Reviewing the 2017 Mets Non-Roster Invites

The Mets invited XX players to Spring Training last season. Thanks to injuries the Mets had to dip into their Non-Roster invitees a bit more than originally thought. Some of the players we previewed last year are with different teams now, some are still in the Mets system, some are on the Mets and some could potentially be starting for the 2018 Mets. Before we do a review, here’s a list of the non-roster invitees from last year.

  1. Chasen “Chase” Bradford
  2. P.J. Conlon
  3. Kevin McGowan
  4. David Roseboom
  5. Ben Rowen
  6. Paul Sewald
  7. Corey Taylor
  8. Logan Taylor
  9. Adam Wilk
  10. Xorge Carrillo
  11. Phillip Evans
  12. Luis Guillorme
  13. Dominic Smith
  14. Champ Stuart
  15. Travis Taijeron
  16. Ty Kelly

Chasen “Chase” Bradford
Chase ended up being an active piece of the Mets bullpen as the injuries started to pile up. He logged 33.2 innings over 28 games with a 3.74 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 1.277 WHIP, walking 13 and striking out 27. The Mets DFA’d him earlier this week to make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man but he didn’t make it through waivers as the Mariners put a claim on the reliever.

P.J. Conlon
PJ earned another non-roster invite for this upcoming season. he posted insane numbers in 2015-16 with non-over powering stuff. Last year his numbers returned to Earth as he put up a full season in Binghamton pitching 136.0 innings over 28 games and 22 starts with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.235 WHIP while walking 38 and striking out 108.

Kevin McGowan
As of writing this article, it is unclear if Kevin McGowan has cleared waivers as he was DFA’d to make room for Jay Bruce. In limited major league action last year he pitched 8 games and logged 8.2 innings posting a 5.19 ERA, 6.39 FIP and 1.615 WHIP. Not the best numbers but not a lot of numbers.

David Roseboom
David struggled in limited work (18 games, 17.1 innings) last season posting a 8.31 ERA, 9.87 RAvg, 1.788 WHIP. He was knocked out of Triple A thanks to a foot injury.

Ben Rowen
I was intrigued by Rowen last year only because he’s a submarine pitcher. In the minors he pitched 54 games and 63.1 innings with a 4.41 ERA and 1.468 WHIP walking 13 and striking out 52. He became a free agent in November.

Paul Sewald
We knew Sewald would make the majors last year and he ended up getting a lot of work, a lot more than we thought back in the spring. He’s 0-6 over 57 games and 65.1 innings with a 4.55 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 1.209 WHIP. He will be competing (and probably getting) a bullpen spot in 2018.

Corey Taylor
Taylor pitched well in Binghamton this year and probably will figure into the Mets plans at a higher level in 2018. He pitched in 42 games and 62.1 innings last year posting a 3.61 ERA, 4.04 RAvg and a 1.332 WHIP.

Logan Taylor
Logan Taylor was attacked in Vegas last year after a game and needed staples and was left with a concussion. Over 28 games and 4 starts he logged 47.0 innings last year with a 4.98 ERA and a 5.55 RAvg. He is still with the Mets system.

Adam Wilk
Adam Wilk made it to the Mets last year to address the Mets pitching depth during the run of injuries. When the Mets DFA’d him in May and he was selected by the Twins who released him near the end of June. He’s been a free agent since then. He made one start for the Mets where he allowed 6 runs, 5 earned over 3.2 innings from 8 hits.

Xorge Carrillo
Carrillo is now a free agent after a long time with the Mets organization. The catcher played in 70 games with 272 PAs slashing a .270/.320/.425. He is currently playing in the Mexican League. As of writing this article he has a .266/.329/.342 line.

Phillip Evans
Evans managed 33 ABs towards the end of the season and made the best of swatting a .303/.395/.364. His line has lead to another Non Roster Invite for the upcoming season.

Luis Guillorme
Luis made the most of his NRI last season as he famously caught a bat in the dugout with one hand like it was no big deal. He has the best hands in the Mets system and found his way to the 40 man roster for the upcoming season. In 558 PA’s last year in Binghamton, the shortstop slashed .283/.376/.331.

Dominic Smith
Dom Smith had a NRI into camp last year. Seriously. Being drafted out of high school, it’s easy to forget how young Dom Smith actually is, especially with all of the pressure and hate he has received this off season. His strength is his defense and he didn’t show that last season in the majors. Now he has competition from the top with Gonzalez, an additional back up plan in Bruce and heat below him from Pete Alonso.

