A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Over Exaggerated

Chris (Hoboken, NJ): Am I wrong for calling Ryan Church a platoon OF, and Brian Shcneider a backup catcher?

Keith Law: Correct on both counts.

I think calling Ryan Church a platoon player was a bit harsh. He ranked 16th overall in OPS out of every qualified outfielder in the National League. There were 26 overall that were qualified and he outhit Andruw Jones, Bill Hall, Mike Cameron, Chris Young, Austin Kearns, Shane Victorino, Brian, Giles, and Frenchy. Sure they are all not corner outfielders and others supply more than just hitting, but the guy was decent last year.

He was tied for 3rd in doubles despite have about 150 at-bats less than Holliday, Rowand, and Lee. Of course we are talking about guys that still hit 15 to 30 more XBHs with those extra at-bats, but he still hit an extra base hit once every 7.97 at-bats which beats out Lee's 8.25 and Rowand's 8.50. Holliday led the NL with on extra base hit every 6.91 at-bats, but I was shocked to see that Church was actually 7th overall and placed ahead of Carlos Beltran who just missed being in the 7's with an 8.03. For his career, he has hit an extra base hit once every 8.59 at-bat.

If you look at OPS+, it improves his standing a bit and he slides into 12th with 114, which is a touch behind Josh Willingham at 115 and behind Ken Griffy Jr. with 119. If you take a look at his WARP1 with the same cast of characters, he slides to 8th beating out Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Cameron, Shane Victorino, Jeff Franceour, Andruw Jones, Adam Dunn, Brad Hawpe, Pat Burrell, Carlos Lee, Brian Giles, Chris Young, Jason Bay, Bill Hall, and a few others.

This was a rather crude look and admittedly compares him against players who had a down year in 2007, but even when you factor that in and consider some people had fluky years in which they vastly played over their historical lines, Church does has value as a player that stretches beyond a platoon player. His '07 splits were not indicitive of his three year splits and he hits an acceptable .259 against lefties with an .742 OPS. Obviously there is room for improvement there, but hardly screams platoon player. Just as a reference point, Griffy hit .241 and .770 respectively against lefties over the same period of time. If you look at his '07 alone, he might seem like a platoon candidate and while I do not dismiss the fact he might be, I am willing to give him some more time before I come to that conclusion.

I do think Church could surprise a little bit in 2008 and Met fans will like him. However, people that were not fans of the trade that brought him here have to seperate the two things. Calling him a platoon player is selling him a bit short and bit unfair at this point. Just an aside, Milledge hit .246 and .703 against righties over 2006 and 2007 and while I will not deny his upside and who will be better in 2010, 2008 should have Church being the better of two.

As for Schneider, he was still more valuable than LoDuca last season and I suspect that will continue in '08. However, he is certainly not all that far off from being a backup, but isn't that why he is being paired with Ramon Castro? In terms of an improvement over '07, Castro/Schneider is one, however small. I do not believe we should use anything else to evaluate his inclusion on the team outside of last year as a barometer. We all agree that it was a bad trade and Milledge and Estrada might have been more optimal, but I cannot stress enough that they do improve the team in the short term.

* * *

  • Despite getting on my bad side, Law does gives F-Mart some love with some pretty impressive company being mentioned.

    Todd, San Diego : Keith, Of these players, who has the highest ceiling- Jordan Schafer, Fernando Martinez, Colby Rasmus, Matt LaPorta?

    Keith Law: (1:31 PM ET ) In order: Martinez, Rasmus, Schafer, LaPorta.

    Rasmus is arguably one of the five best minor leaguers at this point and Schafer and LaPorta are pretty damn good as well.

  • It looks like Fernando is gone. I have no reason to believe he'll be around come opening day which sucks since he might be the best prospect being mentioned in any trade discussion the Twins are having. If F-Mart goes, Guerra has to stay.



    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    I see Ryan Church producing at the same rate as Xavier Nady. Whatever I'm not a big fan of Church but everyone else in baseball likes him and he's finally going to have an opportunity to play everyday so that's a plus I guess.

    That last blurb on the Fernando Martinez article was offensive.
    Martinez, 19, played in 60 games for Double-A Binghamton last year, hitting four homers and compiling an unimpressive .336 on-base percentage and .377 slugging percentage. In other words, he clearly needs more time in the minor leagues, unlike the Yankees' Hughes and Cabrera and Boston's Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Like are you serious? Jacoby Ellsbury is also 5 years older than him. JOn LEster and Hughes are pitchers. And Melky Cabrera? I bet Martinez can outproduce Melky right now...

