2014 Mets Outfield Projections

Curtis Granderson - Jeff Roberson-Associated Press

Curtis Granderson, 2.9 fWAR

The jewel of the Mets 2013-2014 offseason was one Mr. Curtis Granderson. This one is difficult to project as Granderson changed his whole game after being acquired by the Yankees. The short porch in right field turned him into an all or nothing pull hitter, not unlike the approach of Ike Davis. I think Curtis will need to refine his swing a bit and use his speed which will undoubtedly lead to less home runs, but better overall production. If Granderson can supplement his season with some additional doubles, triples and stolen bases, along with a higher batting average and on-base, he should produce some really good numbers at a corner outfield spot with plus-defense. He is on the downside of his career as he will be 33 for the 2014 season.

600 PA – 26 HR – 92 RBI – 81 R – 14 SB

.243 AVG – .331 OBP – 113 OPS+ – .351 wOBA –  117 wRC+

USATSI juan lagares brad barr

Juan Lagares, 3.4 fWAR

There is no questioning Lagares’ ability to play center field with anyone in the league defensively. He was pure death to all fly balls hit anywhere near him in 2013. He started off very slow at the plate, before achieving levels of success offensively in the summer months, and then faded down the stretch. If he hits, look out folks. We have an All-Star CF for years to come, if he doesn’t, he’s a borderline starter or 4th OF. His defense is so good, and his tools are so recognizable, that I don’t see how he can’t have the 1st crack at the CF job. He’s a former SS that took a year or so to adjust at every level. I don’t think this level will be any different in that regard.

475 PA – 9 HR – 52 RBI – 57 R – 11 SB

.259 AVG – .308 OBP – 93 OPS+ – .304 wOBA – 92-wRC+

chris young

Chris Young, 2.3 fWAR

There is reason for optimism when projecting the upcoming season for Chris Young. A couple of variables have changed since last season with Oakland, which was by far and away the worst season of his career. He switched leagues, which means learning a lot of new pitcher’s tendencies and arsenal, and he also switched positions. Young should be more comfortable this season playing the corners and we know he can play an above average CF. He was also injured for a portion of the 2013 campaign. If he is healthy this season, you have to think he will be more at ease playing the majority of his games in the NL.

Worst case scenario, a healthy CY plays plus-defense at all 3 spots in the outfield, and crushes LHP, just like he always has. Best case scenario is that he realizes he needs to have a monster season to cash in on free agency, and returns to the All-Star CF he was in Arizona. However, another below average season will crush his value.

He’s a career .230 hitter, but he just missed a 30/30 season in in 2010 with 27 HRs and 28 SBs. He followed that up in 2011 with 20 HRs and 22 SBs. I don’t expect him to have a career year, but I think it will be much better than last season.

505 PA – 16 HR – 53 RBI – 57 R – 17 SB

.232 AVG – 99 OPS+ – .317 wOBA – 96 wRC+

eric young jr

Eric Young Jr., 1.9 fWAR

When Sandy Alderson acquired Eric Young Jr. from the Rockies on June 19th of last season, the speed and excitement that was injected into the lineup had an immediate positive impact. EY had 33 hits in his first 107 ABs (.308 Avg). The only thing that could cool him off was the All-Star break. We know this about EY. He’s fast. He led the NL is SBs last year with 46. He plays a good LF, and he’s adequate in CF & 2B defensively.

However, it seemed like EY tired as the season wore on – his first full season as a starter. He had almost half of his 1,273 career plate appearances (598) in 2013. Its going to be interesting to see how the outfield rotation works out, and exactly how much playing time Young will get this season. He certainly won’t play quite as much as he did last season, not with the additions of Granderson and Chris Young. But he will probably play more than he did with Rockies in a utility role.

I’m not sure exactly what to make of EY’s Home/Road Splits since joining the Mets.

2013 Home(Citi Field as a Met) – .201/.265/.260

2013 Away(as a Met) – .293/.361/.385

Hopefully he can get those numbers home numbers to look like those away numbers in 2014.

