Looking at the Mets lineup, or the potential Mets lineup, there is definitely some reason for excitement.
In this analysis I looked back at the 2007-2009 seasons, viewed the player performances at Citi Field, looked at the stats and trends vs lefty's and righty's, and made a few assumptions based on the most likely starters and the published timetable for the return for Beltran.
Using an earlier article I wrote, we have the two-headed monster of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis at first base.
I also think Josh Thole is going to win the primary catcher job and turn over partial duty to Santos or Blanco or whomever else looks the best in Spring Training.
Now many people have contacted me to tell me I'm crazy for thinking Thole wins the job, but read what Minaya said about the young catcher, and then think about Thole's bat in the lineup.
"I think Thole is going to compete for a job in spring training," Minaya said. "We'll see how he plays coming off a very good year. He led the league in hitting in Venezuela (winter ball). With Thole, where is he? Do we rush him? Does he take the job?"
Now obviously Angel Pagan is not going to bat cleanup, and Castillo will more than likely be shuffled around again, so the positions of the lineup are where the player, or duo, will likely get the majority of their at-bats in 2010.
So with that said, let's look at our lineup:
|Castillo||546||87||157||16||5 ||2 ||40||73 ||60 ||20||6||0.288||0.387||0.346||0.733|
|Pagan/Beltran||606||116||172||35 ||8 ||27||112||92||96||25||3||0.284||0.376||0.500||0.876|
|Bay||531||98 ||142||29||3||32||114||83 ||152||10||3||0.267||0.384||0.537||0.921|
|Murphy/Tatis||598||86||162||32||1||17 ||86 ||72||104||8 ||1||0.280||0.350||0.450||0.800|
Not too shabby! A nice mix of power, speed, average, OBP and an absolute ton of doubles.
Adding Jason Bay was a terrific move. If the players in front of him all stay healthy and produce, the Mets will not have trouble scoring runs.
Sure, there are a ton of "ifs", but as we all know, hope truly does spring eternal.