The Mets have not had a ton of luck with their fourth outfielder here recently, a trend likely to continue with the signing of a declining Tommy Pham for his age-35 season. Here’s how other recent fourth outfielders, based on who made the Opening Day roster and who started the first game, have done for the club:
2022 – Travis Jankowski, 63 PA, 44 OPS+
2021 – Kevin Pillar, 347 PA, 87 OPS+
2020 – Jake Marisnick, 34 PA, 158 OPS+
2019 – Keon Broxton, 53 PA, 2 OPS+ (yes, that’s not a misprint)
2018 – Juan Lagares, 64 PA, 116 OPS+
By design, Jankowski wasn’t going to see a ton of PA, as he was going to be mostly a speed and defense player. And then he got hurt. Pillar got hurt, too, as did Marisnick. Broxton was just lousy. It’s tough to say who the fourth outfielder was in 2018, as Michael Conforto opened the season on the then-called DL. Brandon Nimmo got the start on Opening Day but it’s likely if Conforto was healthy that Lagares, who had 1,770 PA and a Gold Glove Award under his belt, would have been ahead of Nimmo and his 295 MLB PA in the pecking order. Lagares suffered a toe injury in mid-May and missed the rest of the season.
Who knew the planned fourth outfielder for the Mets was akin to being the drummer in Spinal Tap?