He also had a .375 Avg when bunting. I know that sabermetrics frown upon the sac bunt, but a if there is a runner on first base, I’d like to see EY bunt him over and use his speed, to turn those sac bunts into infield singles, and perhaps force a few errors on hurried throws. FanGraphs had EY at 1.7 fWAR with the Mets in 2013. I feel EY can be more productive by playing less, and bunting more.

430 PA – 0 HR – 24 RBI – 61 R – 39 SB 

.268 AVG – 88 OPS+ – 83 wRC+ – .304 wOBA

USATSI andrew brown

Andrew Brown, 0.6 fWAR

I’m not sure if Andrew Brown heads north with the team to start the season, but he should see some time with the Mets in 2014 one way or another. He certainly deserves a spot on the team, but the final decision will come down to Brown, den Dekker, Nieuwenhuis, and the Davis/Duda situation. He plays an above average LF, and average to slightly below average RF. He doesn’t hurt the team on the corners defensively. He also provides some pop as a reserve outfielder, and hits LHP particularly well. He also held his own against RHP last season. He’s not gonna draw a ton of walks, but he had 7 home runs in 150 at-bats last season in a very limited role.

182 AB – 9 HR – 27 RBI – 18 R – 2 SB

.236 AVG – 96-OPS+ – .309 wOBA – 97 wRC+

I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments and please feel free to share your own player projections as well.

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  • $14435385

    It’s not a bad outfield – but for the 500+ Ks. Probably the best OF defense in the NL. The infield, on the other hand…

  • Mazz

    The outfield is fun to think about. I guess Eric Young, Jr. is the complicating factor here but it sure would seem to make more long term sense to start Granderson in Left Field rather than Right because he is learning a new position and he ultimately is going to get moved over to Left once Puello is ready. Unless the Mets don’t think Puello is going to be ready or given a shot this year then starting Granderson in Right Field makes no sense.

  • Kirk Cahill

    I think the trouble with looking at EY’s home/road splits is the sample size. I wouldn’t make much of it.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Too bad ey cant play ss

  • Taskmaster4450

    I think your assessment is fair. Those numbers are achievable with both CY and Grandy having bounceback, but not career, years.

    Lagares will hit in my opinion, enough to warrant a starting position.

    Overall, it was a point of weakness this time last year and now it is a point of strength.

  • Peter

    Just want to remind everyone in this discussion, and many past discussion posts of articles,you are discussing, arguing, and giving your opinions about who should play more this season!!! Last season Duda and Cowgil where starters!!! It is safe to say no matter what anyone says, the outfield is much improved and with depth and options. To top it off Puello looked impressive this spring, Captain Kirk and Den Dekker looked good, Dekker looked real good and now provide depth as opposed to being considered starters for this season. Ok, go back to discussing.

  • Cichlids & Vino

    Solid projections. I really want Lagares as the CF. I feel good about the numbers you put up there for him but I think with a little work (something he’s proven to do) he could increase his OBP to say 320 ish (from the 308 you project) also increasing his runs scored to the 60 to 65 ballpark. With that glove, those numbers are solid.

  • pochemunyet

    More Brown, less Eric Young. All Lagares, all the time.

  • Cichlids & Vino

    Amen!

  • Connor O’Brien

    I would be thrilled to get these numbers. CY about lg average with the bat and EY and LG a bit lower. League average is actually quite valuable, especially when you get the kind of defense the Mets will get from those three.

  • jerseymet

    Lagares used to…perhaps in an emergency?

  • jerseymet

    Don’t forget Campbell. Soup plays all the corner positions, infield and out. As a line drive hitter he is perfect for Citi Field. Sandy’s favorite part: he will earn the minimum for three years. I look for Sandy to trade CY. Soup is served.

  • jerseymet

    Play them all. No sense running people ragged.

