  3. steevy
    September 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Not saying they are even a .500 team,but a manager who takes advantage of his players strengths,plays the right guys in the right spots and uses the bullpen better would have a better record.Terry Collins must go.

  4. September 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Please trade Duda….get an outfielder with a little power, put Ike back at first base. Get a free agent shortstop and get another starting pitcher or two. Vic Black will be a good reliever. If Parnell and Harvey are ok…it will hen be a lot of fun again! This all has to happen and it is asking a lot. Oh by the way, we not qualify for an unprotected draft pick?

    • KIDC11
      September 24, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Ike at first? Why? Duda would not be my first choice, but would be ahead of Ike. I’d go for Abreu, and for a SS, as I see SS as #1 priority. But if we get Abreu, SS becomes less of an offensive need. I like the OF, but Young’s no power not great. But Lagares? He was something like 7-48 to start, then hit .270+ in June, .350 in July, .259 in August, then collapsed under .200 in September, but recently picked it up. Anybody that can hit .350 in July, playing full time, is a guy you want. Wright went out August 2nd, and Byrd was traded August 28th. Is it any mystery that Lagares’ numbers slowed in August and tanked in September? So, he went from hitting .350 when both were in the lineup, to under .200 when both were gone. Lagares became one of the top threats in the lineup with them gone, and very likely started to get pitched around. In just the 4 games Wright is back, Lagares is hitting 4-15 with 3 RBI’s, a .266 clip. In the prior 6 games before Wright’s return, Lagares was 1-26 with 0 hr’s, 0 RBI’s and 6 K’s. Admittedly, his best recent game, 3-4, Wright didn’t play. But still, with help in the lineup, this guy can play. I’m looking for a big season from him in ’14. And he’s still not getting a good spot. In the 3-4 game, Duda and Brown batted before him, and went 0-7. In another, they were 0-8. With Murphy near him in the lineup, or Wright(like within 2 slots of one of them) he’s much more dangerous. But Duda and Brown ahead of him, and either Recker/d’Arnaud and Quintinalla/Tejada behind him, this is a tough spot.

  5. Jim OMalley
    September 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    The fangraphs numbers show four Mets have both negative offense and defense values…Justin Turner, Matt den Dekker, Omar Quintanilla, and Ike Davis.

  6. Jim OMalley
    September 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Whoops…sorry Mike Baxter is a double negative too. Sorry about that.

  7. NormE
    September 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Victorino hustles and has a great arm, but he’s really not as good a fly ball chaser as Gomez or Lagares. Nobody gets a better jump than Gomez and Lagares is just getting better.

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