How the Mets’ offense will improve

If you were to look at the predictions for the Mets season, you would find quite a few naysayers who believe the team did not do enough in the offseason to improve their offense.  While it is true that they did not make any significant additions this winter, they also did not have any losses of note on the offense either.

The one major way the team can improve their offense is with timely hitting.  Last season the Mets were 5th in the majors with 1.34 home runs per game, while they finished 26th with 4.12 runs per game.  This is quite a drastic difference due to the teams incredibly poor hitting with runners in scoring position.

The Mets were terrible hitting with runners on base, Curtis Granderson set the major-league mark for lowest total RBI while hitting 30 or more home runs with 59 RBI.  This may have been due to him leading off for much of the year.  This season with the addition of Jose Reyes to bat leadoff, he can slide down in the order, where he will get many more RBI opportunities.

The Mets will also get a full season of Jay Bruce.  Last year after the trade from Cincinnati he hit, .219 with 8 HR and 19 RBI in 169 at bats.  He is a notoriously streaky hitter and hit a rough stretch before coming around for the last 10 days of the season or so.  His presence lengthens or lineup and his protection should help Cespedes and Granderson as well.  If he does get off to a great start that will also increase his trade value should the team explore that avenue.

The team’s bench this year will also be a strong point.  On the infield, we have Wilmer Flores who mashes righties as well as Ty KellyMichael Conforto will start the season as our fourth outfielder which is a luxury most teams would be envious of.  There are few holes up and down our lineup and it would almost be a statistical impossibility for the team to hit as poorly as it did last year with runners in scoring position.

Hopefully, if these natural improvements in the team come to pass, and the pitching staff performs as it is expected to, the team can win the division.  Though the Nationals will be a tough opponent and the Braves have improved, the division is quite winnable.  Washington is lacking a top tier closer and the odds of Daniel Murphy repeating his MVP caliber season from last year have got to be slim.  This may be the ideal year in the Mets window for winning a championship.  All the starters are still getting paid relatively little for the amount of production they provide.

This will give the team financial flexibility to add an impact bat at the trade deadline if necessary.  This possible addition, along with the natural corrections to players hitting with runners on base should improve the team’s overall offense this season.

8 comments for “How the Mets’ offense will improve

  1. April 4, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Totally agree with this article. Hitting with RISP was pathetic last year. So many opptys wasted trying to hit the long ball, when a simple single would do, probably cost the team 5-7 wins last year at the least. Those are W’s the team will need this year to pass the Nats. Murphy will be good, not superman like last year, and they- Nats- have no true proven closer. Mets must make it happen this year. Many, many ?’s to 2018 and pending F/A’s, etc. (Duda, Grandy, Bruce, A.Reed, Reyes, Cabrera, Walker) The time is now !

  2. Chris F
    April 4, 2017 at 11:03 am

    At the same time Murph may not produce heroic numbers again, even if he returns to normal, level of production will still help the Nats. On the flip side, dont expect Harper to repeat a down season. Given even his first game its reasonable to see him as a 30/100 guy with room to spare. As far as closer goes, Im surprised Mets fans have this “they did nothing about closer” given we didnt either with Mejia or Familia. You’d be kidding yourself if you think Trienen is a joke of some sort. They have ample opportunity to trade come deadline time if that is necessary.

    Mets v Nats by position.

    1B. Duda v Zim/Lind – Edge to Mets, but its close.
    2B. Walker v Murphy – Edge to Nats, but its close
    SS. Cabrera v Turner – Nats, but I like Droobs!
    3B. Whoever v Rendon – Nats
    LF. Ces v Werth – Mets
    CF. Grandy v Eaton – Nats
    RF. Bruce/Conforto v Harper – Nats
    C. Weiters v TdA/Rivera – Nats
    Rotation. Mets, but is closer than we all like to think
    Relief. Mets
    Bench. Edge Mets.

    Overall. This division should be a dog fight to the end.

  3. April 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’d happily swap some of our big boppers for higher avg hitters with speed. Home runs are a poor way to power an offense and yet Sandy makes it the core, along with OBP. Fonzie, Olerud, Ventura and Zeile did more than just mash bombs.

    • NormE
      April 5, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Ironically, Fonzie, Olerud, Ventura and Zeile were good hitters but no speed.

  4. April 4, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I hope when Dom Smith is brought up next season, he can become a high average/on base guy we could really use in our lineup.

  5. Metsense
    April 5, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Even though the same gang is back, the offense should improve this year and easily support the starting pitching and relief corp. A full year of Neal Walker who played in only 113 games and having Reyes for more than 60 games is an improvement. Duda should be significantly better than Loney. A healthy Cespedes should contribute in more than 131 games and Cabrera should play a few more more than 141 games. If TDA just puts up an average offensive year then there won’t be any black holes in the batting order. Health is the key to a special season since they have already proven they can be successful in an injury plagued season.

  6. Jimmy P
    April 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Before we get too crazy here, we are seeing a bad Braves bullpen in April. Teheran blanked the Mets for 6.

    In 7th, Mets saw Ian Krol, who allowed a single to Rivera. He got Flores out on a force. He amazingly yielded an easy SB to Flores. He walked Reyes. Gave up a single to Cabera, who looked great yesterday — and last year — and all Spring Training.

    Chaz Roe relieved Ian Krol.

    He walked Cespedes.

    Then O’Flaherty came in after Krol, like a gift from Zeus himself.

    Granderson SF.

    He walked Walker.

    He walked Bruce.

    Gave up the 2B to Duda.

    He walked d’Arnaud.

    It was, to my eyes, more of a truly pathetic performance by the Braves than an offensive onslaught by the Mets. Five walks, three hits. Good solid ABs all around. I’m not complaining. But let’s be honest about what happened in that game on Monday. On the plus side, that’s the formula. Great pitching and enough offense.

    • Chris F
      April 5, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      ^ +1. Dead on accurate assessment. Who did that game say more about? The Braves.

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