The New York Mets offense is struggling. The team has a collective .230/.302/.382 triple-slash, with a .684 OPS–which ranks 26th in the major leagues. However, the real issue is with the Mets’ outfield. Mets’ center fielders have combined for a .530 OPS+ (worst in the majors) and right fielders a .621 (tied for third worst). While Mike Baxter and Andrew Brown, perhaps, deserve a chance to start this season, the Mets need to sign to-be free agent Shin-Soo Choo this coming off-season. Continue reading
It wasn’t too long ago that Nate McLouth was one of the more exciting, young outfielders in baseball. In 2008, McLouth–in his fourth major league season–posted a 125 OPS+, 26 HR, and 23 SB campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The then 26 year-old also led the league with 46 doubles.
Perhaps channeling incredible foresight, the Pirates dealt the recently-extended McLouth mid-2009 to the Atlanta Braves for a package of prospects. At the time, it seemed as though the Braves had acquired a franchise cornerstone–but unfortunately, it couldn’t have been further from the case. Continue reading
The first part of this two-part series detailed a possible extension scenario for Daniel Murphy. Extending him through his final two arbitration and first two free agent seasons would make some sense for the New York Mets, but the organization should simultaneously attempt to generate trade interest for the 28-year-old’s services, too.
The Mets’ farm system is relatively weak in terms of natural second basemen (i.e. Daniel Muno and Branden Kaupe), but the front office has prudently pushed offense-first Wilmer Flores to learn the position at Triple-A this season.
The 21-year-old infielder played 24 games at second base in 2012, and has already logged another 18 at the position so far in 2013. While Flores might never become a plus defender—or even a league average one—his bat could make up for it. At least that’s what the Mets are banking on. Continue reading
Among Mets fans, Daniel Murphy is a contentious player. They are generally split on how to view the 28-year-old infielder. To most, Murphy is a solid-hitting, hard-nosed starting second baseman, who would ideally be a super utility option on a playoff caliber team. To others, however, Murphy conjures up pure contempt. Starkly differing sentiments not withstanding, there is still a case to be made for a contract extension. Continue reading
The Oakland Athletics have been cultivating quality, homegrown pitchers since the late-1990s. The likes of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Huston Street, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Andrew Bailey have all come up through the farm system.
Heck, even Jason Isringhausen, Dan Haren, and Gio Gonzalez–though not original Athletics–have too found solace as young acquisitions for the A’s at the major league level.
Yet, even though the A’s have long prided themselves on the ability to develop their own pitching staffs, the organization has seemed to malign a pitcher who could very well be a future ace. That pitcher is Dan Straily. Continue reading
In 2011, Justin Upton emerged as an elite hitter in the major leagues. Upton, then 23 years old, already had a 26-home run season under his belt, but 2011 was different. His 141 OPS+ ranked just outside the top 10 in the National League, and his 31 home runs were tied for ninth. Upton’s maturation into one of the league’s finest hitters was not a surprise; success was always an expectation.
Upton was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. After dominating at all levels in the minors, the Arizona Diamondbacks promoted the 19 year-old to the show — where he became a fixture in the Diamondbacks outfield for the next five seasons.
But after a rough 2012 season in which the hitter posted a comparatively mediocre .280/.355/.430 line and just 17 home runs, the formerly untouchable stud became expendable. Continue reading