On Wednesday, the New York Mets and Tommy Pham agree on a one-year contract and $6MM with additional money in performance bonuses. This move practically shuts down any position player signing for the Mets.
As Rising Apple’s Tim Boyle highlighted, this move seemed inevitable after Adam Duvall signed with the Boston Red Sox, as the Mets were looking for an OF who could also play as a platoon in the DH spot with Daniel Vogelbach, replacing Darin Ruf. Now that this signing is a reality, it is necessary to analyze if Pham meets the requirements that the Mets wanted.
Tommy Pham is a good fit for the Mets
The Mets were not only looking for a fourth outfielder, they were looking for a bat who could fill in the outfield when needed and who could hit against left-handed pitchers. And they found both things in Tommy Pham.
Pham is not the great hitter he was with the Cards and Rays a few years ago, but he has continued to show that he still has some hitting skills that can add value to the Mets lineup. He put in good numbers last year with 17 home runs, 63 RBI, and 89 runs in 144 games. He also showed more power in 2022, with an exit velocity of 92.2 MPH and better hard-hit contact.
The best thing he brings to the offensive side is his numbers against left-handed hitters, the most needed aspect the Mets were looking for. He’s a .276/.392/.450, throughout his career versus lefties. Likewise, last year he showed similarities against lefties, batting for a .273 average with 6 HR and 21 RBI in 154 plate appearances.
However, Pham's hitting profile has taken a bit of a toll on his patience at the plate, increasing his swing% and decreasing his BB%. This has caused strikeouts to continue to rise, showing the highest strikeout ratio since 2016 last year. This is certainly not a good thing.
As for the outfield, even though Pham is not an above-average defender been one of the worst OF in terms of outs above average but he has good arm strength, ranking 12th in 2022 among LFs. In addition, Pham continues to show good speed, another aspect that could improve this team's aggressiveness on the bases.
The above shows that Tommy Pham fits well with the Mets, being able to cover positions in the outfield when required, either due to rest or injuries to starting players or for a better matchup against certain pitchers. Not least, Pham serves as the answer for the DH position the Mets needed. A necessary right-handed hitter who can hurt lefties, a substantial improvement over Darin Ruf.
Mets fans should note that Pham isn't coming to fill in for Correa in the lineup or on defense. Regardless of whether Correa's had been accomplished, the Mets needed a player like Pham who could cover the outfield while also being able to play DH against left-handed pitching. Because of this, Pham turns out to be a good fit for what the Mets were looking for in that role.