Tyrone Taylor will be better than the other backup outfielder misses by the Mets

Don't sleep on Tyrone Taylor being far more important to the Mets than meets the eye.
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA;  New York Mets outfielder Tyrone Taylor (15). Mandatory
Feb 22, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets outfielder Tyrone Taylor (15). Mandatory / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

An almost annual tradition for the New York Mets is to seek a fourth or fifth outfielder for the roster. Jake Marisnick. Keon Broxton. Kevin Pillar. The list is pretty endless and to remember everyone probably means you’re forgetting something else in your life. Did you remember your pills?

This year, it was Tyrone Taylor the Mets added for this particular role. Acquired via trade with the Milwaukee Brewers just as they did with Broxton for the 2019 season, this one feels like a much better fit destined to yield some actual positive results.

Taylor isn’t coming to the Mets after a bad year like Broxton did. His track record over three seasons has been consistent. Knowing he can succeed in a part-time role should benefit the Mets who will use him regularly but maybe not for all nine innings.

Mets outfielder Tyrone Taylor won’t be like some of those other duds

Albert Almora. There’s another one!

These defensively gifted players stashed on the bench aren’t going to win or lose a team a championship. What makes Taylor stand out from the others?

The fact that Taylor put up nearly identical numbers in 2022 with 405 plate appearances and 2023 with 243 trips to the plate is actually impressive. The OPS difference was only 16 points. He was even better back in 2021 when he got his first more permanent spot on the Brewers roster. In 93 games and 271 opportunities to hit, Taylor was a .247/.321/.457 hitter. Each of those totals are the best of his career thus far.

Taylor isn’t a guy who’ll hit for a high average and even less likely is for him to have an OBP over .300. The guy doesn’t walk much at all and he’ll strike out about par for the course.

On the positive side of the ledger, he has hit for good power beyond even just home runs. The average comes out to 26 doubles and 20 home runs per 162 games. His average of a home run in 4.2% of his plate appearances is almost a full percentage point higher than the league average at 3.3% during his career.

The presence of power off the bench has value. So does his immaculate defense. He has yet to make an error in the big leagues. It’s not just due to poor range or a limited number of opportunities. Taylor has rated positively at all three outfield positions including the 864.1 innings as a center fielder which leads the way.

Taylor can seriously challenge Harrison Bader for playing time this year if the former falters. Although he lacks much upside, we have a good guess as to what he will be for the Mets this year.

A .235/.290/.445 slash line won’t leave too many people impressed. Consider it includes some big home runs and even bigger defensive plays and it’s easy to see how on days when the Mets rest the regulars or need a better matchup at the plate how Taylor can be a solution rather than a burden.