2018 Stats Projection – Asdrubal Cabera

Asdrubal asked to be traded last year. He was the only veteran not traded. At the time, financially, it made sense. Cabrera is making 8.5 million this year which given his production on the field (or really, with the bat and not on the field) is a good value. Knowing what we know now about this year’s free agent situation the 8.5 million doesn’t sound as good as it did, but it is still a good deal.

Here’s what several different sources project for Cabera this season:

Asdrubal Cabrera
Baseball Prospectus 610 109.72 78 17 0.252 0.313 0.405
ZiPS 540 129 63 15 0.265 0.327 0.429
Steamer 504 452 118 59 16 0.26 0.324 0.427
ESPN 483 130.893 63 16 0.271 0.336 0.437
MLB.com 502 134.034 65 15 0.267 0.325 0.418
Baseball Reference 527 474 128 63 17 0.27 0.333 0.441
Average: 545.25 477.75 124.9412 65.16667 16 0.264167 0.326333 0.426167
2017 Stats: 540 479 134 66 14 0.28 0.351 0.434

Cabrera is helped immensely by the Todd Frazier deal. It doesn’t pain me as much to see Cabrera in the field with Frazier as it would with Cabrera and Reyes trying to play something close to defense.

Offensively last year he came back down to Earth from his previous years but the average of his projections doesn’t see too steep of a drop. A 25 point drop in OBP would be significant, but .326 OBP from Cabrera sounds reasonable. If Cabrera performs better than his projections (an OPS north of .800, right ow its at a .752) then he will be a tremendous help to the Mets this year. Maybe having a more consistent lineup around him can make that happen.

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Things I Ate at the Ballpark – Mex Burger from Keith’s Burger

I love baseball. I love eating.

For year’s my favorite food at Citi Field has been the Mex Burger at Keith’s burger.

Great bun, cheese, guac and jalapeno peppers. The only downside: the last couple of years the Mets have served Wise chips instead of kettle chips but still great.

And it comes with a Tootsie Pop!

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2018 Non Roster Invite: Zach Borenstein

Ty Kelly isn’t the only member of the 2017 World Baseball Classic Israeli squad with a Non Roster Invite to major league camp, meet Zach Borenstein! His most famous baseball feet to this point came in that tournament where he had the go-ahead single that put Israel in front of Cuba.

Borenstein, who will be 27 this season, is coming from the Angels organization where he has played since he was 20. Last year, his second full season in Reno (where he was still 0.4 years younger than the average player) he hit .279/.351/.573 over 433 PAs. In over 2600 minor league PA’s he has hit .283/.355/.502, so he can hit in the minors.

Ultimately Borenstein is a depth signing for the Mets they will hope they won’t have to dip into. The Mets are light on outfielders on their 40-man. The signing of den Dekker pushes Zach farther down the organization depth chart. It’s not impossible to imagine Borenstein sniffing the majors this year only because Travis Taijeron made it last year.

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2018 Stats Projection – Todd Frazier

Yesterday we went of Jay Bruce’s projections and opened with a story all Mets fans of the last half decade know – the long and predetermined journey of Jay Bruce’s life to Queens. To a lesser extent, Todd Frazier is similar. He always felt like the type of the player the Mets would want if it wasn’t for David Wright. When things started to look real bad for David Wright a chorus started to rise for Frazier. Maybe it was because he felt less like a permanent replacement like a Longoria would have been. That way a hopeless dream of getting Wright back could stay alive.

Frazier is finally a Met. If you’re a cynic, it’s because the Mets are cheap and the market came to them. If you’re a Sandy supporter, it’s because he read the market and always saw this as an option. Whatever. Frazier is a Met and we don’t have to worry about an infield with both of Cabrera and Nunez now.

Todd Frazier
Baseball Prospectus 559 79.042 75 28 0.238 0.321 0.457
ZiPS 583 127 77 31 0.249 0.334 0.482
Steamer 552 481 109 64 26 0.227 0.318 0.437
ESPN 480 106.08 69 26 0.221 0.322 0.429
MLB.com 531 120.006 72 27 0.226 0.314 0.424
Baseball Reference 555 483 111 71 29 0.23 0.319 0.462
Average: 562.25 493.75 108.688 71.33333 27.83333 0.231833 0.321333 0.4485
2017 Stats: 576 474 101 74 27 0.213 0.344 0.428

The projections see what many pundits say. The drop in batting average and OBP for Frazier was more fluky than anything else. Next year he should return closer to his numbers. The projections are almost in complete agreement over how many homers Todd will hit given at bats.

