While the biggest impact acquisitions in the off-season for the Mets has to be the additions of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez to the bullpen, the addition of Andres Torres certainly is of equal importance to the franchise.
As you’re probably well aware of, Torres, along with Ramirez, was acquired on December 6 when the Mets shipped Angel Pagan to the San Francisco Giants.
Torres has talent. The problem for Torres is putting it all together and staying healthy.
After breaking through in 2010, positing career highs in home runs (16), RBI’s (63), runs (84) and stolen bases (26)-while being an integral part of the Giants’ world series run-Torres regressed in 2011, batting only .221 while hitting four home runs, driving in 19 runs and stealing 19 stolen bases.
It appears as if Torres is ready to start spring training healthy, though. As long as he his healthy, Torres will have a place on this team, as he is a good table setter, base stealer and best of all an above average defensive player.
With Pagan wearing out his welcome last year with his lackadaisical play and attitude, Torres offers the Mets a fresh new batch of blood.
The key for Torres is to get on base. While his power numbers are decent, no one is going to confuse him with a slugger. So it is imperative that Torres does his job as a lead-off hitter and get on base.
Last year, while battling injuries and with the Giants going through a rotation of several different outfielders, Torres never got settled in and only got on base at a .312 clip. That was a big drop off from the .343 clip he registered in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Also of significance to note is the drop off in OPS numbers from the 2009, 2010 seasons to last year. In 2009, Torres had a .876 OPS while in 2010 he posted a .823 OPS. In 2011, that number dropped to a woeful .643. For the Mets to get more bang for their buck, they have to get better OPS numbers from Torres.
While no one is going to mistake Torres for Jose Reyes at the lead-off spot, Torres is a competitive player that will always play hard and hustle. I know this won’t excite the masses, believe me I know, but Torres does give the Mets what they need when they lost Reyes: a strong passion to play and win, likability and being a threat with his speed and his glove.
Unfortunately, the Mets may not be going anywhere this season, so the pressure on Torres to have a solid season will not be that high. So, the transition for Torres could be seamless. The hope here is that Torres can bat over .270, hit 10-15 home runs and steal close to 30 bases.
No one should expect another Carlos Beltran in center, but if given the time and support, than Torres can become an appreciated player and welcome addition for the Mets in 2012.
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