New York Mets: Projected roster is talented but identity is somewhat off base

Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets roster has definitely added talent this off-season, but is it all the right talent? Some of it may just be the wrong way to go.

The New York Mets have turned their roster over quite a bit since the end of the 2018 season. We don’t have to go over it all, our co-editor, the great John Carroll Jr. talked about it just days ago.

Brodie Van Wagenen has certainly put a stamp on this team in his short time as the general manager. I agree with John that the team has added a great deal of talent on paper.

Is it, however, the right type of talent? Some of it might not be the right way to go. Let’s explore that a little bit.

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We start with a little history lesson.

In the 1980’s, when the Mets were at their peak, they were built around pitching and defense.

Why? Part of it was the era of baseball at the time, but also, the stadium was built as a pitcher’s park.

Shea Stadium was 410 feet to dead center, and 371 feet in the gaps. Good for extra base hitters but not necessarily power hitters.

Citi Field was built similarly to Shea and in some cases harder to hit home runs in.

Citi Field is 408 feet to dead center, 371 feet and 384 feet in the left-center gap, while in right center it’s a whopping 415 feet and 378 feet.

Are the Mets focusing too much on power and not on speed and defense? They have the starting pitching, but what about the rest?

Look at the idea of moving Jeff McNeil to the side in favor of Robinson Cano. Cano is and always has been a professional hitter. He’s a career .304 hitter and averages 42 doubles per 162 games.

But he also averages 24 home runs per year. That’s good, but is it appropriate when you play 81 games at Citi Field?

In just 225 at-bats, Jeff McNeil posted 11 doubles, six triples and a .329 batting average. Over 162 games that projects at 28 doubles and 15 triples. McNeil is also 26 years old while Cano is 36.

McNeil is younger and he fits the stadium better.

A study was done, shown here, of home teams out put of home runs over a five-year period. The Mets are in the bottom half of the league at home with 416.

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Some real evidence comes up when we look at Yoenis Cespedes, the slugger that all Mets fans love. He was given a lot of credit for turning things around in 2015, and he was a big help. However, how did he perform at home?

That year he overall hit .291 with 35 home runs and 105 RBI. At Citi Field, however, Cespedes hit .224 with five home runs and seven RBI. The following year he hit 31 home runs with 14 coming t home. Better? Sure, but still not half of his output.

The Mets roster shows more talent. But it may not be the right talent. Hopefully they prove me wrong.