Since Sandy Alderson took over as general manager of the Mets after the 2010 season, the club has embraced a top-to-bottom hitting philosophy. That philosophy, which includes a new statistic called BPO (Bases Per Out), is still being fine-tuned. In a must-read for MLB.com, Anthony DiComo explains the ins and outs of the Mets’ hitting philosophy:
What began as gentle prodding from staff members in general manager Sandy Alderson’s regime — swing at strikes, not at balls — has evolved into a system in which hitters are graded, judged, evaluated, acquired, traded, released and paid based upon their adherence to the system.
The goal is to create a machine-like approach in which selectivity and intelligence can be just as important as sheer offensive talent. This is how the Mets hope to mold a winner out of a team with a mid-tier payroll and, by most estimates, less overall ability than the giants of the league. A team whose offense, through 15 games, has been arguably its greatest weakness.
Part of the philosophy seems a tad flawed.
For example, a player is never given a positive grade for going out of the strike zone, even if they’re expanding the zone in order to protect a runner who’s trying to steal. Overall, though, the approach and the way the Mets are implementing it seems wise.
One of the people responsible for implementing the philosophy of the front office is hitting coach Dave Hudgens, but Alderson pointed out that “it’s not built around Dave.”
Mets executives stress the importance of the process over results, which is why the organization considers it so critical for its players to understand not just what the Mets want, but why they want it, and how that will ultimately result in better success. To understand, for example, that walks are a byproduct of the system — not its goal. That strikeouts are no worse than 400-foot flyouts, even if it means that through 15 games, the team is on pace to shatter Major League Baseball’s team whiff record.
DiComo goes on to note that the Mets’ new philosophy has not paid off yet in terms of results.
However, that may have more to do with the offensive players who have been on the field during the Alderson era than the philosophy itself.
Be sure to read DiComo’s full piece at MLB.com.