Champ Stuart
Stuart, the speedy outfielder from the Bahamas has not received an NRI for 2018 yet. Last year in Binghamton he posted 372 PAs hitting .222/.310/.331, so not great but he did log 35 stolen bases.

Travis Taijeron
After years of playing in the Mets season, Travis Taijeron finally got a chance at the major league level. Known as all of nothing guy in the minors, hitting homers and not much else, he struggled in the majors over 59 PAs hitting .173/.271/.269 with only homer and two doubles in 9 hits. He was granted free agency in November and signed with the Dodgers.

Ty Kelly
After being a critical player for team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, Kelly got a NRI back to Mets camp. He was DFA’d from the Mets in early April and selected by the Blue Jays and then purchased by the Phillies 12 days later. He became a free agent at the end of the season. Kelly had one PA as a Met last year and struck out (previous year hit .241/.352/.345). With the Phillies this year he slashed .193/.260/.341 over 104 PAs.

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Reviewing 2017 Projections – Travis d’Arnaud

The Mets catcher, and at least once their 2nd and 3rd basemen, is heading into another critical year. Can he hit close to projections? Can he stay healthy? Do the Mets need to jump ship on d’Arnaud and Plawecki and try something else? First a look into what the projections thought he would do last year:

Travis d’Arnaud
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 276 251 27.00 4 15 0 0.247 0.307 0.323
Projections
MLB.com 335 38.00 10 45 0 0.257 0.314 0.394
Steamer 276 31.00 10 35 1 0.254 0.322 0.42
ZiPS 363 43.00 10 36 1 0.248 0.309 0.393
ESPN 31.00 7 26 0 0.251
Baseball Prospectus 416 47.00 13 49 0 0.249 0.321 0.414
Sporting News 312 37.00 12 42 1 0.256 0.32 0.415
NBC Rotoworld 308 40.00 11 41 1 0.224 0.302 0.372
Rotowire 323 38.00 10 34 0 0.251 0.314 0.393
Baseball America 405 42.00 11 40 1 0.24 0.297 0.371
FBG 2017 348 42.00 13 39 0 0.252
Average 389.5 329.57143 38.9 10.7 38.7 0.5 0.2482 0.312375 0.3965

2017 Stats:
112 G, 376 PA, 348 AB, 39 R, 85 H, 16 HR, .244 BA, .293 OBP, .443 SLG

d’Arnaud exceeded play time projections last year (not sure if that ever happened). In general his non-power numbers came in below expectations (average, OBP) and his power numbers came in quite a bit above projections (almost 5 more homers than projected, 40 points higher in slugging).

As such the best programs at predicted his performance this year was Steamer and totally not surprisingly, Baseball Prospectus. FBG was close too but they over project everyone, so they get lucky with players like d’Arnaud.

If he stays healthy this year, maybe he cracks 20 homers? How much time does he split with Plawecki? Will there be a new player like Rene Rivera between them as well?

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Reviewing 2017 Projections – Juan Lagares

Before the Mets signed Jay Bruce earlier this month, Juan Lagares looked to have an increased role on the team this year. He’s spent the off-season working on his hitting. If Juan Lagares improves his offense just a small amount, he will be a tremendous player by overall war thanks to his DRS. Let’s spend some time looking at his offense stats from last year:

Juan Lagares
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 160 142 15.00 3 9 4 0.239 0.301 0.38
Projections
MLB.com 220 27.00 3 25 5 0.25 0.289 0.382
Steamer 190 19.00 3 20 4 0.258 0.299 0.374
ZiPS 364 39.00 5 30 7 0.251 0.291 0.361
ESPN 13.00 2 11 3 0.25
Baseball Prospectus 191 19.00 3 18 4 0.255 0.296 0.373
NBC Rotoworld 198 25.00 4 20 5 0.258 0.318 0.389
Rotowire 286 31.00 5 26 6 0.259 0.298 0.378
FBG 2017 306 33.00 4 30 7 0.253
Average 277.5 240 25.75 3.625 22.5 5.125 0.25425 0.2985 0.3761667

2017 Stats:
94 G, 272 PA, 252 AB, 37 R, 16 2B, 3 HR, .250 BA, .296 OBP, .365 SLG

Thanks to injuries and a logjam of outfielders at the start of the season, Juan Lagares ended up playing exactly the amoutn of time as expected. He hit one homer less than expected, a few points lower in both BA and OBP and about 11 points less in slugging. Baseball Prospectus wins the battle of “did they get OBP correct though?” which is my preferred stat to use.

