There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the 2018 New York Mets. When it comes to defensive WAR, only four men are coming up positive.
A bad bullpen, a weak offense, and a ton of injuries hurt the New York Mets in 2018. One of the bigger problems we sometimes forget is how bad this team is on defense.
Whether you like or not, defensive WAR is a quick way to measure how skilled a player is with his glove. Although it’s not the end-all, be-all it does give us a reasonable estimate.
Right now, the Mets have only four players with a positive WAR on defense. I’m not convinced it will change either. In fact, one is close enough to go down to zero or even fall into the negative range.
The four men who have been above replacement level on defense are catchers Devin Mesoraco and Kevin Plawecki along with Todd Frazier and Juan Lagares. Lagares has missed most of the season, but we can safely assume he’d put up a nice total due to his history as a plus defender.
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It’s a little alarming to see so few players with good numbers on defense. I should also add, none of them are yet at 1.0 WAR. With a month to go in the season, it’s possible none reach this plateau.
As far as the greatest offenders go, Asdrubal Cabrera‘s -1.5 WAR is at the bottom. Amed Rosario and Wilmer Flores probably won’t catch him, but each has turned in a negative -1.0 WAR as of the first week of September.
There aren’t any surprises here other than some totals aren’t lower. When watching the Mets, one might think Jay Bruce or Jose Reyes would have lower totals. Given more opportunities, they surely would.
The biggest culprit here might be how many players have been out of position all year long.
In as few chances as he has had, Dominic Smith already has the fourth worst WAR on defense. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo aren’t much better and we can blame the team’s lack of a true center fielder for this. Neither of them is bad in a corner outfield spot. When placed in center field, they’re well below average.
Even Luis Guillorme whose reputation as a slick fielder is below zero at -0.3. No matter where you look, there seems to be an abundance of negativity when the Mets are on defense.
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If there is any question as to why this team is where it is, we have yet another answer.