Yesterday's game marked the midway point of the season, game 81. Right now, the team is 45-36, which extrapolates to a 90-72 record, This is right around the level I personally expected the team to be at, so I should be pleased, right? Maybe yes, maybe no.
I thought it would be interesting to compare projections to actual pace as of the midway point to get an idea what we can expect for the rest of the season. I am going to quote the projections from Baseball Prospectus, as this publication is probably the most respected and accurate one out there. The results are surprising. Today we will look at the offensive numbers.
Jose Reyes PROJECTION: .295 avg/.364 obp/83 r/13 hr/52 rbi/43 sb
CURRENT PACE: .277 avg/.321 obp/102 r/12 hr/64 rbi/38 sb
While his "rate" stats are below projection, his other stats are above expectation, as long as the oblique injury is not as bad as it can be, expect more of the same from "The Catalyst".
Angel Pagan PROJECTION: .280 avg/.338 obp/56 r/8 hr/42 rbi/14 sb
CURRENT PACE: .296 avg/.356 obp/84 r/8 hr/72 rbi/30 sb
Pagan has had an outstanding start, exceeding his projection in virtually every category. His playing time will probably shrink once Carlos Beltran comes back, but his year so far has been an eye opener.
David Wright PROJECTION: .303 avg/.397 obp/96 r/26 hr/105 rbi/19 sb
David Wright CURRENT PACE: .313 avg/.397 obp/94 r/28 hr/128 rbi/26 sb
David has had a season right in line with expectations, a few more rbi than projected, so those naysayers who scream about his poor "clutch" stats once again are shown to be empty headed bimbos.
Jason Bay PROJECTION: .261 avg/.361 obp/94 r/28 hr/95 rbi/9 sb
Jason Bay CURRENT PACE: .274 avg/.364 obp/90 r/12 hr/74 rbi/20 sb
The power has not been there, everyone knows that. However, his other stats have been right in line with the typical season, with the surprise the stolen base category, where Jason has already exceeded his projection for the year. Bay has adjusted slowly to CitiField in the homer category, but has taken his game to a different level in other areas, he is also already at his projection in triples, and ahead of the pace in doubles. Expect to see some more balls over the fence in the second half as he progresses toward the median.
Ike Davis PROJECTION: .238 avg/.310 obp/42 r/13 hr/46 rbi/0 sb
Ike Davis CURRENT PACE: .261 avg/.337 obp/78 r/18 hr/73 rbi/2 sb
Part of the low numbers in the projection was the expectation that Ike would not even be up, but his numbers are close to projection, and he is more than holding his own, showing he belongs in the show and showing that he has a very high ceiling for improvement.
Reuben Tejada PROJECTION: .252 avg/.314 obp/63 r/6 hr/47 rbi/4 sb
Reuben Tejada CURRENT PACE: .234 avg/.294 obp/30 r/0 hr/10 rbi/0 sb
While Reuben has done well, as the projection notes, he can be even better. As he gets more and more comfortable, expect his numbers to improve. Luis Castillo should be concerned, as Tejada's defense is already light years better than his.
Jeff Francoeur PROJECTION: .276 avg/.331 obp/83 r/19 hr/98 rbi/4 sb
Jeff Francoeur CURRENT PACE: .262 avg/.312 obp/66 r/16 hr/82 rbi/14 sb
For all his wild swings between volcano hot and arctic cold, Francoeur's overall numbers are right around projection. A sustained hot streak gets him over expectations, a long cold spell brings him back down. The Beltran comeback will effect his numbers as much as Pagan's going forward.
Rod Barajas PROJECTION: .242 avg/.306 obp/37 r/13 hr/48 rbi/1 sb
Rod Barajas CURRENT PACE: .239 avg/.277 obp/54 r/22 hr/62 rbi/0 sb
Rod's red hot power surge early has him already virtually at his homer projection for the year. However, lately he has been slumping, both in power and contact. His second half will not be as productive.
Luis Castillo has been out for a long stretch, and so his projections are skewed, I won't list them for that reason. Carlos Beltran is the wild card offensively, as all Mets fans know. If he comes back at 90% of his ability, Jerry will have a quandry getting the best group onto the field, especially during the times when Francoeur is hot.
Also, the decision on what to do with the second base/short stop/backup middle infield spots presents puzzles as well, as Luis Castillo will probably be back soon, barring a "setback", and Jose Reyes' oblique injury should only be a short term situation. With Tejada providing excellent defense and adequate offense and Alex Cora proving to be his usual solid clubhouse leader self, Luis Castillo would be the odd man out in most Met fans minds. But, his contract still looms over the heads of the Front Office and Manager's position. Lip service from both say that they will put the best option out there that puts the team into position to win, but as we all know, money talks is not just an AC/DC song from the 80's. Will they put their money where their mouth is, literally? We will see. Regardless, the second half will be an interesting one for the offense.
Coming Next: Review of the Pitching projections.