By Steve Keane at 15 July, 2013, 3:32 pm
The Ol’ Perfesser
As promised in my last post, it’s time for the 2013 NY Mets first half report card. Unlike years past there is room for optimism even though the team has not had a winning monthly record since June of 2012, that’s seven consecutive months of losing, but the tide seems to be turning. There is optimism in that the young arms are starting to emerge as we see today with Matt Harvey being named the starter for tomorrow nights All Star Game. Zack Wheeler has shown some growing pains but he should figure it out and Noah Syndergarrd talk is all the rage.
But the club needs bats and needs them badly but that’s a post for another day. On to the grades:
John Buck Grade C
Took off like a rocket in April with the bat hitting 9 HR and driving in 23 runs. From months May thru July, Buck has hit 5 HR and knocked in 23 runs. The biggest aspect of catching is defense, while Buck is not a great catcher; he is a vast improvement over what the Mets have had the last two years. He’s holding the seat warm until Travis D’Arnaud gets himself healthy and ready for the big leagues, most likely next season.
Ike Davis Grade F
UGH! What a mess Ike is. So far the great re-invention of Ike Davis approach at the plate has been a failure. His first couple games when Ike came back from Las Vegas there was a bit of an improvement but the last week he’s back to his ass going one way and his arms going the other. UGH! I sense Sandy Alderson’ patience are wearing thin with Ike and with Davis arbitration eligible next season Ike looks like a lock for non-tender status.
Daniel Murphy Grade D
Who doesn’t love Murph? He plays his ass off, worked very hard to be a serviceable 2nd baseman and has battled serious injury to come back strong. But Murphy like Ike is at a crossroads in his career. He’s making just a shade under $3mil this season and would be looking for a raise towards the $5mil mark in 2014. He’s 28 years old he doesn’t draw walks and he hits with little power and is not a solid fielder. Add 2nd base as another position the Mets will need to upgrade in 2014.
Ruben Tejada Grade F
I’ve never been a fan of Tejada’s and never understood what some baseball people saw in him. He’s in Las Vegas now and will most likely be there until September. Call this addition by subtraction.
David Wright Grade A+
Just put a decent bat behind Wright and he’ll put up numbers like have never been seen in Flushing. Just having a decent bat like Marlon Byrd protecting him has allowed Wright to put up solid numbers. His defense has also improved to where you might as well give him the Gold Glove now. He has also embraced the role of Captain showing more leadership on the field than we’ve ever seen. David Wright is one of the top 10 players in baseball and we are damn lucky to have him on our team.
Lucas Duda Grade C
Duda and Josh Satin could be the demise of Ike Davis. Duda will never see left field again as a Met and that’s a major plus. It’s not Duda’s fault that he was a lousy outfielder, he never played outfield and when he was moved back to his natural position of 1st base he looked like a new man. But then he went down with a strained intercostal muscle pull and hasn’t be heard from since. Duda’s 14 % BB rate and .204 ISO is what has me not quitting on him, I’d love to see him get back soon healthy and coupled with Satin as a very productive 1st base platoon. Sorry Ike.
Juan Lagares Grade D
Tough grade for the young center fielder but when you break it down his offense is an F and his defense is an A. Thought of giving him a C but he lost his job to Kirk Nuienhuis so that dropped it to a D
Marlon Byrd Grade A
All the Sandy Alderson critics were screaming “where’s the bargain signing that pays off” well here you have him in Marlon Byrd. Now no one, even the Mets GM ,thought Byrd would contribute as much as he has. Byrd leads the team in HR’s (15) and Rib Eyes with 51 his wOBA is solid .346 and his play in right field has been stellar. So where do you fall? Keep Byrd, Trade Byrd? I get the feeling Byrd will stay as the Mets GM is sick of his team sucking in the second half and is looking for a strong finish to build on for 2014. Byrd stays.
Omar Quintanilla Grade D
Best part of Q’s game is he takes a walk as in base on balls with an 11% BB rate. His defense is plausible and he’s 31 years old so he’s not the future. Mets have a big ? at shortstop
Jordany Valdespin Grade F
Good bye and good riddance. If Valdespin had called John Buck the name he called Terry Collins, he’d be getting fit for dentures today.
Mike Baxter Grade D
Still can’t understand why he had to go to Las Vegas and JV1 got to stay big big mistake. Baxter better lefty bat off the bench than Vladespin.
Justin Turner Grade D
Teammates love him and his pies but where does he fit on this team on the field? Isn’t Josh Satin Justin Turner but with talent?
Kirk Nieuwenhuis Grade C
Looks like Kirk has won the CF job and the last couple of weeks his bat has come alive and his play in centerfield has been solid. A C grade may be a bit generous but Kirk gets a little more love due to grit.
Anthony Recker Grade Incomplete
Poor guy doesn’t play enough but when he does he hits with pop with a .237 ISO but it’s a very limited sample. He could find his way as a Sunday catcher with Mets when Travis d’Arnuad makes his debut
Josh Satin Grade Incomplete
Again small sample size but he has forced Terry Collins hand as Ike Davis regresses and the team looking to win games and stop the loser mentality Satin has played his way into the lineup. Easy guy to root for.
Terry Collins Grade C
Some days I’m pro-Collins some days I’m looking for his replacement. Collins handles the press and his clubhouse as well as anyone in the game but when it comes to in game strategy and handling his bullpen, Collins is playing checkers while the opposing manger is playing chess. Second half of the season will determine if Collins is the Mets skipper in 2014
Tomorrow the pitching staff.