2014 Mets Outfield Projections

An article by posted on March 22, 2014

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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About the Author ()

I’ve been a die-hard Mets fan for 30 years. When I’m not watching Mets baseball, I’m talking or blogging about it. My favorite Mets story is about the bottom of the 10th, Game 6, ‘86 series. The Kid, Kevin Mitchell, & Ray Knight all said the same thing, verbatim, at 1B. “I wasn’t making the last out of this f’n World series.”

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