Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick can be an asset if used correctly
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets outfielder Jake Marisnick can be a valuable asset to the club in 2020 only if the team uses him correctly.
In the first New York Mets trade of the offseason, the club landed veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros. Hoping he’ll become a good outfielder for the bench, the team accomplished their mission of upgrading the team’s defense while also adding a pretty fast baserunner to the roster.
Unfortunately, Marisnick isn’t the game-changer many Mets fans were hoping to see added to the roster. Surely the best defensive center fielder now with the club, he’s only going to have a positive effect on the 2020 season if used correctly.
During his years with the Astros, Marisnick often found his way into games. He played anywhere from 103-133 games since 2015 but never received more than 372 plate appearances. He’s a defensive substitute and pinch-runner on an American League team. In the National League, there will be many more opportunities to pinch-hit for a pitcher.
Lifetime, Marisnick is batting .227/.280/.380. It’s a disappointing slash line that looks even worse than the .254/.297/.361 Juan Lagares gave the club since 2013. Quite frankly, there’s little difference between the two other than Marisnick’s ability to hit with a bit more pop.
Hopefully, the Mets have a plan to use Marisnick in a limited role which allows his best attributes to shine. There’s no doubt we’ll see him as a defensive replacement often throughout 2020. I also expect plenty of games when Wilson Ramos or Robinson Cano exit early for a pinch-runner and it’s Marisnick who takes over on the base paths.
Aside from the rare start when a tough lefty is on the mound, the plan should be for Marisnick to enter the game as a replacement. His right-handed bat could compliment Brandon Nimmo well in a light platoon situation. Nimmo should still get at-bats versus southpaws. Otherwise, he’ll never improve against them.
The Marisnick trade barely made a splash on pushing the Mets ahead in the standings. He’s a guy with a low ceiling and an even lower floor.
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Nightmares of a repeat of last year’s Keon Broxton experiment will certainly flash in our heads if Marisnick gets off to a slow start and his talents go to waste.