The New York Mets added three players this winter who will surely help improve the team’s on-base percentage in 2019.
Say what you will about the additions the New York Mets made this winter; they got better. It may not be 90 wins good or a guarantee at anything more than fourth place. There’s a reason they play the games.
A clear priority in all of the moves they made this winter, the Mets did a fine job at adding guys who could potentially clog up the bases plenty in 2019.
Reaching base regularly was not a strength of the 2018 team. Brandon Nimmo’s .404 OBP led the way with Michael Conforto’s dignified .350 OBP in the rearview mirror. In the 63 games he did play, Jeff McNeil showed signs of being able to get on base with a .381 OBP.
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These three lefties should continue to get better in the upcoming year and we should, hopefully, see them have another productive season of reaching base. They’ll have more help with the additions of Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, and Wilson Ramos. All three had OBPs in 2018 above .350.
Cano and Ramos accomplished this with batting averages over .300. Lowrie’s .267 batting average was helped with 78 walks. This kind of plate discipline helped make him an All-Star and could give him at-bats in the two-hole for the Mets in 2019.
The Mets finished last year ranked 21st in OBP at .312. On-base percentage is far from the only statistic that matters. However, the Colorado Rockies and their .322 OBP was the worst among playoff teams.
Worse years from Cano, Lowrie, and Ramos can be expected, but each has proven he can clog up the basepaths regularly. Lowrie and Ramos have developed into stars later in their career while Cano has the longer resume to hint at what he gives the New York Van Wagenens in year one.
Perhaps more important, these three give the blue and orange a pair of .300 hitters and one guy who still hit 30 points higher than the team did in 2018. The Mets were tied with the Philadelphia Phillies for the worst batting average in 2018 at .234. This trio will undoubtedly raise the team average to a far more respectable number closer to the middle of the pact.
Offensive woes kept the team in the National League basement for much of 2018. A late-season surge helped lift them closer to .500.
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In 2019, with more balls in play and men on base, the end result should include far more wins.