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New York Mets outfield report cards for the 2018 season

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BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets celebrates with Brandon Nimmo #9 after scoring a run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 14, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 14: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets celebrates with Brandon Nimmo #9 after scoring a run against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on September 14, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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 Jose Bautista LF, RF (and 1B, 2B, 3B)

The nicknames: Joey Bats

The review: Signing José Bautista surprised most people, but turned out to be a wise move, given the injuries all over the field.

The offensive stats: PA 302 .204/.351/.367/.718 (FanGraphs Mets only, all positions)

The defensive stats: UZR/150 (RF 382.1 innings) -20.9 (LF 109.2 innings) 20.3 (see Infield report card for IF only defensive ratings)

The grade: C+ (plus for impressive defensive versatility)

The strengths: defensive versatility, excellent on-base skills

The weaknesses: it isn’t 2010-2015 anymore

Notes: Will Bautista become the new Kelly Johnson? He played for three of five teams in the NL East this season, and who knows, the Mets may bring him back sometime next year, too.

Austin Jackson CF

The nicknames: A-Jax

The review: Picking up Austin Jackson as a free agent on July 27 was a good idea at the time, but the more he played, the worse he got, especially on offense. His defensive stats were better than I expected, and Mickey Callaway seemed to love his play in CF, which earned him way more playing time than he deserved.

The offensive stats: PA 210 .247/.290/.348/.639 BB% 5.7 K% 35.2% (FanGraphs final stats Mets only)

The defensive stats: UZR/150 (CF 434.1 innings) 1.2

The grade: C- and falling fast

The strengths: average defense in CF, hot start on offense, decent 4th or 5th outfielder

The weaknesses: no longer capable of playing every day, probably best served as a backup in all three outfield positions if he is still on the Mets

Notes: In August his slash line was .304/.350/.402/.752, then in September/October it slipped to .141/.173/.218/.391. Howie Rose and Josh Lewin speculated that it was fatigue, and it’s hard to argue.

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