Depending on Juan’s health this year, and the health of those around him, it is curious to predict both what he will do in 2018 and the role he will have on this team.

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Reviewing 2017 Projections – Wilmer Flores

The next sentence could have been written today, in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 (you get the point). What do the Mets do with Wilmer Flores. He’s great against lefties, has the potential to put up strong numbers, it is unclear how he projects in the field and the Mets seem to have 10 (exaggeration) players that are similar in multiple ways. Here’s what the 2017 projections thought Wilmer would do:

Wilmer Flores
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 335 307 38.00 16 49 1 0.267 0.319 0.469
Projections
MLB.com 270 35.00 12 36 0 0.263 0.311 0.448
Steamer 288 33.00 12 40 1 0.264 0.307 0.438
ZiPS 477 56.00 15 63 1 0.262 0.303 0.42
ESPN 50.00 16 59 1 0.263
Baseball Prospectus 226 25.00 8 28 0 0.267 0.319 0.469
Sporting News 349 42.00 15 52 1 0.275 0.309 0.439
NBC Rotoworld 284 36.00 10 39 1 0.271 0.321 0.433
Rotowire 358 42.00 17 49 2 0.263 0.303 0.45
FBG 2017 347 40.00 14 45 1 0.285
Average 351.5 316 39.888889 13.222222 45.666667 0.8888889 0.2681111 0.3104286 0.4424286

2017 Stats:
110 G, 362 PA, 336 AB, 42 R, 17 2B, 18 HR, 52 RBI, .271 BA, .307 OBP, .488 SLG

Wilmer had a mixed year according to projections and reality. He had nearly the amount of at bats that the average of the projections thought he would, hit better for average but slightly worse for OBP. No one projected his slugging to be as high as it was. Projections saw him as a regression candidate in slugging from 2016, not to improve. Only Rotowire saw correctly that he would hit more homers. Baseball Prospectus saw him best from the slash line but didn’t see him nearly getting the amount of AB’s as he ended up getting.

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Things I’ve Ate At The Ballpark: Pepperoni Mozz Sticks on a Stick

I love baseball. I love to eat.

The Mets have made it easy the last few years to fall in love with food at the ballpark. The more ballparks I’ve been too, the more I’ve learned that the Mets are especially good at this.

 

These were available behind the outfield plaza in 2017. I hope they bring them back as I am sucker for Mozzarella sticks. These aren’t the best sticks at the ballpark but they’re good. Also they’re sticks on sticks so that’s always fun.

Only downside is the pepperoni is a cube at the end of the sick, but I imagine these would be difficult to make otherwise.

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Reviewing 2017 Projections: Jose Reyes

When I wrote the 2017 Projections Article last year for Jose Reyes, I did not expect Jose Reyes to have as major of a role on the team as he did but injuries are terrible and trades were plentiful, so we saw a lot of Jose Reyes.

Jose Reyes
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 279 255 45.00 8 24 9 0.267 0.326 0.443
Projections
MLB.com 425 67.00 11 38 14 0.273 0.325 0.428
Steamer 410 52.00 8 36 14 0.256 0.308 0.376
ZiPS 456 59.00 9 39 16 0.267 0.316 0.391
ESPN 69.00 10 42 22 0.261
Baseball Prospectus 479 60.00 9 41 20 0.265 0.315 0.382
Sporting News 484 64.00 11 40 14 0.269 0.309 0.377
NBC Rotoworld 321 45.00 7 35 11 0.271 0.324 0.399
Rotowire 467 69.00 8 46 21 0.276 0.341 0.392
Baseball America 506 65.00 9 43 19 0.257 0.304 0.366
FBG 2017 503 73.00 10 48 13 0.261
Average 467.5 445.14286 62.3 9.2 40.8 16.4 0.2656 0.31775 0.388875

Jose Reyes 2017 Stats:
145 G, 561 PA, 501 AB, 75 R, 123 H, 25 2B, 7 3B, 15 HR, 58 RBI, .246 BA, .315 OBP, .413 SLG

I was expecting Jose Reyes to get 300-350 PA’s going into the season. The projections did better than me expecting quite a bit more. In reality he got even more time than that. It’s incredible how much power he had than projected, but that’s about where the good times end. His OBP was predicted exactly and his batting average was quite a bit lower.

