Projected Bench: 2009
Fernando Tatis: .282 avg, eight HR, 48 RBI
Alex Cora: .251 avg, one HR, 18 RBI
Gary Matthews Jr. (LAA): .250 avg, four HR, 50 RBI
Angel Pagan: .306 avg, six HR, 32 RBI
Henry Blanco (SD): .235 avg, six HR, 16 RBI
The Mets' bench in 2010 has the ability to be a very strong combination of defense and solid bats.
First up is Fernando Tatis. Tatis burst back onto the scene with NY in 2008 after not being heard from for a very long time. He had an unbelievable year with the Mets, as he had big hit after big hit, and when he went down with an injury in September, it really hurt the Mets down the stretch.
2009 did not start out as well. He struggled at the plate and was hitting into double plays at an alarming rate. However, in the second half he seemed to rediscover himself a bit and was much stronger at the dish.
He is a very important player off the bench for the Mets, as he can bring pop and clutch hitting when needed.
Next up is Alex Cora. Cora was a very nice surprise for the Mets early on, as he hit above .300 for a while, and he was a solid contributor. Then in May he injured his finger, and that combined with overexposure due to playing too often caused his numbers to decrease.
However, when he is only coming off the bench, he is a fantastic player to have. He can be a very useful player coming at the top of the order.
Next is Gary Matthews Jr. After a great year with Texas in 2006, Matthews had three trying years with the Angels. When he came to the team in 2007 he was expected to be the starting center fielder, but he struggled immensely at the plate.
In 2008 he was replaced as the starter by Torii Hunter. He continued to struggle at the plate over the next two years.
However, one thing he exceeds at is that he is an excellent center fielder. He has always been able to make the flashy plays. So even though he might not be great at the plate, he is a solid glove off the bench.
When the Mets acquired Angel Pagan from the Cubs in 2008, it really turned out to be a steal. Pagan has shown speed, pop, an ability to hit for average, and a solid glove since he joined the Mets two years ago. People have argued that he should be an everyday player in New York.
He has certainly had injury issues, but when healthy, he is an excellent player off the bench or in the starting lineup for the Mets.
Henry Blanco may not seem like much, but he is one of the best backup catchers in the league. He does everything a backup can be asked of. He is not a particularly good hitter by any stretch of the imagination, but he can bring pop off the bench, as he hit six home runs in limited playing time.
He is also a phenomenal defensive catcher. He calls a great game, and he also is solid at throwing out baserunners. He has also been many pitchers' favorite catcher, and he served two years as Greg Maddux's personal catcher in Atlanta. He is certainly a great backup to have.