Frazier is a good addition to this squad. These projections don’t cover the real benefit of Frazier – his defense. If he puts up similar numbers to his career numbers and plays solid defense, the Mets will see a sizable net gain in performance.

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2018 Non Roster Invite: David Thompson

David Thompson gets a non-roster invite for the Mets. The third basemen was drafted in the 2015 draft in the 4th round out of the University of Miami. After playing all of 2015 in Brooklyn, he split 2016 in Columbia and St. Lucie and followed that with a complete season last year in Binghamton and stint in the Arizona Fall League.

In Binghamton last year the now 24 year old slashed .263/.325/.429 over 529 PAs and .328/.371/.569 in 62 PAs in the AFL making his career line .261/.318/.415. The radical increase of his OBP from 2015 to 2016/17 (.268 vs .333/.325) is why I’m now paying attention to to Thompson. He seems to be getting more consistent as he plays longer. He was 1.3 years younger than the average AA player last year and half year older than the average AFL player last year to give some reference on his age.

Here’s the question for Thompson this year: does he hit at Triple A? He is going to really need to hit to stand out, especially with the Mets now having Frazier signed for two years + Cabrera/Flores to fall back on at the hot corner.

He’s an average prospect who has blossomed in the last couple of years, if he is going to make a move, it has to be now and spring would be a great time to show that he can play with higher level talent.

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2018 Non Roster Invite: Phillip (Phil) Evans

Phillip Evans has a non-roster invite for a second straight year for the Mets. The only difference this time for the 25 year old who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 draft: he actually made the majors last year.

We previewed him last year around this time. This was our critical takeaway:

Now there’s a lot of players in the way of Phillip Evans getting the bench spot (Reyes, Walker, Wright, Flores, Rivera and Cabrera) for three positions. I’m curious to see what happens if Evans is given time in the PCL. does he keep up the hitting? He hasn’t put numbers like he did last year at any other time.

Then we went on to make a really wrong prediction:

I am confident about this though: If Phillip Evans puts up similar numbers, or close numbers, to what he did in Binghamton last year, and somehow doesn’t make the 40-man by the end of the season, he’s going to have to be traded otherwise he’s going to get snatched in the Rule V draft.

Oops. When you’re wrong its only polite to admit it.

Last year in the majors Evans got 38 PA’s and hit .303/.395/.364. Last year he hit .279/.341/.418. Even though he took a step back in the minors in 2017 compared to 2016 in terms of raw numbers, he did it all at Triple A and was successful in an extremely limited outing in the majors.

So far this spring he has spent some time learning to catch, something he has never done, in order to stretch his value. He once again this season has the same issue he had last year. There are a lot of players on the active roster ahead of him for the infield. It will only get worse when TJ comes back. But if Evans keeps hitting, he’ll have to come up at some point.

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2018 Stats Preview: Wilmer Flores

It’s another season in Mets baseball land and it’s also another year of “The National League doesn’t have a DH? Where does Wilmer play?”. Let’s just jump right to the stats projections for 2018:

Wilmer Flores
Baseball Prospectus 569 124.354 66 22 0.266 0.304 0.442 1.7
ZiPS 433 109 51 19 0.27 0.31 0.467 1.6
Steamer 367 340 92 43 17 0.271 0.316 0.474 1
ESPN 293 79.403 36 14 0.271 0.307 0.488
MLB.com 250 69 34 11 0.276 0.314 0.456
Baseball Reference 415 382 102 49 18 0.267 0.312 0.463
Average: 446 316.25 95.9595 46.5 16.83333 0.270167 0.3105 0.465 1.433333
2017 Stats: 362 336 91 42 18 0.271 0.307 0.488 -0.2

Wilmer had an odd year last year. He wasn’t worth that much in terms of wins but he still hit .271 (his OBP was only slightly higher, which provides insight into this WAR) and he had a lot of pop last year. But so did a lot of players. He was hampered due to bizarre injuries last year. But so did a lot of (Mets) players.

When looking at the stat projections, there is a wide set of projected PAs, probably due to when the data set was ran. For example, Baseball Prospectus, which was sent to print sometime in January happened before the Mets signed both Gonzalez, Reyes and Frazier. Before that it looked like Wilmer was going to get significant playing time.

