One of the difficult things when analyzing the Mets offense this year is to separate the names from the numbers they have actually produced. Sure, yesterday’s lineup had Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright in it but is it accurate to consider the performance the Mets are receiving from these players in 2010 to what our mind thinks of when it hears Beltran or Reyes or Wright?

So, in order to help separate performance from reputation, I took the players position, games played level and OPS+ and used the Play Index at to come up with a somewhat similar player in team history to substitute in for comparison purposes. So, here are the Mets’ leaders by position with a substitute from the team’s past.

Rod Barajas – 267 PA, 80 OPS+, .225/.263/.414
2003 Vance Wilson – 292 PA, 75 OPS+, .243/.293/.373

First Base
Ike Davis – 522 PA, 115 OPS+, .263/.349/.449
1995 Rico Brogna – 540 PA, 119 OPS+, .289/.342/.485

Second Base
Luis Castillo – 295 PA, 67 OPS+, .235/.338/.267
2005 Miguel Cairo – 367 PA, 64 OPS+, .251/.296/.324

Third Base
David Wright – 593 PA, 130 OPS+, .289/.361/.498
1987 Howard Johnson – 645 PA, 133 OPS+, .265/.364/.504

Jose Reyes – 524 PA, 101 OPS+, .286/.322/.427
2004 Kaz Matsui – 509 PA, 88 OPS+ .272/.331/.396

Left Field
Jason Bay – 401 PA, 103 OPS+, .259/.347/.402
2001 Benny Agbayani – 339 PA, 101 OPS+, .277/.364/.399

Center Field
Angel Pagan – 556 PA, 109 OPS+, .289/.342/.432
1986 Mookie Wilson – 415 PA, 115 OPS+ .289/.345/.430

Right Field
Jeff Francoeur – 449 PA, 79 OPS+, .237/.293/.369
2002 Jeromy Burnitz – 550 PA, 80 OPS+, .215/.311/.365

Carlos Beltran – 207 PA, 92 OPS+, .236/.338/.368
1997 Brian McRae – 162 PA, 92 OPS+, .248/.317/.414

Ruben Tejada – 201 PA, 44 OPS+, .188/.281/.241
1968 Phil Linz – 275 PA, 45 OPS+, .209/.243/.236

Alex Cora – 187 PA, 48 OPS+, .207/.265/.278
1963 Al Moran – 370 PA, 47 OPS+, .193/.274/.230

Josh Thole – 167 PA, 108 OPS+, .297/.377/.385
1963 Jesse Gonder – 134 PA, 110 OPS+, .302/.328/.405

Chris Carter – 155 PA, 86 OPS+, .259/.316/.371
1999 Matt Franco – 161, 88 OPS+, .235/.366/.364

The hardest position was shortstop, as the Mets have not had anyone play a significant number of games and record an OPS+ of 100 or more except for Reyes. There were players who were closer than Matsui to him in OPS+, but they did not have close to the SB or HR that Matsui did.

The comparison that surprised me the most was finding Agbayani show up for Bay. Most Mets fans have a soft place in their heart for Agbayani but few would go that far with Bay. And the most troubling one is to see Gonder show up for Thole. Gonder played 131 games the following season and had a 99 OPS+ as a 28-year old and then never had more than 174 PA the rest of his career.

This was a sobering exercise. To think that this year’s hitters are akin to Phil Linz, Kat Matsui and Rico Brogna is not anything Mets fans want to hear. For my own sanity, I’ll go back to thinking of them as Beltran, Reyes and Wright.

2 comments on “2010 Mets Dopplegangers

  • stick

    well, look at the bright side. it does point out how badly many (most? all?) the established hitters did this year. So, that should give hope that it was an abberation (bad year) as opposed to a new reality.

    You also have to be areful comparing a rookie called up mid year, with a more established guy, or one at the end of his career. At least the rookie will possibly get better as they get more time in.

    But, most glaring is 3B. As much as I like to rag on Hojo for trying to turn Wright into another Hojo, he actually did it, and made him worse!

    If wright finishes the year with a lower OBP than Hojo did in any year, that is a huge indictment of the player he has become, and a big indication that he needs to try and work back to being the complete hitting machine he used to be.

  • Mike Koehler

    A lot of these comparisons are off, probably because it’s impossible to match two players perfectly and you’re not considering every stat, but the Bay/Agbayani comments are what prompted me to write.

    Benny Agbayani was the lovable Hawaiian. He earned $1.3 million over four years with the mets and Rockies. He overachieved under manager Bobby Valentine, even playing with him in Japan.

    On the other hand, Jason Bay is a well-established major league home run-hitting machine who commanded a four year $66 million deal. That’s about $14 million per year, especially for a guy not living up to his reputation.

    I wonder why there’s such a different opinion for Agbayani and Bay.

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