Jason Pridie is Triple-A Bound

Now the Mets have zero natural center fielders on the roster. The New York Mets decided to outright Jason Pridie to Triple-A, and the assignment in pending per his approval. Yet after posting a .225/.304/.333 line with 1 homerun, 9 RBI, 17 runs, and 3 stolen bases in 136 plate appearances in 2011, it’s not all too surprising that the Mets took him off the roster.

Before the season, no one thought Pridie would ever see a single at-bat for the Mets at the Major League level. The 27 year-old career-Minor Leaguer spent most of 2010 with the Mets’ Triple-A team, owning a collective .286/.330/.384 line with 3 homeruns, 19 RBI, 20 runs, and 9 stolen bases. While the former Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins farmhand had once exhibited good speed (he stole 25-plus bases in 2003, 2007, 2008, and 2009), his mere 9 bags in 2010 with the Mets more or less sealed his fate as a journeyman.

But then Angel Pagan got injured in late-April, changing Pridie’s destiny. Pridie made his Mets Major League debut on April 22, and essentially became the starting center fielder through May. As a starter for the Mets, Pridie posted a .239/.316/.420 line with 3 homeruns, 11 RBI, 11 runs, and 4 stolen bases in 100 plate appearances. The outfielder also provided some decent defense in center, owning a -1.7 UZR/150 in 312.6 innings there, and a 5.5 UZR/150 in 84.6 innings in right field.

However, upon Pagan’s return in late-May, Pridie’s playing time disappeared–and so did the already minimal production he provided. From May 29 onward, Pridie owned a .225/.304/.333 line with 1 homerun, 9 RBI, 17 runs, and 3 stolen bases in 136 plate appearances.

On the whole, Jason Pridie provided a surprisingly solid temporary replacement in center field for the Mets, but he simply does not have a good enough glove to make-up for his horrendous bat and mediocre speed. And that’s even for a fourth or fifth outfielder. Looking forward to 2012, Pridie will likely accept the Triple-A assignment, and unless a barrage of injuries open the door yet again, he should remain there for the season.

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  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    Doesn’t Angel Pagan look poised for a nice rebound year? Pridie looks like an average hitter with plus baserunning, but he really needs to cut down on his strikeouts. He looks like an average defensive player who definitely needs more seasoning, as a strikeout rate around 25% could stop him from being an average player. Good article, and I look forward to reading more as a fellow FanSided contributor at Call to the Pen.

  • risingapple

    I think Pagan can bounce back to somewhere between his 2010 and 2011 season, but closer to his 2011. He owns a career .279/.331/.418 line, so that might be more realistic than the .290/.340/.425 line he swatted in 2010.

    The more troubling issue surrounding Pagan is the steep decline in his once stellar defense. That’s where his true value was, and if that’s not coming back, the Mets will have some big issues in center field.

    Hopefully Kirk Nieuwenweis will be able to push Pagan by mid-season as Jason Pridie should never collect 236 plate appearances on any Major League team.