Cowgill, Valdespin, Byrd Staking Claims In Mets Outfield Battle
Updated on 3/10 at 11:00 PM
Jordany Valdespin went 1-for-1 with an RBI after he replaced Marlon Byrd who went hitless in three at-bats today. Spin (.360) pulled ahead of Byrd (.348) in the batting race this Spring.
Meanwhile, Collin Cowgill went 0-for-3, but is still batting .375 to lead the pack.
It’s shaping up to be a nice race and one of the more interesting Spring battles.
Originally posted on 3/9
As you all know, I’m on ‘Spin Watch 2013, but I also give credit where credit is due. Cowgill is making his case to be a starter in the outfield and unless Daniel Murphy starts building sand castles in the middle infield, Valdespin will play an outfield position too. That’s fine. All that speed can be an asset out there.
Here are the offensive numbers for Cowgill and Valdespin who are making the most noise thus far:
- Jordany Valdespin: .333/.360/.583/.943 – 4 RBI – 2 HR – 1 SB
- Collin Cowgill: .429/.520/.714/1.234 – 3 RBI – 1 HR – 3 SB
What surprises me is that Cowgill’s making the leadoff spot a legitimate competition. Not only can he hit, but he showed patience in yesterday’s game with two walks. What surprises me even more is that Valdespin’s only struck out twice in 24 at-bats. The fact one’s righty and the other lefty has me thinking we might have a strength at the leadoff spot – assuming they continue to do what we’re seeing now.
To be fair, here are the stats through March 8 for the other guys that are at least somewhat relevant to the outfield search:
- Mike Baxter: .105/.217/.105/.323 – 19 AB
- Andrew Brown: .143/.182/.238/.420 – 21 AB
- Marlon Byrd: .412/.389/.529/.918 – 17 AB
- Matt den Dekker: .250/.286/.400/.686 – 20 AB
- Lucas Duda: .158/.158/.368/.526 – 19 AB (10 Ks)
- Jamie Hoffmann: .125/.176/.313/.489 – 16 AB
- Juan Lagares: .182/.182/.273/.455 – 11 AB
- Kirk Nieuwenhuis: .056/.150/.056/.206 – 18 AB
- Josh Satin: .625/.727/.875/1.602 – 8 AB
What does this extensive research tell us? Little. It’s still Spring Training and the sample size is small. It tells us something though. It tells us who’s going to get a shot and who needs to reassess their career path.
Unfortunately for the trolls, I don’t buy the whole “They’ll cool off when pitchers actually start pitching for real.” Batters trying to prove themselves still face pitchers that are doing the same. My response is “Well, wait till you see what these guys do when they actually start hitting for real.” See what I did there?
Other Outfield Observations:
- I figured Byrd was making the roster regardless solely because of his right-handedness. I didn’t think he’d put up such gaudy numbers this early though.
- No doubt Duda will be on the big league team (for at least the start of the season). You don’t just throw away 15 home runs and 57 RBIs at the major league level. With that being said, he should be on a short leash. If he doesn’t get his sh—stuff together, he could be relegated to minor league duty real fast.
- Den Dekker looks like a solid player, but is still a ways away from playing with the big team. However he’s making strides and showing glimpses of major-league potential with the bat and the glove. Keep your eyes on him…
What else has stuck out to you so far?
About the Author: Daniel Nelson
Dan Nelson is a junior at San Francisco State University majoring in Journalism and minoring in Economics. He was born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where he grew up watching the Mets. Dan was also the recipient of the 2013/2014 Otto J. Bos Memorial Scholarship, the largest scholarship the SF State journalism department has to offer. You can follow him on Twitter @pacific_theme
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