The first trade of the winter for the New York Mets landed them a defense-first center fielder named Jake Marisnick. What kind of impact will he have on the team in 2020?
The first trade of the winter for the New York Mets took place this week when the team acquired outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros in exchange for two prospects. Marisnick, who will be 29 within the first few days of the 2020 season, will be joining his former teammate J.D. Davis in Flushing next year.
Marisnick will be good for them because he is a natural center fielder, which is what the Mets need. Their center fielder of the past few years, Juan Lagares, is now a free agent and the Amazins do not have a player who can occupy that vacancy.
The most important aspect of Marisnick’s game, which is the reason why the Mets traded for him, is his elite defense. He is a fantastic fielder, boasting a career DRS of 48 and UZR of 18.7 in center field. Baseball fans are almost always likely to find him on defensive highlight reels. The Mets are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball, especially in the outfield, and it was crucial that they address this issue during this offseason.
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Marisnick is also very fast. There have been talks over the past few seasons that the Mets need a player who they can use as a pinch-runner, especially as they try to make a push for the playoffs. They will be an aggressive team this year and will need someone who can steal bases and run for extra bases. Marisnick could very well end up being that guy.
Unfortunately, the not so glamorous part of Marisnick’s game is his offense.
Overall, he has been a pretty bad hitter throughout his career, with a slash line of .227/.280/.380. He doesn’t get a lot of hits and doesn’t get on base much.
For this reason, Marisnick isn’t the sole answer to the problems in center field. Marisnick is more of a fourth outfielder, in which case, the Mets are either going to have to make another acquisition for a better center fielder or, what I believe is going to happen, Marisnick will end up splitting time at center field with Brandon Nimmo. Fans should expect to see Marisnick in the lineup primarily against left-handed pitching.
Even though Marisnick’s career offensive numbers are far from impressive, he has been a surprisingly good hitter in the postseason. He has a career .333/.364/.381 slash line in 22 playoff plate appearances. These are eye-opening numbers to Mets fans.
If this team is able to make it to October this year, Marisnick may end up being a very valuable asset to the team as a hitter, fielder, and base runner.
The Mets were able to get a player who could serve as the answer to two of their problems, defense and base running, without giving up much in return. They will be sending 24-year-old LHP Blake Taylor and 19-year-old OF Kenedy Corona to Houston.
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This is worth noting because the Mets do not have a very good farm system and they have been depleting it even further so the fact that they gave up two low-level prospects for a player who can fill some holes for them is important.