An MMO Fan Shot by Puddy
When you take a look at the current 2018 Mets offensive roster, what are some glaring holes you notice? I’m not sure about you, but I notice glaring holes in all of the following departments: power, durability, outfield and leadership.
Let’s start with the power. You presumably have Yoenis Cespedes as a big power hitter in the lineup when he’s healthy – that’s always a huge when -and you hope to have Michael Conforto around as well, but with the shoulder issues that he’s currently dealing with, you just can’t count on him right now.
But after that, where’s the other 25+ home run guys in this age of record setting home runs and players lifting the ball? On the Mets, there aren’t any. You hope Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud can stay healthy enough to hit 20 each. You hope whoever the Mets play at second base can hit 20. You also hope Dominic Smith can develop into a sustainable power hitter at around 25 and you hope Amed Rosario and Brandon Nimmo could maybe grow into players that hit somewhere around 15 as well. But overall, where’s our safe power bets? It seems as if we’ve drawn a blank.
Have no fear, Curtis Granderson is a free agent, and should be here. With the Mets and Dodgers since 2014, the outfielder has averaged 26 home runs a season at ages 33-36. He’s also posted a flyball percentage of at least 42.1 since joining the Mets, as well as at least a .161 ISO (at least .198 taking out 2014), and three or four years ran into some bad luck with no BABIP over .265 (.305 BABIP in 2015), leading us to believe his power is sustainable in the short term.
Next, let’s review durability and the Mets outfield. Granderson receives an A+ in this category. While we know there’s always good luck and bad luck when it comes to injuries (Granderson himself had some really bad injury luck in 2013), you can’t deny that Granderson has been far and away the Mets most reliable player on the field the last four seasons. He has averaged 152 games from 2014-2017 with the Mets and Dodgers.
In today’s game, especially on this Mets team, that is a huge quality needed. And right now, the Mets presumably have Cespedes, Conforto, Nimmo and Juan Lagares penciled into the outfield next season.
All four of their injury histories have been well documented and all four spent significant time on the disabled list in 2017. Cespedes has had leg issues for three straight seasons and is only getting older. Conforto had major surgery surgery, and albeit it wasn’t on his throwing shoulder nor his lead shoulder, any shoulder problem has to be of concern for a hitter,especially one with power, and also when you have no clue if he’ll be ready for Opening Day or if he’ll have to miss months into next season.
Nimmo has had leg and foot issues, which has drained him of speed in his early career, and while he was healthy and productive in the second half of 2017, you don’t know when those issue may pop up again. Lagares has had plenty of issues his entire career, and missed a few games down the stretch in September with his thumb that was already supposed to be taken care of in surgery. None of these issues should be ignored.
Speaking of the outfield, Granderson also doesn’t hurt you defensively. His defensive metric grades have jumped around year by year, as is usually the case with defensive metrics, but Granderson certainly is a serviceable defender despite being 37 years old, and will occasionally pull off a fantastic play (2016 Wild Card game).
Lastly, Granderson’s leadership should not be ignored. It is well known around baseball that Granderson is one of baseballs phenomenal people both on and off the field. His positive attitude day after day, and his work in his GrandKids foundation, will only be a positive influence in the 2018 Mets clubhouse that will feature multiple young players and a new manager.
So to wrap up, the Mets need Curtis Granderson back in 2018, and badly. What also helps this possibility potentially becoming a reality is that Granderson shouldn’t command more than a one-year contract, as he’s already expressed his content with his career and retirement, but at the same time would like to play another season. And regardless of whatever direction the Mets go in, Granderson still fits the roster and definitely has a role.
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This Fan Shot was written and contributed to MMO by reader and die-hard Mets fan Puddy. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to FanShot @ MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.