Only MLB.com saw him having a slugging above 400, although they over shot it, and no one saw his average being as low as it was. If the most important predictor is on base base percentage, then Baseball Prospectus did the best.

As of writing this article (1/15) Jose Reyes has not signed with a team yet. As the days go on without the Mets signing more infield help, a reunion seems more likely. Even doing somewhat better than his 2017 projections, the Mets should stay away from Reyes in 2018.

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Reviewing 2017 Projections – Jay Bruce

Today’s 2017 Projection Review has renewed interest – Jay Bruce! The Mets off-season was stuck in neutral until the Mets signed a 3 year, 39 million deal with Jay Bruce, a player Mets fans wanted to trade away off-season, a player who had a good year with the Mets and then got traded. A player many of us had a strong feeling, like or not, needed or not, would be back in a Mets uniform in 2018.

Jay Bruce
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 187 539 74.00 33 99 4 0.25 0.309 0.506
Projections
MLB.com 535 70.00 27 90 3 0.247 0.305 0.465
Steamer 439 55.00 21 65 5 0.237 0.302 0.446
ZiPS 583 72.00 22 89 6 0.244 0.305 0.437
ESPN 73.00 27 90 6 0.243
Baseball Prospectus 558 67.00 24 76 7 0.231 0.3 0.436
Sporting News 567 72.00 27 87 5 0.24 0.302 0.439
NBC Rotoworld 511 63.00 27 82 5 0.237 0.298 0.454
Rotowire 545 73.00 28 90 5 0.237 0.3 0.459
Baseball America 576 68.00 25 81 7 0.238 0.296 0.428
FBG 2017 551 74.00 29 86 10 0.267
Average 570.5 532 68.7 25.7 83.6 5.9 0.2421 0.301 0.4455

Jay Bruce’s 2017 Actual Stats:
146 G, 617 PA, 555 AB, 82 R, 141 H, 29 2B, 2 3B, 36 HR, 101 RBI, .254 BA, .324 OBP, .508 SLG

Jay Bruce out performed all of the major projections averages. Battiver average by 10 points, OBP by 20 points, slugging 50 points and this is due to outperforming homers by 10.

No projection saw Bruce’s power coming back so much this year, and the only one that got close (FBG) overshot his batting average by quite a bit.

Utlimately, all of the projections saw some form or recession compared to his 2016 numbers, he ended up having a better year in all major categories.

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Who Should The Mets Play at Second? A Statistical Review with Three Free Agents

Yesterday we posted an article looking at 5 players the Mets could play at second or third in the upcoming season (Frazier, Harrison, Nunez, Cabrera, Reyes) after reading this article this morning on MLB Trade Rumors, we realized that we forgot to take a look at three also realistic possibilities: Neil Walker, Brandon Phillips and Yunel Escobar.

2017 Stats OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ WAR
Walker .362 .439 .346 114 2.1
Phillips .319 .416 .316 93 1.6
Escobar .333 .397 .318 100 0.8
2017 Stats DRS ‘17 DRS ‘16 UZR ‘17 UZR ‘16
Walker -5 0 -1.5 9.3
Phillips -7 -7 -0.3 -2.1
Escobar -9 -11 -1.6 -5.8

Out of all the players looked at in this article and the last one, Walker is the best offensively. If we were only looking at offense numbers then the Mets should be signing Walker. This would also mean the Mets would be building the same team they have had for the last couple of seasons. This also ignores Walkers recent strings of injuries and that his offense numbers should decline.

We also see from the offense data that Phillips and Escobar are no better than Reyes. As much as I don’t want Reyes to be a starting second basemen for this team, at this point a reunion feels inevitable and between Escobar, Phillips and Reyes, I would have to go with Reyes.

The argument against Reyes is his defense. Well, all of these players here fail massively defensively. Walker’s only good defensive year was 2016. In every other yera he has posted a negative UZR. Phillips used be good defensively. He has now posted a negative DRS in back to back seasons for the first time in his career, both times posting a -7. Escobar is atrocious defensively at third base. Signing Escobar would mean the Mets would have his defense at third and Cabrera’s at second. If it came down to Escobar or Reyes, it has to be Reyes. 

Looking at Walker, Phillips and Escobar my conclusion from yesterday still holds true. If the Mets had the flexibility, which they probably don’t, they should sign Frazier, acquire Harrison, move Cabrera.

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Who Should Play Second and Third for the Mets? A Statistical Review

Update: There’s a Part 2 HereThis includes Walker, Phillips and Escobar.

