If you saw someone with this hits spray chart, what would your advice be? Mine would be that he should sell out and look to pull the ball more. You might think that’s what he’s doing already. Yet he has just a 38% pull percentage. And if somehow you haven’t figured this one out yet, this is the spray chart for Jeff McNeil.

A couple of years ago, McNeil won the batting title with a .326 AVG. It’s a noteworthy accomplishment, as he became just the second player in team history to win the award. According to Statcast, McNeil had a .429 AVG in his batting title year when he pulled the ball. He didn’t post a high AVG because of his great success hitting the ball to all fields. He did it because he was excellent when he pulled the ball. If you want McNeil to have a high AVG, you should want him to pull the ball.

This year, one which he’s no threat to win the batting title, McNeil has a .200 AVG when he hits the ball to the opposite field and a .304 AVG when he pulls the ball. Those who still view the game with AVG as the first thing they look at should be rooting for McNeil to pull the ball.

And if you’re someone who values power, you should be rooting for the same thing. McNeil has a .257 SLG when he hits the ball the other way, compared to a .500 SLG when he pulls the ball.

It’s maddening to me when McNeil has fewer than two strikes and he’s looking to slap the ball the other way. If he wants to make that his swing once he has two strikes on him, that’s fine. Until then, he should be up there looking for a pitch to drive in the air to the right of the second base bag.

Ideally, our hitting analyst on the television broadcasts would ask McNeil what he’s thinking when he steps up in the box. But that would be asking him to put in some work, so it’s not going to happen. Perhaps Steve Gelbs could up his usefulness quotient by getting us that info. And if the answer is something besides pull the ball in the air, the follow-up question should be, “Why not look to pull the ball in the air?”

34 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (5/22/24)

  • Albert s

    I think the Mets need a trade.Two pitchers a starter,Manaa,Severino or Botto,and a reliever,Smith,Foley or Lopez for two ML hitters,one infielder,one Out fielder. The team needs more hitters I think.

  • James M OMalley

    Yes. I think another hitter would be great. Lets also drop Lindor to the bottom of the line-up. That might motivate him to really try and hit.

  • Mike W

    This season is really swirling in the bowl. It is about to speed up as the flush goes down the toilet.

    No surprise. Did not expect a big season. Severino and Manaea and Reed Garrett have done well, while Lindor, McNeil and Alonso have not. It is hard to win when what is supposed to be your heart of the order has stunk.

    We dont need to add players right now. What we can do, is addition by subtraction. I would rather dump Alonso, McNeil and Diaz and save his $ 20 million. We could get some nice prospects.

  • Albert s

    Big contracts for McNeil and Diaz reduce there value I think. Alonso is a rental.

  • José Hunter

    Although I’m not a big fan of FG and often go a week between visits, they have two recent articles of interest

    They directly address two thoughts I’ve had recently:
    1. Why do Mets360ers dislike meaty LH hitting DHs with high OBPs and limited skills otherwise?
    2. What’s wrong with our formerly lights-out fireman?

    “DJ Stewart Is Walking Here” dated 5/15/24
    “Edwin Díaz Isn’t Fully Back Yet” dated 5/21/24

  • José Hunter

    In order to complain, I was looking for

    Guardians 6, Mets 3 (5/22/24)

    I didn’t find it, so I’ll deposit my complaint here

    One or more of Keith/Ron/Gary were pointing out an amazing fact. To wit:

    A team which hits 3 homers in one game is victorious 78.3% of the time

    OK, what if said team hits exactly 3 solo shots and scores no other runs? How often do they win in this case? I’ll warrant it’s substantially less than 78.3% of the time

    Now any of you who’ve read anything I have posted are aware of the fact that I am a mathematician. However, I am not a statistician, so I don’t feel qualified to draw inferences from statistical information.

    Despite that, I claim that the original amazing fact is a useless and pointless example of statistical debris

    And since I can write whatever I want here (as long as it’s remotely relevant to NYM baseball)
    I really appreciate Probability. It’s a subset of Abstract Algebra, specifically Combinatorics and Discrete Math

  • Mike W

    Ok, Jose, what does mathematics say about what Pete Alonso’s numbers will be over the next five years. And does McNeil suck as much as it feels like that he sucks?

  • José Hunter

    Mike W:

    How the heck would I know?
    I’m a mathematician, although when someone calls me a math wiz, I dispute it

  • José Hunter

    So, I was reading again at that place I tend to avoid, and I found an article about how the RedBirds are toast in the NL Central.

