The Mets offense and (more importantly) a new tool for blogging
This morning I was thinking about how I can divert myself from work for a bit, and I remembered that last year I built a template to do a hot stove analysis of each team. I ended up doing a grand total of two teams. Well, I got to thinking of edits I could make to the thing to make it a little more interesting, and then in typical fashion I kept working on it til I had something. Not so good for my productivity at work, but it should lead to some interesting articles. So here is the first one. You're probably wondering why I would do this for the Mets. No real reason except that I commented on the Mets offseason earlier so they were on the brain a bit. Also, I'm getting sick of the same old analysis of the AL East every year. Let's get on with it.
I now present to you, the Mets offense:
2004 Roster Pos Name PA VORP C Jason Phillips 412 -5.3 1B Mike Piazza 528 29.9 2B Jose Reyes 229 5.2 3B Todd Zeile 396 0.4 SS Kazuo Matsui 509 23.7 RF Richard Hidalgo 359 7.4 CF Mike Cameron 562 27.0 LF Cliff Floyd 457 20.0 DH N/A 0 0.0 ----- ----- 3452 108.3
2005 Roster Pos Name PA VORP C Mike Piazza 389 24.2 1B Doug Mientkiewicz 393 12.7 2B Jose Reyes 443 12.7 3B David Wright 472 32.4 SS Kazuo Matsui 535 25.9 RF Mike Cameron 437 24.4 CF Carlos Beltran 607 51.6 LF Cliff Floyd 431 23.1 DH N/A 0 0.0 ----- ----- TOTAL 3707 207.0
I think at this point we're comfortable enough with VORP that I don't have to explain it too much, but basically it's a measure of runs over replacement level, the key point being that you can compare 2 years and get an idea of how many runs scored we can expect this year versus last year. The 2004 VORP's are actual and the 2005 VORP's are from the PECOTA weighted average forecast. After adjusting for the disparity in plate appearances (which isn't necessarily required, since a better offense will come to the plate more, but anyway), it looks like the Mets have increased their offesive potential by 84 runs, which is a lot. Getting Mike Piazza back behind the plate will allow them to play everyone's favorite baseball hoarder, Doug Mintyfreshkevitzski, at 1st base and stick sinkhole Jason Phillips on the bench. Speaking of sinkholes, 86 year old Todd Zeile got the most plate appearances at 3B on the team last year, and hit like a AAA player. Putting David Wright in full time will be a big boost, as he had a great year in limited playing time in 2004, posting a VORP of 21 in under 300 PA's. Lastly, the biggest single impact will be felt in the outfield, where Carlos Beltran takes over in CF, pushing Mike Cameron to RF (probably), and Richard Hidalgo back to the state of Texas. Carlos is good for half of the boost in scoring all by himself. It's a shame he got sent to a pitcher's park, cause I'd sure like to see the raw numbers he could put up otherwise. It also sucks for him that he's now in a league with Bonds and Pujols.
Before any hypothetical Mets fans get all excited, their pitching staff looks like it's headed for a nice decline. I didn't format the chart for that yet, but PECOTA predicts big declines for Glavine and Trachsel and basically treading water for Benson and Zambrano. Pedro's got a nice forecast, but unfortuantely he's replacing a great year by Al Leiter. On the whole the rotation will give back 40 or so of those runs.
Assuming the bullpen and bench are a wash, that's a net gain of around 40 runs. Their "3rd order" record (which is based on all their peripherals and is generally a better predictor than the real record) was 77-85. Based on my rough analysis, I'm sorry to report that all their big signings and money spent amount to about a .500 season for 2005. So much for all the stories about them stepping up to be an elite team.
I should probably actually do some work today. Hopefully I'll use this template to analyze some more teams before the season starts, but no promises. If the other bloggers want a copy, let me know.