The Mets are 14-11 and alone in second place in the National League East, but they’ve been getting by with mostly putrid production from their offense – and with a couple of key players missing significant time.
Apr 27, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Chris Young (1) is congratulated at home by New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) after hitting a two-run home run against the Miami Marlins during the fifth inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
While the Mets aren’t expected to be an offensive powerhouse, they are due for a major improvement.
- Curtis Granderson is hitting a miniscule .129 with an incredibly low BABIP of .175. While part of Granderson’s low BABIP is due to the fact that he isn’t squaring balls up at the rate he ordinarily does, another part of it is bad luck. Granderson has to adjust his approach in order to climb out of the hole he’s in. However, Granderson continuing this futility much longer defies logic.
- Travis d’Arnaud started off the season in a funk, but that funk was due in large part to a BABIP that was flukish in nature. For d’Arnaud, the ascension to the mean has already begun – he’s raised his average nearly 80 points since April 18. D’Arnaud’s BABIP is currently .245 (almost identical to what it was in 2013). However, d’Arnaud’s BABIP over the course of his minor league career usually sat comfortably in the mid-350s, meaning further improvement BABIP-wise is highly likely.
- David Wright currently has a triple slash of .275/.327/.333. For comparison, Wright’s career triple slash is .301/.381/.503. Even though Wright’s BABIP (.355) is in line with his career norms, the extra-base hits have been largely absent. So far in 2014, Wright has just four extra-base hits, which would put him on pace for roughly 24 extra-base hits for the season. For his career, Wright has averaged a shade under 70 extra-base hits per year. With Wright’s line drive rate at 26 % – the highest it’s ever been in his career – it’s clear that he’s due for a major extra-base hit bump.
- Chris Young missed the first few weeks of the season. Despite hitting two home runs since returning (and having a third stolen by Matt Holliday), Young is sporting a triple slash of just .194/.237/.389. Part of that is due to his career-low 11.5 % line drive rate (his career average is 18.5 %). Expect that to rise significantly. Young has also failed to draw a walk thus far in 2014.
- While he’s second in the National League in both stolen bases and runs scored, Eric Young, Jr. (who has gotten tons of playing time in Juan Lagares‘ absence) has a triple slash of .216/.320/.273, a line that’s simply unacceptable for an every day player who doesn’t play plus defense. Fortunately for the Mets, Juan Lagares is due to return from the disabled list on April 30 or shortly thereafter. Lagares’ return should mean that Eric Young, Jr. becomes a bench player. While it’s not reasonable to expect Lagares to maintain the .314/.345/.471 triple slash he had before getting injured, he should absolutely provide more pop than Young, Jr. – while offering much better overall upside offensively.