    A more alarming fact to contemplate are team WAR projections from start of 2023 and projections computed now. Only two of 30 teams have biggers drops than the RedBirds from then to now: The Chicago Dead Sox… and The New York Mets

    Anyway, I found a list of the RedBirds’ best pitching prospect, and there are some great names to consider. Check them out:

    Tink Hence
    Gordon Graceffo
    Sem Robberse
    Adam Kloffenstein
    Max Rajcic
    Tekoah Roby

  • TexasGusCC

    Stealing this from Tim Dierkes’ Q&A post from yesterday on MLBTR:

    “It’s been a disappointing 214 plate appearances for Lindor. I’m not a big OPS guy, but that’s probably the best all-encompassing offensive stat Baseball-Reference’s Span Finder has. Lindor’s OPS sits at .620 through 48 games this year. Within a single season, Lindor has had a stretch of 48 games with an OPS of .640 or worse in each of the last three seasons, roughly around the same span. It’s a pretty weird trend but he’s had a stretch about this bad four seasons in a row now.

    .639 OPS: 4-22-23 to 6-16-23. .889 OPS from that point forward
    .640 OPS: 4-24-22 to 6-16-22. .830 OPS from that point forward
    .616 OPS: 4-5-21 to 6-2-21. .812 OPS from that point forward”

  • David Groveman

    Minor League Notes:

    Youngster Jeremy Rodriguez is active and playing well in FCL. The Shortstop was a lottery ticket player acquired last year and could wind up in the Top 10 soon.

    Willy Fanas and Simon Juan are active and hitting as well. Fanas only started in the FCL and has already advanced to Port St. Lucie.

    Tong had a few so-so starts in Brooklyn but his last start was a gem.

    Nolan McLean continues to play well on both sides of the ball after his promotion to AA.

    Kevin Parada has been heating up in the last week and looking more like a top prospect. Don’t get too excited over 1 week of play.

    Similarly, Luisangel Acuna has begun to play better over the last week or so. His strikeouts are down which is helpful.

    • Brian Joura

      I was surprised that Fanas started the year back in the FCL. His numbers there last year weren’t great yet he had an OPS better than team average.

      But I thought Morabito should have been in Hi-A, too. Were the Morabito and Fanas promotions simultaneous this year?

      Parada has an .833 OPS in his last 13 games, thanks to 7 of his 13 hits going for extra-bases. One thing to monitor with Parada is his H/R splits. Five of his six homers have come on the road and his OPS is 168 points higher in away games.

      • Metstabolism

        Morabito was promoted in early May, Fanas was just promoted yesterday.

  • Steve_S.

    OK, I just read another opinion on Mark Vientos’s fielding, concluding that he’s not a major league third baseman. To my eyes, he’s adequate out there (considering his powerful batting the main reason to keep him at 3B). He’s got a gun for an arm, makes most of the plays, and seems ready to come in on bunts, etc. While Baty is a bit better in the field, his batting (as we all have seen) is atrocious. And even his fielding is just average at best right now.

    I’m sure Vientos continues to work in his fielding with the coaches and may improve more. But even if he doesn’t, keep him at 3B to keep his bat in the lineup. And if Alonso moves on, he could be our first baseman. But I’m satisfied with him where he is now.

    • ChrisF

      Agreed, his bat improvement is greater than the glove unimprovement. Vientos stays. Baty takes the Greyhound back to SYR

    • Metstabolism

      This seems like a no-brainer that doesn’t even warrant discussion right now. Vientos is performing, Baty is not.
      We knew Vientos’ defense was lacking before the season. He is a work in progress. As such, its absolutely pointless to pass conclusive judgements on his defense right here, right now. Let it play out and see how far he progresses.

  • James M OMalley

    Yes – gotta stick with Vientos.

  • TexasGusCC

    I want Baty!!! With Vientos the Mets chances of securing a top six pick and avoiding the penalty go way down! With Baty they go way up!

  • Mike W

    In looking at the starters for position players, only two are under 30, Alonso at almost 30 and Vientos. Not good.

    Baty has had two shots and he has failed miserably. I like the idea of Vientos playing first after Alonso leaves.

  • Mike W

    Mets should trade for Vlad jr. He will be available for trade. Better option at 25 than overpaying Alonso.

    • Metstabolism

      Please explain what makes you think the Mets have what it would take to get a player like Vlad? Even if they do on first glance, the Mets would then have to outbid others teams that could have more to offer.

      • Mike W

        If you dont try you will never find out. We got Hernandez for Allen and Ownby. We got Carter for Brooks, Fitzgerald, Youmans and Winningham. And we got fleeced for Seaver with Flynn, Zachry, Henderson and Norman. Vlad is a free agent after next season. At 25, Ill take him over Alonso.

  • José Hunter

    So, if a team with 3 homers in a game wins 78.3% of the time, what’s the probability that any team would lose 3 such games consecutively?

