2010 Spotlight: First Base

The Mets 2009 season is coming to a close with less than 15 games left to play. MMO has decided to take a look around the majors for the Mets possible opportunities during the offseason. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at each individual position including the rotation, bullpen, and other Mets related needs.

Its no secret that first base has been mostly a power position. Not only at the plate but also on defense, as first baseman touches the ball the most other than the pitcher and catcher in a game. The Mets have had a large collection of great first baseman over their franchise history including, Ed Kranepool, Keith Hernandez, John Olerud, Carlos Delgado, and upcoming first basemen Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans. During the ’09 season, five Mets players have maned first base and when you have outfielders such as Tatis, and Reed playing first along with players like Evans and Murphy who are still learning the position you gotta think the Mets need a more stable first baseman. So the question remains; who’s the first baseman for the Mets in 2010?

Carlos Delgado, age 37
2010 contract: no contract
2009 stats: .298 avg, 4 hr, 23 rbi, .521 slg
Career stats: .280 avg, 472 hr, 1512 rbi, .546 slg

Delgado has been out of action for a long time now and now the Mets are saying he might be done for the season. Delgado has had quite a career and could be a season away from his 500th homerun. With being 37 his career is on the down slope but don’t forget he did hit 38 homeruns just last season and was on a nice pace this season before his injury. Delgado is one of the guys who just loves to play and is not all about the money. It has been said that he is willing to take a pay cut to return to the team and try to get his 500th homerun and become the second player, as a Met, to do so. Not only is his offense great but his defense is above-par as well. he makes all around him better with his suburb glove.

the Mets should give Delgado a one year contract so he can get his 500th homerun and he could help the Mets as well. Despite his age and being a double-digit-million-dollar player he is worth bringing back and if he does get injured the Mets won’t be in trouble like they were this year with Evans, Murphy and others to play first.

Daniel Murphy, age 24
2010 contract: no contract
2009 stats: .262 avg, 10 hr, 56 rbi, .412 slg
Career stats: .273 avg, 12 hr, 73 rbi, .425 slg

Daniel Murphy, since changing to first base, has been a back-and-forth first baseman. He does not have a whole lot of power and will likely be a dozen homerun a season player. His glove could be spectacular one game with starting double players, to terrible the next and not diving for a ball he could easily get. He is still developing as a hitter and as a first baseman.He could be one of the Mets better left handed hitters in a few years but do the Mets have the patience with him?

the Mets should give him another contract for a few years but not spend too much money on him. Daniel Murphy at this point would be better suited as a bench and platoon player until he develops in a few years. I don’t think the Mets should deal Murphy if the do resign him unless it’s for someone more valuable. His young age is his best beneficial factor for him as he has plenty of time to develop but the Mets may not have the time.

Nick Evans, age 23
2010 contract: no contract
2009 stats: .222 avg, 1 hr, 7 rbi, .349 slg
Career stats: .244 avg, 3 hr, 16 rbi, .384 slg

Nick Evans is someone who I think could have a great career but the Mets never seem to give him much of a chance. He came up earlier this season and was doing great until the Mets decide to send him down to Buffalo. When Evans returned he had a couple of good games and is hardly used anymore. The Mets expect this guy to be the future first baseman or possible left fielder and yet he gets no play time, even Josh Thole is getting more play time and Evans is more ready for the bigs than Thole. Evans has been named a “doubles machine” when his first career game he had three doubles and has impressed since but like I said is not getting much play time.

give Evans either a long term contract so he can develop and be a starting Met in a few years or give him a short term contract and if the Mets can’t use him, then trade him. The Mets are not likely going to be keeping all of the outfielders they have this year-Reed, Sullivan, Pagan, Sheffield-and Evans could be getting a better chance next year in left, but as first base the Mets will not be giving Evans much play time there and will be used as a platoon player.

Ike Davis, age 22
2010 contract: $1.575M signing bonus

Ike Davis is someone the fans are keeping their eye on, hoping he makes it to the big leagues in a few years from now. David obviously needs some more development over the next few years, but what I’ve seen this kid is going to be a great player. He has some untapped raw power that will be reveled as a pro. Being a former pitcher, and having a dad as a pitcher, he has a powerful arm that will be helpful if the Mets use him in the outfield. His swing seems to be his biggest weakness as he doesn’t repeat his swings that could lead to inconsistency. He may not be stealing bases but he can get into second for a double without any issues.

Davis will be the Mets future first baseman I’m sure but not for next year. The best option the Mets have for him is to give him a chance in spring and see if they want to bring him up for September.

Adam Dunn, age 29
2010 contract: $12MM with Nationals
2009 stats: .278 avg, 37 hr, 99 rbi, .554 slg
Career stats: .250 avg, 315 hr, 771 rbi, .522 slg

Adam Dunn’s power will not be challenged by the walls of CitiField, as we’ve seen. Adam Dunn is right up there with Ryan Howard, and Mark Reynolds when it comes to homeruns but also strikeouts. Dunn’s not a player that will give you a high average, he’s more like a 1-4 a game player. That one hit will either be a single or a homerun and some people will take that risk with him. The only worse than his glove is his speed, and we’ve seen Mets infielders make great stops and crazy throws but if Dunn misplays the catch it’s all for none.

despite Adam’s power he really doesn’t have any other aspect that would want me to have him on the Mets. We can get his power from someone else and still have a good average and glove. Adam is right where he should be with the Nats and Mets don’t need to trade their prospects for him.

Derrek Lee, age 34
2010 contract: $13M with Cubs
2009 stats: .304 avg, 33 hr, 103 rbi, .577 slg
Career stats: .284 avg, .291 hr, 931 rbi, .504 slg

Derrek Lee is a great first baseman, he has power, great golden glove, and can keep his average above 300. The recent father again would dominate in Citi and could take the Mets to the playoffs. The only problems with getting him is his no-trade clause, and lets face it the Cubs have been closer to the playoffs than the Mets. Plus the Mets would need to trade a lot of their prospects to get him

the Mets would be a better team with Lee at first. So the Mets need to trade their prospects, so what? Half of them are playing a position that is already taken care of. Lee and the Mets are as much of match as Yankees and steriods…which we know is a common pairing.

Other possibilities…

Prince Fielder No, Fielder may be the homerun derby winner but for trading the farm, the Mets could get better.

Adrian GonzalezNo, Adrian is a great hitter and fielder but Gonzo is another player the Mets would have to trade for, and I think if the Padres were going to trade him they would trade him for something better than what the Mets would offer?

Carlos Pena – No, I would love to have Pena in a Mets uniform but he’s not leaving Tampa.

Abrey HuffYes, Huff has the power and defensive skills to help the Mets.

Nick Johnson – No, I still don’t see the facination with this guy. He’s got as much power as Murphy and is always injuried.

Jorge Cantu – Yes, he’s a great power for both offense and defense, and is costs less than most possibilities.

So as a round up…

Yes – Derrek Lee, Carlos Delgado, Jorge Cantu, Abrey Huff

Yes, if Mets could magically make the deal happen – Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols.

Yes, in the future – Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, Josh Thole, Ike Davis.

No – Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, Nick Johnson.