Using some “fuzzy logic”, I have come up with what I feel to be projected OPS+ numbers for the 2010 Mets and taken a look at how that compares to some of the better teams in baseball from 2009.
In addition to Jason Bay, I have also thrown Bengie Molina in as the catcher, based on the notion that neither the Mets nor Molina have any better options right now.
- Jason Bay: 134
- David Wright: 130
- Carlos Beltran: 130
- Jose Reyes: 115
- Daniel Murphy: 105
- Luis Castillo: 95 (Orlando Hudson: 105)
- Jeff Francoeur: 95
- Bengie Molina: 90
For Wright, I reverted to a number closer to when he was hitting 25 homeruns (rather than 33). Last year, despite hitting only 10 homeruns, Wright still produced a 123 OPS+ on the strength of his OBP.
Beltran is a real wild card and his OPS+ can swing from year to year, so I went with a simple mean. Reyes I went slightly optimistic based on his hunger to get back out there and produce. Reyes seems to live between 100 and 120, and I’ll take 115.
I’m putting Murphy at 105 next year, 10 points better than his 2009 campaign, but significantly below his 129 rookie season. Hopefully he surprises us and beats the 105 handily.
Franceour, as much as I root for the guy, lacks the track record to score higher than a 95, which puts him in the .280 average, with 18 HR realm (and as usual, a poor OBP).
Castillo and Molina are offsetting monsters. Neither player is league average in OPS, simply because they are polar opposite one-sided performers. As I like to jest, Luis Molina is a dominant player who can get on base 40% of the time and hits 20 HR, but Bengie Castillo is a real stinker, who basically hits like a pitcher.
The list above shows us what we already know … the Mets have a very solid top half to their order, followed by a fairly weak bottom half of guys who are “specialized”. By specialized I mean that Francoeur and Molina are decent options if they get up with people on base, but not when the bases are empty. The opposite is true for Castillo.
The total OPS+ for the starters is 894. Orlando Hudson, should the Mets find a way to acquire him, puts us at 105 OPS+ at the 2B slot, which would put us just over 900. Simple math shows that the average OPS+ for the starters is around 112.
Looking at the 2009 Phillies, for the sake of comparison, they were several points higher on average OPS+ when you look at the primary 8 starters, and that includes two very low OPS+ numbers (81 for Pedro Feliz, who is no longer around, and 86 for Jimmy Rollins, who is probably going to improve).
When you look at the 2009 Red Sox, for another comparison, the average OPS+ of that team was 109, a hair below my 2010 Mets projections. That number excludes Victor Martinez, because he only had 327 plate appearances, but if you added his 133 OPS+ you would probably be looking at a very similar OPS+ number to that of the 2010 Mets. This is good news.
In conclusion, even with the additions of Bay, Molina and Hudson, we’re still a notch below the Phillies and Yankees offensively – but on the bright side, closer to the Red Sox and Angels offenses. If Murphy and Francoeur have breakout seasons, we could be in business.
Pitching, unfortunately, is another story entirely right now …