    I’m not a statistician, but I’ll take a stab at it. What’s deceptive about this problem is that there’s a second somewhat hidden probability which muddles the answer. Hitting 3 homers in a game is a relatively rare event. So including the probability of that rare event within the probability we’re trying to compute makes it a different problem

    What I assert is that probability that a team hits 3 homers in games 48, 49 and 50 is the same as the probability that a team hits 3 homers in games 17, 107 and 161 (or, in fact, any 3 games) provided you are not taking into account the rarity of the event of hitting 3 homers in any game

    If that bit is reasoning is correct, then the answer to the original question is
    that is, approximately 1.02%

    • Brian Joura

      Thanks for your work here!

      However, I don’t think we can ignore what you call the “second somewhat hidden probability.” There’s actually a Reddit thread going on about this now. One answer there said this:

      “That isn’t quite right as it ignores the rarity of even hitting three HRs in a game. In 2024, the odds were 9.7% for hitting three HRs in a game.

      Assuming that the 22% figure from the OP is roughly correct for 2024, then the odds of both hitting three HRs and then losing would be more like 2.1%.

      And then doing it three times in a row would be 0.00098% (about 1:100,000).”

      Of course, it’s a Reddit thread, which means we can’t necessarily assume this is true. The comment beneath it tried to argue against it, but his logic seemed faulty to me. Anyway, while a 1 in 100,000 chance is ridiculously small, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was even smaller than that.

      And to me, what seems most likely to be false is that there’s a 9.7% chance of hitting 3 HR in a game here in 2024. The Mets are a pretty good HR hitting team and they’ve done it 7 times in 50 games. But the Braves have hit 3 HR in a game 4X in 48, the Phillies have done it 6X in 52 games, the Nats have done it 3X in 49 games and the Marlins have done it 2X in 52 games. If this 5-team sample is useful, that’s 22 HR in 242 games. That’s 9.1% – which is higher than what I would have thought but still not 9.7%.

    • Brian Joura

      From Tim Britton in The Athletic:

      “Instead, the Mets became the fifth team in major-league history with three homers or more in each of three straight losses. (The 2022 Diamondbacks were the most recent to achieve that feat.)”

      According to FanGraphs, there have been 475,276 games played in MLB history

    • TexasGusCC

      José, your logic in that any three games is a good point, but the variance of any three games during the year isn’t quite as specific as three in a row. The magnitude of the feat is that these games were three in a row, and all losses.

    • Mike W

      The probability is 100% because the Mets just did it! What is the probability that they are going nowhere this year? 99% ? Id get the ball rolling and trade players now. You may get more from them now than in 60 days.

  • José Hunter

    Although I’m not the type to gloat, sometimes I give that appearance.
    Anyway, in light of the seasoning ending injury to Ronald Acuña Jr., I am compelled to re-post an item previously posted
    I’m not trying to rub anyone’s face in this, especially since no one here expressed a contrary opinion

    Original posted on 4/9/24 here on M3ts360:

    First strange move, that is, one I’d’ve never done, was with no outs, Acuña scoring from first on a double just ahead of the throw.
    In other words, with just a slight variation, he could’ve been nailed at the plate for the first out

    When you’re the strongest hitting team in baseball, possibly stronger than that Big Red Machine from the 1970s, you don’t need to take such chances;
    Play it conservatively

    Didn’t this superstar blow out his knee a few years back?

    “Acuña felt discomfort the day after being involved in a rundown between second and third base during that Feb. 29 (2024) game. An MRI exam showed irritation around the meniscus and noted surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed this diagnosis after evaluating the superstar at his Los Angeles office.”

    Wait, that’s the wrong quote – that’s from this year!

    Knee discomfort from a ST rundown? What the flox is wrong with this guy?

    • José Hunter

      Season and Mets360

      I wish the more absurdly fastidious among us were allowed to edit our posts.
      Especially since the dialog box I must type into is fairly small

  • José Hunter

    surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache

    I was thinking that if one of my limbs fell off, he’s the guy I’d want to re-attrache it

  • José Hunter

    Hey, where’s the 5/29/24 Rant-All Thread?

    Anyway, I noticed an article on FG titled

    The Day Negro Leagues Statistics Met the Major League Record Books

    And it reminded me of Cool Papa Bell
    But not just the baseball player

    It’s the title of a song from a famous song writer
    Who, like your favorite mathematician/Mets fan
    Was born in the lovely city called
    Newark New Jersey

    I recommend you check it out
    You can find it on YouTube

    Cool Papa Bell
    From the album “Stranger To Stranger” (2016)
    Written and performed by Paul Simon
    “The fastest man on Earth did dwell
    As Cool Papa Bell”

  • José Hunter

    Sorry if I sound like an adman for FG (because that absolutely isn’t my intention), but the following interesting article just appeared

    Top of the Order: Here’s What a Mets Teardown Could Look Like

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