    Isiah Thomas is an idiot by the way. He's on my TV speaking and he's a clown. I guess its something about the orange and blue that brings out stupidity.

    12:44 PM

    Anonymous dg said...

    Ryan Church is a platoon player, Mike. I think we'd all want him to be more, but it's wishful thinking to think that starting for the Nats makes him a starter anywhere else. The one stat that would have been interesting to see is how he hits lefties. He's also going to be playing with enormous pressure on him to succeed early because he's the product of a seriously unpopular trade. The Mets easily could have acquired a catcher without wasting Lasto. No way to candy coat it with hope against hope. The only way Church really works is if Gomez plays right against lefties, and that would probably not be the best for Gomez's development providing that he is even still around.

    F-Mart would be missed maybe but as long as one of the two outfielders is still around, I can live with it. No way the trade gets made without Guera being included. Still I'd be just as happy if the Mets stuck to their guns and insisted the Twins take Gomez. Then again, the Mets could just sign Livan to a one year contract and get over it already! We are talking about replacing Glavine not Tom Seaver.

    I stand by yesterday's boring off season comment. I cannot think of one other off season that had as this little action, at least dating back to M. Donald Grant.

    1:01 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That Martinez comment is a joke. Melky is a joke. That is just a perfect case of a writer being a crappy write. NO ONE IN BASEBALL is on the same page as him.

    He is decent against lefties, which is the point, no? He is going to be more valuable that most outfielders this year and I think he gets a boost from being on the Mets and in Shea.

    As for the pressure on him, I said if the Mets are winning, he has less pressure for sure. If the Mets get off to a bad start and he is struggling, it could get ugly. Let us all hope it does not come to that.

    Gomez needs to play everyday. If a platoon does happen, use Easley who kills lefties.

    This off-season has been bad for sure.

    1:33 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    church is a everyday player with a hole in his swing. his numbers are skewed because he played on a shit team in a stadium that is hard to hit him.

    schneider is an everyday catcher. he isnt what mets fans are used in terms of offense, but he cant be worse than loduca was last year.

    if they can get johan with martinez, we've gotta keep gomez. both are gonna be real good and cheap.

    jennings @ 1 yr $4m? we couldve did that!!!!

    1:59 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Church will be fine. I like what he did the last 4 months of 2008, those numbers are better than his overall numbers. He's also a good outfielder, with a pretty decent arm.

    Maybe the Twins don't want to make the deal because know-nothing writers are constantly harping about the apparent lower quality of the Mets offer. Their GM is a first year guy, and may be hesitating for that reason.

    Help me folks, I'm having M. Donald Grant flashbacks. As bad as this off-season has been, at least we aren't back to the days when Shea was called 'Grant's Tomb'.

    2:27 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    You know, for some reason I never took a look at video of Ryan Church. After spending about 20 minutes looking at him, his swing reminds me of Mike Jacobs only a little quicker.
    His swings has a little "umph" to it and he should be hitting for homeruns than he is.
    I mean he goes from RFK to Shea Stadium so that's not fun but, power for lefties is not too shabby at Shea.
    I'm going to predict here in the month of January, 25 homeruns or very close to it.

    2:29 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    One other thing. The Mets won everything in '69 with a guy named Grote as their catcher. Defense is underrated behind the plate. All Schneider has to do is hit .245 or so, and it will be an upgrade over PLD.

    2:29 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Benny, you are the MAN!

    2:29 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ossy, I would much prefer to keep F-Mart as I think he is a safer bet.

    That Jennings deal was nuts. Nuts. That is a great deal.

    Sidd, that is a good point. Smith probably does not want a tremendous backlash in his first season, but life it tough. He needs to do what is best for his team.

    If that Lester/Lowrie/Crisp/Masterson deal is truly on the table, I have no idea why he has not taken it. The Hughes and spare parts deal is shit, but the Red Sox deal was solid.

    Schneider shold be able to hit .245 and walk a bit. Everything will be good in Queens, but right now, I can understand why so many people are down.

    Benny, 25 sounds about right. 65 XBHs and solid defense. I think people will be really happy with him.

    2:54 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Watching more video of Church he seems to have pretty good plate discipline. He takes very close pitches for balls with no problem. But his problem is just... missing the ball. He does have a long swing.
    Against lefties he seems to have the same aproach, he goes opposite field, I don't wanna say he pokes it but they're line drives to LF, he becomes Luis Castillo against lefties.

    Hurray for MLB.TV during the off-season!

    3:03 PM

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