It’s Lucky Sevens time, as Big League Clu previews the 2013 New York Mets.
Greetings from Port St. Lucie, Florida everyone! After taking a much needed break, and of course, thanks to Jobu’s little vacation, I was able to come up with some dandy new post ideas for you readers. Last summer, I debuted the “Lucky Sevens” series, which was a week to week breakdown of the other New York baseball team, the Mets. Overall, I liked the idea and, even though I only did a few posts, it needed some fine tuning and it was ready to be given the green light as regular spot as my weekly post. Now I will say that even though I am a diehard Yankees fan, I do my best to follow all New York teams (like the mets) and not be bias toward the cross town rivals in Queens. Plus, what kind of person would I be if I wasn’t able to enlighten the not so average sports fan on the who’s who of the 2013 New York Metropolitans? Speaking of which, lets see what kind of team GM Sandy Alderson and Manager Terry Collins have been able to put together this off season.
Time to Play “Name that Outfielder!”
I figured it would be appropriate to start off with what is easily the white elephant in the room for the New York Mets… their outfield! This offseason, the Mets really failed to acquire, either by free agency or trade, any significant outfielder. They let Scott Hairston go to the Cubs, bought out Jason Bay‘s contract to let him walk and failed to acquire Justin Upton from Arizona because they did not want to give up their pitching prospects. However, the most notable failure in the 2012-13 offseason was missing out on signing CF Michael Bourn. He chose to sign with the Indians for 4 years, $48 Million (5th year option) instead of New York because the Mets did not want to give the 30 year old centerfielder a fifth year option. More importantly, they didn’t want to lose the 11th overall pick in the upcoming MLB Amateur draft. Someone get Alderson the wahhhhhmbulance please.
With their surefire leadoff hitter now playing for the Tribe, the Mets’ starting OF is set to be penciled in on opening day as Lucas Duda playing left field, Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Knew-when-hi-es) in center and Mike Baxter in right field…Yikes! Are these the Buffalo Bison or the New York Mets? I could be playing in that outfield! **On a side note to GM Sandy Alderson, I’m still waiting for my spring training invite, I haven’t gotten it in the mail yet!** The one positive (if you can find one) about this outfield is that Duda brings a little pop in his bat, as he did hit 15 home runs last year. However, he will need to work on that batting average if he wants to be the everyday left fielder.
The Mets did also sign Marlon Byrd to a minor league deal, and apparently he is the front runner to be the right handed bench bat of that outfield. Byrd falls into that low risk-high reward category, although he is not the best fielder out there. But, if he can stay healthy and find his swing again, he could provide some decent power. After all, he did hit 20 home runs for the Texas Rangers in 2009. If he doesn’t do any of those things, well then he will be looking for work and hey….the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish, who play just up the road, could always use a centerfielder. Godspeed to that outfield…godspeed.
The infield: David Wright & Co.
At least this part of the team is a little better off, but thats just it…A LITTLE. The infield is, of course, led by third baseman and newly deemed “Captain” David Wright, who just cashed in on a big 8 year, $138 Million dollar deal with the Mets this off-season. He will undoubtedly be the face of the New York Mets and most likely play the remainder of his career here. Nothing wrong at 3B. Wright plays the field exceptionally well, he can run, field, hit, and of course provide some much needed power in that lineup. He just needs a team around him if you want to see the Mets playing any sort of meaningful September and October baseball in the years to come. Shortstop was a little bit tougher to breakdown, because the Mets have Ruben Tejada who really would be a backup on any other team in the majors. His defense is suspect, he doesn’t hit for power, score runs or even a steal bases. so what is he doing here? Plus do they expect to split time with him, Justin Turner and Brandon Hicks? I just feel that Tejada is more or less a stopgap for the Mets, until they find someone else, be it from the draft or signing a good free agent next season, who is worthy of playing that position.
At 2B, you have fan favorite Daniel Murphy, who has filled in nicely for the Mets as a utility player over the past few years playing almost every position on the team. Now, as he has been handed the starting 2B job job, we will see what he can really accomplish for New York. Murphy plays decent defense, ranked second on the team with a .291 batting average, third on the team with 65 RBIs and was also 3rd in runs scored with 62. He swings a decent bat, and is decent with RISP, but do you see the trend here? He’s the most decent second basemen ever! If he was able to put together a few more runs, and hit more than 6 home runs in a season, he actually would be regarded as one of the better second basemen in the league. I blame the last few lackluster Mets teams that he has been a part of as the culprit. It’s because of those poor teams that he has not been given a fair opportunity to showcase his talent, or he would probably be making a bigger paycheck, and be considered more than just average ballplayer (thought I was going to say decent there didn’t ya?). The tools are there for him to be successful at 2nd and the fans love him. He plays hard and, if he can prove himself this season, he will cash in.
On to 1B, where I have to ask… who in the world is the real Ike Davis?? I at least hope he’s not the guy who showed up in April and May last season. Davis has become the team’s only true power hitter. He finished third on the team with his .227 batting average, which goes to show you just how bad the Mets were in 2012. He wasn’t even able to get his batting average above .200 until late June! How did he finish third?? That’s tremendous! He really looked like he just couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm early on. On the other side of the coin, he did provide the power in that Mets lineup, as he led the team in home runs with 32 and was second in RBIs, bringing in 90 runs. So I guess you have to take the good with the bad in this situation right? Davis also plays above average defense at first, and he does have his share of good defensive plays. The question will be which Ike Davis shows up in April. If it’s the guy who hit .170 through May last season, you can be certain that he won’t be returning to the Mets in 2014. But, if he can get that batting average up 30 points and hit closer to what he did in 2010, then he will be a problem for NL pitchers.
Come back tomorrow as I will continue my Spring Training edition of Lucky Sevens with a breakdown the pitchers and catchers!
- Rivalry Trophy Series: Battle for the Old Brass Spittoon - October 11, 2013
- Rant of the Week: Jets Weekly Edition - October 10, 2013
- Jets Weekly: Gang Green Airs It Out Against the Bills - September 27, 2013
- Jets Weekly: The Week 1 Jitters - September 12, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: Big 12 Conference - September 5, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: The SEC - September 4, 2013
- What to Expect from Rex and the Jets: Your Inside Guide to the 2013 New York Jets - September 3, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: BIG 10 Conference - August 22, 2013
- 2013 College Football Preview: The ACC - August 20, 2013
- Rant of the Week: Does Montreal Deserve Another Baseball Team? - July 27, 2013