  • mad met

    Hey chago, unfortunately I agree with you.my feeling is grandy is an excellent 6,7 hitter and an ok 4 we really need a cleanup hitting first baseman and also to bring up peullo for chris young. We could then use tovar at ss .. my hope is that is the plan for after the break or 2015

  • mad met

    As i do like EY travis brown has good promise ..does he play any first base ???

  • mad met

    Im all in with grandy and juan. But cy has to go. If we had a real dependable right fielder you could justifiy playing tovar at ss. Just my opinion

  • Sean

    I’m interested to see what happens with Campbell this year, he’s hit a lot this spring. Same with den Dekker and Captain Kirk. All three of those guys would make good bench players, which, believe it or not, helps to get teams to the postseason. Every good team has good backups. 2009 the entire mets went down and we sucked because our backups were terrible.

  • Destry

    The Cardinals finished 13th out of 15 teams in HRs last year in the NL. The Dodgers were 10th. THe HR is the most overrated part of any sport. We need a SS, 10 x more than we need a cleanup hitter. We hit more HRs than the Caridnals last year

  • Mets Fan in NC

    Chris Young will have a really nice year. I can easily see 21 Home Runs 75 RBIs and 20+ steals and be traded before the deadline

  • Mets Fan in NC

    EYJ if not overexposed could be fantastic. He should play almost every game but not regularly as a starter. When he is on the bench he should pinch run late in the game and run wild.

  • Mets Fan in NC

    Would like for the Mets to send down Seratelli and keep Campbell

  • Every time I want to believe in WAR, I read articles like this where the numbers say Chris Young $7.25MM, despite all the strike outs to come, and the .220 average is still a decent starter. I get it that defense and base running matters, but I think it’s much easier to replace those two. You can teach defense and you can teach base running. You can’t really teach hitting. You can improve what skills guys have, you can teach them how best to succeed, you can give them new ideas and ways to look at things. But…more often than not…a .220 hitter is still just a .220 hitter.

  • mr. belvedere

    I think both are getting sent down

  • Destry

    I would actually argue the exact opposite my friend. Every man in the major leagues was a good hitter at some point, and you can adjust to become a better hitter. You cannot teach speed my friend. You are born with it, or you’re not. You can’t teach range. You can’t teach instinct. Hitting usually improves for players, while defense and speed decline way before the bat does.

  • Destry

    Agree Sean. I wouldn’t be surprised if Captain Kirk heads north with the team. A decision will need to be made at 1B soon to make the final roster cuts a bit clearer.

  • Destry

    Would you say the same thing about Cano? How come Grandy is a product of Yankee Stadium but Cano isn’t? They’re both LH

  • Destry

    Yeah, I really wanted to project a bit higher for Lagares and CY, but I tempered my numbers as to try to and not be biased in any way

  • Destry

    Agree 100% my friend. 162 games is a long season. There is plenty of playing time to go around for everyone. Unfortunately, TC still thinks 8 guys are supposed to play 162 games, and you’re SP goes 9 every night. “How do you use a bullpen?” Terry said

  • Destry

    I tempered my expectations a bit for Lagares. I too can see him with a .275/.325/.400 line this year, but I think he slightly improves this year and next year to get him to those numbers in 2015. If he takes another step forward after that, then we have an All-Star.

  • Destry

    We are light years away from where we were last year at this time.

  • Destry

    I really hope so Kirk. Its no good to have someone that can’t hit at the home park.

  • Destry

    Yes. Granderson should be the everyday LF, which makes me think that EY is going to get the majority of the playing time. Don’t like it at all.

  • Destry

    I don’t think Lagares will K nearly as much this season, and I think Granderson will have refine his approach this season which will hopefully lead to less K’s, and higher BA, albeit with less HRs

  • $14435385

    Hope you’re right. I still think they’ll both have their learning pains as each adjusts – Lagares to playing (hopefully) every day and Granderson to a new league and stadium.

  • Pike Miazza

    I love Brown as a #4 OF and a starter vs lefties….unfortunately we spent $7M on a guy that makes Brown our #5…