There is a good sample size of 2019 data and information available to make judgements on player’s performance. However, this also comes tends to be accompanied by overreaction and panic, which begs the question, ‘Is this statistic real or not real?’ We will aim to look at some of the obscure, concerning and revealing stats on the year to determine if they are part of the larger expected value or if they are a blip in the timeline of data. ‘Real’ stats represent those that are indicative of the player or team’s performance whereas ‘Not Real’ is something that I believe should be overlooked. All stats are inclusive up until the writing of this piece.
This stat appears a bit more extreme than it actually is once you realize that it only makes up about five games for each player. However the fact remains that this is an abysmal level of production out of two starting players and three bench players who were expected to contribute. This is low-hanging fruit, but the stat is not real as we can reasonably expect that the players will improve. However I would not be surprised if Frazier and Broxton were no longer on the roster in a few weeks’ time.
Excluding his meltdown on April 16th, Steven Matz owns a 3.11 ERA – Real
This stat comes with the obvious caveat of removing an appearance from thin air, however it’s worthwhile to consider that during his “start” against the Phillies, Matz failed to retire a batter and gave up six runs. Outside of that start Matz has arguably been one of the best pitchers for the Mets; his adjusted 3.11 ERA would rank in the top 10 in the National League. My opinion is that this is real in the sense that Matz will continue to provide two or three solid starts followed by a session in which he is exposed.
Wilson Ramos and his .591 OPS ranks 29th in the major leagues among catchers – Not Real
Last year, Ramos posted an OPS of .845 and while he will likely not meet that mark again, it can be expected that he will land around .730 which was the average mark at the position among catchers with 400 plate appearances last year. His walk rate is right at his career average which is encouraging, however Ramos is suffering from a career high ground ball rate. Once he straightens those out then his production should follow suit which makes this stat not real.
The Mets starting pitchers own a 4.54 ERA which ranks 11th in the National League – Not Real
Their rotation the last 12 games has posted an improved 3.52 ERA but due to only scoring 2.3 runs per game the losses have continued to pile up. What’s also encouraging is that although their ERA is among the worst in the league, the BABIP against is .305 which is third highest. When sorting by FIP and xFIP the Mets are actually fifth and sixth best in the National League respectively with 4.02 and 3.93 marks. All of this suggest that the Mets collective starting pitching performance at the start of the season is not real.
Frazier owns a 1.8 UZR vs -3.1 UZR by J.D. Davis – Real
While Frazier has only appeared in a handful of games, the disparity of these defensive stats is noteworthy. Davis was continually slotted into the lineup for his bat, however a number of defensive miscues frustrated Met fans to no end. In comes Frazier who has provided a solid glove at the hot corner. Frazier is as good of a candidate as ever to get hot at the plate, and if he does he will no longer be on thin ice. He has already shown that he is more valuable at third base than J.D. Davis. If Frazier comes through with the bat then he will complement the Mets as a bench player down the stretch better than his counterpart.
Over the next few months the club will be faced with a number of roster decisions including the return of Jed Lowrie, the signing of Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel, and what to do with their struggling youngsters. Let’s hope that the players make some of these decisions easy for the Mets by improving their play. But if they don’t then we should hope that the Mets front office has an accurate read of what’s real and what’s not real.