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Torres came over in the Pagan trade last month. Will it be a good move in 2012?
Last month, the Mets traded their center fielder Angel Pagan. They need a better defensive replacement and a leadoff hitter. They got both in Andres Torres. When comparing the two players, there is a minor difference.
Last season, Torres hit .221, four home runs,19 RBI and had 19 stolen bases while Pagan hit .262, seven home runs, 56 RBI and had 32 stolen bases. Clearly, Pagan was the better hitter in 2011. In 2010, however, it's a different story.
Pagan hit .290, 11 home runs, 69 RBI and had 37 stolen bases while Torres hit .268, 16 home runs, 63 RBI and had 26 stolen bases. Torres played injured last season but still did an admirable job. He produced so much better the season before when he was fully healthy.
It's that Torres whom the Mets are counting on. The question is, will he be that player or the one from last season? I believe he will be more like the 2010 Torres than the 2011 one.
In his career, when he has been healthy, he has played on pace to the 2010 stats. His only two full seasons have been one good one and one mediocre one. It's hard to judge his potential unless you look at the other seasons to see what pace he was on.
In 2009 for example, he played a little less than half of a season (75 games), and he had six home runs, 23 RBI and six stolen bases. If that was stretched out into a full season those numbers would look more like 12 home runs, 46 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
For a leadoff hitter, that's not horrible. If he keeps his walks up and his strikeouts down, while building his batting average, he will be sufficient for what the team needs.
With all of that said, I expect him to hit for over a .275 AVG, have over 30 stolen bases and 10-15 home runs as a lead off hitter. That type of production will be a perfect fit with Tejada behind him and Wright, Davis and Duda in the heart of the lineup driving him in.