Midseason Analysis: Carlos Delgado
There are two Carloses in the first half, not including Beltran and Gomez. There is the Carlos Delgado of April through most of June, and there’s the guy who suited up in Delgado’s uniform in July.
Interestingly, even with his struggles, Delgado still is on pace to hit about 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. So imagine if he can parlay his last week’s performance into a second half that is slightly better than awful?
- hasn’t been comfortable at the plate all year — up until the last week or so; mechanics are out of sync, and he has too much head, hand, and upper-body movement — it’s hard to hit when you don’t keep your head still and eyes on the ball
- when going bad, his hands and weight are going forward with the stride; when going well, everything stays back and his hands do most of the work
- on occasion, has focused on poking balls into the gaping hole on the left side (due to the over-shift) — but then he clogs the basepaths
- he can and will drive the low and inside pitch, even when cold
- very good at scooping balls in the dirt — this is his best defensive quality
- range is extremely limited; in fact, it is nonexistent
- terrible on bunts; will never, ever throw out a lead runner on a sacrifice bunt
The All-Star break could be the worst thing that happened to Delgado, as he was finally starting to look comfortable, get good at-bats, and swing with authority in the 5-10 games preceding the fiasco — er, I mean, festivities. If the early July Delgado returns after the break, the Mets will have the power bat they’ve been so sorely missing all year. Delgado’s return to form is the key to the Mets’ offense as a whole. Though Jose Reyes is the guy that gets the Mets started, Delgado is the domino that tips the remainder of the lineup’s momentum. If Delgado hits, Beltran hits. If Beltran and Delgado are hitting, Wright will see better pitches, and on it goes.