Heading into Sunday's action, two National League outfielders had the following stats:
Player A: 15 HR, 37 RBI, .249 batting average
Player B: 12 HR, 40 RBI, .259 batting average
Those statistical lines are pretty close. Player A is Justin Upton of the Braves. Player B is Marlon Byrd.
Mets fans are very pleasantly surprised. Signed to a minor league contract as a journeyman 35-year-old outfielder this spring, Byrd has been New York's biggest offensive surprise of the season. Sure, he strikes out too much, with 69 K's entering Sunday's action, but all major league hitters whiff too often.
A former All-Star with the Cubs in 2010, Byrd has given the Mets some desperately needed power (he's tied for the team lead in home runs) from the right side and has also added five assists from right field defensively.
Byrd also leads the Mets with 15 RBI in June.
“I’m just working hard, getting the mechanics right, sticking to my approach, trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Byrd told Peter Botte and Stephen Lorenzo of the New York Daily News.
That hard work has really paid off.