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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