While all the attention has been on the Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, it’s becoming very clear that the team is reluctant to move either of their two marquee players. However, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports does suggest that center fielder Dexter Fowler could be available.
Heyman confirms that the Rockies have already discussed Fowler with a couple of teams and that the St. Louis Cardinals were one of the teams to inquire about their talented center fielder who becomes a free agent after the 2014 season.
Last season, Fowler batted .263 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI in 415 at-bats, but it’s his .369 on-base percentage that would appeal to most teams including the Mets.
You could say that Fowler profiles as a poor man’s Shin-Soo Choo when you consider the overall package. His career .365 OBP in over five seasons is quite the attraction, but his .423 career slugging shows he has some surprising pop in his bat. He’s hit 25 home runs over the last two seasons and at 28-years old next April, he could be entering a power spike in his career.
For the Mets, who could certainly use a leadoff hitter, the switch-hitting Fowler may be the perfect solution. He seems to fall right in line with the Mets’ philosophy at the plate and his 13.2% walk rate was among one of the best marks in the league last season among leadoff men. He may not have the speed of Eric Young Jr., but the lanky outfielder has averaged 15 stolen bases and ten triples a season in his career.
Defensively, Fowler has the speed, range and instincts to play a solid center field and given the vast expanses of left field in Citi Field, he should be able to cover plenty of ground for the Mets and form a lethal defensive tandem with center fielder Juan Lagares.
Overall, Fowler has averaged a 2.4 fWAR over his last three seasons and he is just one season removed from 2012 when he posted a .863 OPS.
It’s tough to say what the Mets may have to give up to acquire Fowler, but the Rockies are said to be looking for a major league arm and while I’m not thrilled about moving Dillon Gee at this point, the Mets might be able to sell high on their righthander.