Mets 360 Projection Review: Mike Baxter

Mike BaxterWe’ve been taking a look back at our writers’ preseason projections for different players who we thought would play a key role in the 2013 Mets season.  Today’s player is Mike Baxter.  Here’s what we thought Baxter would do this season:

PA: 313

AVG: .265

OBP: .350

SLG: .410

HR: 6

RBI: 35

HBP: 6

Baxter was a big contributor to the 2012 team, and we expected his role to expand in 2013 with a bad outfield and barring another freak injury.  How did we do?

PA: 155

Best: Bryan Mcwilliam- 180

Worst: Steve Rogers- 510

AVG: .189

Best: Doug Parker- .230

Worst: Charlie Hangley- .286

OBP: .303

Best: Charlie Hangley- .321

Worst: Brian Joura- .371

SLG: .250

Best: Joe Vasile- .390

Worst: Brian Joura- .430

HR: 0

Best: Doug Parker- 2

Worst: Charlie Hangley- 12

RBIs: 4

Best: Mike Koehler- 15

Worst: Steve Rogers- 65

HBP: 5

Best: Mike Koehler- 5

Worst: Charlie Hangley & Brian Joura- 9

It was a wildly disappointing season for Baxter, and the only category that he didn’t come under even our most modest expectations was getting hit by pitches.

Baxter was so bad that he toiled in AAA for most of the season, hitting well in a friendly environment in Las Vegas.

What 2013 seemed to demonstrate is that Baxter is best suited for a pinch-hitting role, and despite his great on base ability, starting every day is simply not an option going forward.

I would not be surprised to see Baxter let go this offseason, as the team pursues other options in the outfield.  Even just one more outfielder signed will signal the end of Mike from Whitestone’s career in Flushing, since there would be no room for him in a world with Juan Lagares, Matt den Dekker, Eric Young Jr., Lucas Duda, and a free-agent-to-be-named-later (but probably named Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury).

For as likeable a guy as Baxter is, there simply isn’t a place on a contender for a corner outfielder who hits .190/.300/.250 with no speed.

He’ll surely catch on somewhere, and when he does, I’ll be rooting for him.

Joe Vasile is a play-by-play announcer for Widener Pride football and host of “Ball Four” on WTSR in Trenton. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.

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