Tag: ruben tejada

Projections vs. Reality

I love stats. I’ve been a baseball stathead since I was a kid. I kept track of my own batting average in Little League as well as walks, extra base hits (those were easy – there weren’t many of them), and RBIs. I used to check the box scores in The Record every morning to see what the Mets’ updated stats looked like after the previous night’s game (Unless the game was on the west coast – ahhh, the dark ages), and I’ve continued that habit into the present day.

Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve been familiarizing myself with sabermetrics. I like them. I find them useful. Especially the ones I can understand. Advanced metrics have given me a whole new perspective on the careers of baseball players today, and a renewed appreciation of players from the past.

The one relatively new development I haven’t gotten on board with is the concept of statistical projections.


Free Agent Targets: Shortstops

The MLBPA compiled a full list of players who filed for free agency this offseason. Out of those, there are several possibilities that stood out to me as players I would consider signing if I were the GM of the Mets (assuming I had a moderate amount of money to spend). Mind you, I’m not saying the Mets should sign ALL of these players – that would be impossible. But this would be the pool of players from which I would choose.

We’ll break them down by position. In the last post, I looked at outfielders. In this post, I’ll take a look at…


The Mets have several holes to fill, but the position that has the most room for improvement is shortstop. Mets shortstops had a combined -0.1 WAR last year. They were bad in the field and even worse at the plate. 23 year-old Ruben Tejada took a big step back in his development this year, and it’s clear the Mets don’t have confidence in him to be the everyday shortstop in 2014.

There are two major free agents this offseason who would be a significant upgrade at short. Most every team who needs a shortstop has interest in them, including the Mets.

Stephen Drew, 31 – Drew is good fielder with a decent left-handed bat. Playing mostly in hitter-friendly parks, he averaged a .264/.329/.435 slash with 15 homers over a 162-game average. He truly showed off his glove this postseason, covered a lot of ground, and made sure-handed plays with strong, accurate throws. He hardly hit a lick until he homered in the clinching game of the World Series, but his defense was extremely valuable to the Red Sox en route their World Championship. Now Drew is ready to settle in somewhere with a long-term deal – perhaps 3 or 4 years in length. He’s expected to go for about $10 million per year.

Jhonny Peralta, 31 – Peralta is similar to Drew in many ways, particularly at the dish. He has a career .268/.330/.425 slash line and averages 18 home runs over 162 games. A right handed hitter, Peralta has displayed power while playing his home games in less hitter-friendly parks. He’s had 4 years in which he’s hit 20 homers or more, most recently in 2011 with the Tigers. This year, he was having an outstanding season (.303/.358/.457 and 11 HRs in 448 plate appearances), before he was suspended for the last 50 games of the season for his association with the Biogenesis clinic. Because of that black mark, his price may be discounted, as some teams will be reluctant to sign him. How much of his performance was enhanced by less-than-natural means? We don’t know, but the fact that he played so well after his name was publicly linked to Biogenesis is a good sign. His glove isn’t as highly regarded as Drew’s, but he did have a 3.5 UZR last year, and a UZR over 10 in 2011 and 2012.

Coming up next: Free agent first basemen


Would You Trade R.A. Dickey to the Red Sox?

In today’s edition of “Would you …?” we discuss the fantasy of trading R.A. Dickey to the Boston Red Sox.

As you know, the Mets could use a catcher — preferably one that can catch, throw, and hit a bit. Ideally, such a backstop would also be on the young side.

Enter Ryan Lavarnway.

If you haven’t heard of Lavarnway, here are the basic details: 6’4, 225 lbs., 25 years old, righthanded hitter who hit 32 homeruns with a .390 OBP and 1.002 OPS in the minors in 2011. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise — he led all D-1 hitters in batting and slugging as a college sophomore and set the Ivy League record for career homeruns. Lavarnway is a graduate of Yale, so he might be relatively intelligent. All scouting reports on him boast about his hard work ethic and discipline. Sounds good, right? Would you be willing to trade R.A. Dickey for someone who appears to be the next Johnny Bench — if the Red Sox would be willing to part with him? Not so fast.


Blog Roundup: Speculation and Reflections

I’m going to try a new format for my link dump today, because I’m kind of bored with the bullet points.  I’ll include the links in paragraph form, like some other sites do.  Instructions: when you see a link, click on it.

And away we go…

The Mets have begun to make some minor moves in order to position themselves for the rest of the offseason.  They removed LHP Justin Hampson from the 40-man roster.  He then opted for free agency.  New York also dropped C Rob Johnson from the 40-man roster.  He will also become a free agent.  We’ll always have your 1 scoreless inning on the mound, Rob.

Hampson and Johnson?  Well, there goes our chances for 2013, eh?

These moves are intended to make room for prospects the Mets want to protect from the rule 5 draft.

In other news, the Mets sacked strength and conditioning coach Brad Andress.  Over the past few years, it seems like some Mets players tend to wear down at the end of the season.  See Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy, for instance, in 2012, and Jonathan Niese (pre nose-job) and Dillon Gee in 2011.  Perhaps someone with a new approach will help the team improve in this area.

Collin McHugh’s encounter with a young fan helped him appreciate what he has, instead of dwelling on the way his season ended.

A certain optimistic Mets fan looks at some players who could have bounce back seasons in 2013.

Tejada and David Wright formed a very nice left side of the infield this year.  The big question this offseason is, how much longer will this duo remain together.