John Delcos of Newyorkmetsreport.com and Joe DeCaro of Metsmerizedonline.com will be doing more and more projects together with the goal of merging two successful blogs in the hope of giving our readers everything they’ll need in covering the Mets. Continuing our review of the 2011 Mets, today we take a look at bench players Willie Harris and Scott Hairston. Tomorrow: Chris Young and Ronny Paulino.
THE SKINNY: They are role players for a reason: neither Willie Harris nor Scott Hairston are good enough to be fulltime players. Harris, 33, hit .246 with two homers and 23 RBI for the cost of $800,000. Hairston, 31, hit .235 with seven homers and 24 for the cost of $1.1 million. Both were good in the clubhouse, and Hairston contributed off the bench.
REASONS TO KEEP THEM: Teams need role players and they are known quantities. … They are young enough to where they can continue to contribute. … Neither will cost the Mets much.
REASONS TO LET THEM GO: Role players are easily replaceable for a comparable cost. … If the desire is to go into a full rebuilding mode, then let’s see what’s available in the minor leagues.
JOHN’S TAKE: It isn’t as if they can’t be replaced. Traditionally, role players are the last added to the roster so their priorities are elsewhere.
Role players are more important to contenders as missing pieces, and that doesn’t describe the Mets. If the Mets want to bring them back, fine. If not, that’s fine, also.
JOE’S TAKE: Glad we decided to group these two together. It’s hard for me to be too critical of players who were specifically signed for the bench. Of the two, I wouldn’t mind keeping Hairston and I’ll tell you why, he’s right-handed – first, plays a solid outfield – second, and the dude has some serious pop in his bat – third.
I took a look at his 132 at-bats last season and never mind for a second that he batted .235, but did you know if you prorated his numbers over 500 at-bats, Hairston would have hit 28 home runs with 96 RBI? Of course he won’t get that much playing time barring an unforseen disaster next season, but there’s nothing wrong with that kind of power and potential off your bench. Just don’t bat him against RHP.
As for Harris, he’s a great guy. I love his attitude and his presence in the clubhouse, but we have too many young outfielders we need to get up to the majors and evaluate and in that regard Harris is just clogging up the works. So let him go and start making those spectacular, hit-robbing plays in the outfield again – which he never made for the Mets.