The Mets have signaled that they want to acquire a new second basemen (or maybe a third basemen). Harrison wants to be traded. Frazier, Nunez and Reyes are still available. Who should the Mets pick?

After last year, I’m ready for a change. Is changing just to change a good idea? Maybe. That argument is void of stats though and just filled with anecdotal thoughts poisoned by the Mets play over the last couple of seasons. Here we will look at the offense and defense of the 5 most likely second and third basemen for the New York Mets in the 2018 season.

2017 Stats OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ WAR
Frazier .344 .428 .335 108 3.0
Nunez .341 .460 .342 112 2.2
Harrison .339 .432 .332 104 2.6
Reyes .315 .413 .312 94 2
Cabrera .351 .434 .338 111 1.3
  DRS ‘17 DRS ‘16 UZR ‘17 UZR ‘16
Frazier 3B 10 -2 6.7 -4.0
Nunez 2B -4 -3 -1.8 -2.3
Nunez 3B 0 -2 -1.9 1.6
Harrison 2B 6 8 0.3 1.2
Harrison 3B 2 n/a 0.9 n/a
Reyes 2B -5 n/a 0.4 n/a
Reyes 3B -5 -6 -2.9 -2.5
Cabrera 2B -6 n/a 0.9 n/a
Cabrera 3B 1 n/a -2.6 n/a

The players essentially break into two tiers offensively that vary wildly by which stat you use to generate ideas of how successful a player is at the plate. If you go by runs created, then Frazier, Nunez and Cabrera are in one Tier with Nunez having both the highest wRC+ and wOBA. In this lens, Cabrera also becomes equally valuable. In this perspective, the Mets sign Nunez and run Cabrera and Nunez out to the field daily. 

From the OBP and wOBA perspective, all of these players are incredibly similar with the exception of Reyes. Here you would retain Cabrera and sign either Frazier or Nunez OR trade for Harrison. 

However, this is the Mets and their defense was atrocious last year. If the Mets are running three corner outfielders every day, then infield defense becomes even more important. Despite putting up bad defense numbers in 2016, Frazier comes out on top. It is also important to note that Reyes only played 207 innings at 2B last year with 279 at 3B. Cabrera only played 274 innings at 2B last year and 350 at 3B From both the UZR and DRS perspective, the Mets best move would be to sign Frazier, trade for Harrison and move Cabrera somehow off the team. 

The above is echoed in the WAR department. Despite being close to the other players offensively, Cabrera’s defense hurts his overall WAR. From a WAR perspective, the ideal move would be to sign Frazier, acquire Harrison and move Cabrera. 

Be careful with comparing the WAR’s of Nunez and Reyes. On the surface it looks like they are close, so close that the question of “is it really worth to spend more Nunez versus a bargain buy like Reyes” will arise. Nunez is far superior offensively. His defense is atrocious. His Def on Fan Graphs is a -3.5. Somehow Reyes got a 1.1, despite a -5 DRS at both 2B and 3B, and -15 DRS at SS. If it comes down to Reyes and Nunez, the money is worth it for Nunez. 

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Reviewing 2017 Projections – David Wright

I almost debated not doing a reviewing projections for David Wright since he never made it back to the majors last year. Here’s what the computer models thought coming into the season:

David Wright
PA AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
2016 164 137 18.00 7 14 3 0.226 0.35 0.438
Projections
MLB.com 310 39.00 11 36 3 0.258 0.352 0.423
Steamer 235 30.00 7 28 3 0.251 0.331 0.4
ZiPS 331 38.00 8 33 4 0.247 0.332 0.38
ESPN 17.00 4 16 2 0.234
Baseball Prospectus 260 35.00 7 28 5 0.268 0.348 0.423
Sporting News 178 20.00 4 24 2 0.236 0.331 0.402
NBC Rotoworld 221 32.00 7 26 1 0.258 0.352 0.403
Rotowire 312 39.00 10 35 5 0.26 0.346 0.41
Baseball America 342 35.00 8 32 4 0.243 0.309 0.355
FBG 2017 255 30.00 7 12 4 0.255
Average 295.5 264.71429 31.5 7.3 27 3.3 0.251 0.337625 0.3995

So when reviewing his projections, it turns out his last season stats and Sporting News Projections were the best at reading the tea leaves that Wright just would not play. I assume that stat projections will be similar this year where they project Wright to put up limited numbers but still see him playing.

It brings pain, sadness and sorrow seeing this happen to the Franchise Part 2.

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