It is often said that nobody is perfect, and that certainly rings true with baseball players. It seems that even the best players have weaknesses. Whether it be Noah Syndergaard‘s molasses-like delivery to the plate or Curtis Granderson‘s sometimes ineffective throwing arm, every player has their flaws. So what if we could create an outfielder using the best traits from the Mets current crop of outfielders? Here is how I would build the Ultimate Mets Outfielder.
Heart and Hustle
It is so often the case that we see very talented baseball players waste their talent by not putting effort into the game. What separates some players is their admirable hustle that they constantly bring to the game. No outfielder on the Mets exemplifies these qualities more than Curtis Granderson. Never one to give up on a play, the Roberto Clemente award winner always brings hustle to his game, whether it be on the base paths or in the outfield. This type of hustle always benefits a team, as it inspires others to put in equal effort.
For anyone who remotely knows of the Mets and understands their current outfield situation, this is an easy one. Yoenis Céspedes is the most exciting slugger on the Mets, no matter how you look at it. His slash line of .280/.354/.530 earned him a contract this offseason worth $110 million over four years, to the joy of many Mets fans. The feared slugger belted 31 home runs, and most of them over the fence by a mile. When Céspedes bats, there is no other atmosphere like it at Citi Field.
Although Yoenis Céspedes was a Gold Glove recipient in 2015, we turn to the other Mets outfielder that possesses one. Juan Lagares, when healthy, is one of the top defensive centerfielders in the game.
In his Gold Glove campaign of 2014, Lagares led the league in Range Factor and was worth 11 Zone Runs in the outfield. Known around the league for his circus catches and rocket arm, teams fear a healthy Lagares patrolling center field.
Nothing is more fascinating than the idea of a good baseball player that is young and can only grow into a better player. The Mets have exactly that in 23 year-old Michael Conforto. After being drafted tenth in the 2014 Amateur Draft, Conforto tore through the minor leagues. In 2015, the Oregon State product made his debut against the L.A Dodgers. Conforto quickly gained notoriety for having an excellent eye at the plate and decent power to the opposite field. With the future looking bright, Conforto entered the 2016 season looking to establish himself as an everyday player. Conforto struggled though, as he finished the season with a lowly .220 batting average. Although he finished with measly batting statistics, Conforto still has vast potential. At age 23, the baseball world is still his oyster.
When it comes to consistency, Jay Bruce fits as perfectly as a puzzle piece. Although he may not have seen much offensive success with the Mets as of yet, Bruce was a model of yearly consistency in Cincinnati. During his years there, Bruce hit over 25 home runs and drove in 70 runs in all but two seasons. He even went on a run of three straight seasons where he hit at least thirty home runs and drove in at least 97 runs. The only downside to these numbers is his consistently low batting average. While he hit a solid .281 in 2010, his next closest average is the .265 he hit in 2016. If you can accept a consistent power source over consistent batting averages, then Jay Bruce is the type consistency you’re searching for.