he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Mets First Half Report Card: Outfieldersh

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mets First Half Report Card: Outfielders

It's the day of the all-star game, and it's time for me to complete part two of four of my report card: outfielders. We have had more than a few outfielders this year, and I'll rate everyone including one player who I am surprised is playing poorly. If you missed my infielder's report card and my grading system, then go here.

Cliff Floyd- C+
We all know that Floyd is simply having a down year, especially when compared with last year's first half. This year his .249 average is .28 points lower than last year's all-star break, and his seven home runs is an alarming 15 lower than they were at the break point in 2005. However, the declined home run total and average is mostly because of a terrible April, an April that was the exact reverse of 2005's April. In April 2005 Floyd hit .366 with 6 home runs and 21 rbi, compared to his April this year or .195 average with two home runs and 11 rbi. Floyd is coming out of his slump, however and if it wasn't for a severly sprained ankle Floyd may be around .270 with 3-5 more home runs.
Lastings Milledge- B-
He certinaly showed us all of his tools. Throwing out two runners, by far and hitting three home runs. However, his .233 average in 86 at bats is not something to get excited about, and his 23 strikeouts is a major concern, and something Milledge needs to work on. His lightning quick bat should able him to strike out less, think Gary Sheffield. He also only walked four times, when compared to 30+ times he walked in AAA. It is clear that his AAA were mainly young pitchers not wanting to face the Tides' best hitter. When projecting out Lastings Milledge's numbers over a full season he would have a little bit more than 20 home runs, with about 70 rbi and 10 steals. Those numbers are eerily similar to Nick Swisher's rookie season last year.
Carlos Beltran- A-
His average is better, his power is better, his speed is better, his health is better, his run production is much better, his smile is utilized more and more, and the result is an MVP candidate. What can you say about the difference between 2005 Beltran and 2006 Beltran, other than he is a three hitter. Everybody wanted Beltran to hit second in the offseason, everyone except Willie. Willie, once again, proved the critique's wrong, and Betrlan now has the most home runs in his career before the all-star break. Last year Omar Minaya said that Beltran was a second half player, and Beltran did have a better second half than first half last year, but not by much. However, I expect Beltran to have a dominant second half, which is why I have picked him to win the NL MVP.
Xavier Nady- B
Nady has certainly been better than advertised, but he is incredibly streaky. In April Nady hit .311 (good), in May he hit .211 (bad), in June he hit .267 (mediocore), and so far in July he is hitting .250, but he has been hitting well as of late, recording eight hits in the last six games. Nady's defense has been OK, but his arm has been above average. Overall, this 27 year old (no he is not 25, Keith Hernandez)has been a pleasent surprise.
Endy Chavez- B+
I would give Chavez an A, but he is a bench player so it is hard to compare his season to a Beltran, Wright, or Reyes. Nevertheless, Chavez has been an absolute force coming off of the bench this season. Hitting .283 with six steals, and playing absolutely fantastic defense. In fact, Chavez leads the NL in outfield assists, which is quite a feat when you don't play everyday. Chavez provides me with confidence that our bench is the best in baseball, and I would have no problem with him playing everyday if an outfielder went down.
Eli Marrero- C
It is hard to give Marrero an actual grade, since he barely plays, but he has been nice off of the bench for the Mets. He has hit two home runs, and stolen two bases, despite hitting .240. A grade of C is fine in my book for Marrero, whose main claim to fame is getting Matsui out of town. Speaking of Matsui, check out Jayson Stark's midseason awards article at espn.com. Stark says the following about Matsui
According to Lee Sinins' Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, a team of nine Kaz Matsuis would be scoring 2.25 runs per game this year. Which happens to be a full run less per game than a team full of Livan Hernandezes.
Now, that's funny.
Victor Diaz- D
Did anyone not expect to see Diaz at all the first half of the season? I sure didn't. Diaz is barely over .250 at AAA Norfolk, and has seemingly fell off of the depth chart for the Mets. Nevertheless, I would not expect seeing Diaz in a Mets unfirom again. I can see him getting traded for another prospect, or packaged with some other prospects to get a starter.

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