2007 Mets Report Cards: Catcher, Left Field
Part III of the Mets Merized Report Cards features the catcher position and the left field position. Today we’re basically going to talk about Paul Lo Duca, Ramon Castro, Moises Alou, and Endy Chavez. Two extremely positions, two grades, six writers. Here we go!
Catcher (Paul Lo Duca & Ramon Castro)
Ryan P. – Paul Lo Duca had an average year at the plate this year. I’m only saying this because he did not hit for average at all. Last season, Duke had an average above .300. This year, he had an average of .272. Well, he didn’t hit for average, but he did hit for power, according to his standards. He did have a great defensive year, working on his mechanics to throw out runners in Spring Training. Skills aside, he did have some outburst against the umpires this year, one that "sparked" the Mets, while the other hurt the Mets. The other catcher, Ramon Castro, had an amazing season off the bench. He had a great power season hitting 11 home runs, and all we some from him were hits after hits. A good season for the Catchers, if you ask me.
Joe D.- Although Paul Lo Duca did not put up the same offensive numbers as in 2006, Ramon Castro more than made up for the difference. Between the two of them, they combined to hit 20 homers, while driving in 85 runs and scoring 70 of them. Castro and Lo Duca ranked 3rd and 4th in batting average among all NL catchers with 50 or more at-bats. Both catchers proved to very good at calling games, and Lo Duca only had 2 passed balls all season, which was the best in the NL among catchers with 100 or more games played. The Mets could have done a lot worse at this position in 2007.
Andrew V. – Paulie Boy had an off year, coming on late. Ramon Castro played well when he could, and Alomar and DiFelice filled in defensively well for us. Lo Duca did not hit up to par at the beginning of the year, not being his clutch-like self, but still playing decently. Later in the year, after battling through injuries, he started to hit the long ball and all around hit the ball better. He battled through hand injuries and leg issues to try and carry this team late. Castro sure can hit. As long as he is healthy, he is the ultimate backup. I can’t see him taking over the starting job, because I don’t think his hitting can stay consistent. I’d like to see Paulie resigned for another year. I think he calls a good game, and will improve on this years totals.
Jon C. – I’m being generous with that grade. While Paul LoDuca battled against injury upon injury, there was just something not right with him when compared to his first season on the team. He lost some fire, and maybe it’s because of injuries or the fact he felt slighted he didn’t get a new contract or that the media gave him some trouble early on, but there was definitely something wrong. I feel like Paul really could take this team by the horns and lead them to a championship. He did the first year, he needs to next year if he’s back. Position-wise, a platoon of LoDuca and Castro could work better for ’08 especially considering Pudge is stuck in Detroit. Having Castro in the lineup more (when healthy obviously) could add some more pop to the lineup. He’s not a full-time catcher but he really did play well when he was in the lineup and not on the DL. Mike DiFelice looks like a cartoon character, but brought some leadership – he’s better suited though for a coaching job in the minor leagues. Sandy Alomar Jr. didn’t really register. If this were 1987, I’d be excited to have him on the team. Bottomline: It was an erratic year behind the plate from an offensive and defensive point.
Brian M. – Above all else Paul LoDuca was a leader of this 2007 Mets team. He wanted to win as bad if not more than anyone else. He played with heart and grit the entire year. While it may not have show in his stat line (.272/.311/.378), it showed in his desire to be on the field. Yet it wouldn’t be fair to grade him on that alone. After a scorching May when he hit .398 with a .411 OBP he slumped for the next 3 months and rebounded a bit in September when he hit .291. His defense hovered around his career norm and fluxuated from time to time but above all, he still called a good game.
oor. Moises Alou is a hitter, there is no doubt about that. When he is healthy, which is rare, the man is one of the best hitters I’ve seen. Setting the Mets record for consecutive hits is pretty special. Obviously his field work is lacking a bit, but he always comes up with some plays I never think he can make. The occasional diving grab from Alou is alway fun to see. Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez also factor into play here. Unfortunately we lost Endy for most of the year with his hamstring injury. I love Endy and his "scrappiness" and ability coming off the bench. Gomez played well before going down with a hand injury, it was nice to get him reps up in the big show for the future of this team. Alou back in left will be excellent next year, with Endy and/or Gomez coming in for defensive replacements late.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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