The average of all of the projections have Flores putting up a similar slash line. With the Mets projected lineup, Flores coming off the bench and hits .271/.311/.465 would be perfect.

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2018 Non Roster Invite: Ty Kelly

Guess who’s back?
Back Again?
Kelly’s Back.
Tell a Mensch.

Ty Kelly has been a member of many organizations since being drafted in 2009 by the Orioles. He was traded in 2013 to the Mariners for Thames, he then was traded to the Cardinals for Gaviglio. He was then selected off waivers by the Blue Jays and signed with the Mets in November of 2015. The Mets DFA’d him in April and he was selected off waivers by the Blue Jays and then was purchased by the Phillies. In January he became a Met again.

Last year we concluded the following about Kelly:

It will be a hard road for Kelly, there are a lot of players in front of him. He’ll also get a good amount of playing time since he’s heading off to play for Israel in the WBC.

And ultimately the Mets needed him early in the season, which led to the Mets having to DFA him which started Kelly’s 2017 journey around the majors. He only had 1 PA with the Mets were he struck out in 2017 and then for the Phillies he had 104 where he slashed .193/.260/.341 (thanks to two homers in 88 ABs). In the previous year for the Mets he hit .241/.352/.345 in 71 PAs.

The Mets shouldn’t have to rely on Kelly heavily at any point this year unless something goes wrong. This being the Mets, that’s completely possible as a lot went wrong last year. He’s a solid depth signing that gives the Mets flexibility without need to expose any prospects to the majors too early.

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2018 Stat Projection Review: Yoenis Cespedes

The Mets 2018 season is going to depend on the bat of Yoenis Cespedes. Yoenis is not just one of the most feared hitters in the Mets lineup, he has the swagger the Mets need on the field. Once the Mets lost him and Syndergaard last year, the team lost a lot of its swagger. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers the projections see Yoenis posting:

Yoenis Cespedes
Baseball Prospectus 601 118.462 78 28 0.262 0.315 0.477 3.3
ZiPS 500 122 69 25 0.268 0.322 0.502 3.4
Steamer 558 504 136 74 30 0.27 0.332 0.51 2.7
ESPN 559 159.874 87 33 0.286 0.344 0.531
MLB.com 510 143.82 80 29 0.282 0.342 0.518
Baseball Reference 415 374 104 57 22 0.278 0.339 0.521
Average: 518.5 486.75 130.6927 74.16667 27.83333 0.274333 0.332333 0.509833 3.133333
2017 Stats: 321 291 85 46 17 0.292 0.352 0.54

Cespedes last year was hampered by injuries. What the numbers don’t take into account are the changes to Cespedes’s health in the off-season. He is supposedly drinking water now, lifting less weights and doing more yoga. Will it protect his hamstrings? That’s what the data is having a hard time taking that into account.

Baseball Prospectus and ESPN sees Cespedes playing a whole season, Steamer and MLB.com sees Yo playing a whole season with some time off. Everyone else is looking at some significant time off.

The projectiosn are pretty consistent on his power numbers and see a regression in power and a slight, slight regression in OBP and batting average. The slash line means nothing though if Cespedes doesn’t play the whole season.

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2018 Non Roster Invite: Peter Alonso

The first 2016 Mets draft pick with a non-roster invite, Peter (Pete) Alonso last year saw stock soar and Mets fans started to notice him in the latter part of the season once Dominic Smith was called up. Alonso next season is completely tied to Dominic Smith. Smith is facing pressure from Adrian Gonzalez, from below with Alonso. Plus, Smith is facing pressure from Flores looking for AB’s and Bruce once Conforto comes back.

Anyway, this isn’t an article about Smith, its an article about Alonso. Last season between Binghamton and St. Lucie he had 393 PAs slashing .289/.359/.524. In 2016 with Brooklyn he hit .321/.382/.587.

When you post a .969 OPS and then a .883 OPS the following season, especially when the power development was a bit of a surprise, you turn heads, which is what Alonso has done.

Ultimately, something needs to go drastically wrong with the Mets for Alonso to get playing time before September, if he even sees the majors in September but for an organization with a light farm system, it would be wonderful for the Mets to get a surprise from Alonso, even if they trade him before he ever sees time in the majors.

Out of all of the position players with the Mets in camp who aren’t on the 40 man, Alonso is clearly the one to watch.

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