The Mets' outfield is off to a decent start

Mike Stobe

The Mets' outfield wasn't supposed to be any good, but they're off to a decent start.

The Mets' outfield was supposed to be woefully bad. It was the butt of jokes throughout the offseason and was projected, perhaps unfairly, to be one of the worst in the league. With approximately ten percent of the season in the books, it's a good time to check in on their performance.

In 250 plate appearances, Mets outfielders have hit .243/.332/.413, 16th in baseball through Sunday. Their .745 OPS is just a tick off the .747 league average for outfielders. They've drawn the seventh most walks in the majors, although they've also accumulated the sixth most strikeouts. Their eight home runs, five of which are from Lucas Duda, are tied for tenth. An outfield with league-average production at the plate is better than most people expected.

Name PA H HR BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG
Lucas Duda 61 12 5 24.6 % 24.6 % .386 .273 .475 .659
Jordany Valdespin 42 11 0 4.8 % 19.0 % .077 .282 .333 .359
Marlon Byrd 58 14 1 3.4 % 29.3 % .148 .259 .293 .407
Mike Baxter 32 6 0 18.8 % 12.5 % .040 .240 .375 .280
Collin Cowgill 40 8 2 0.0 % 27.5 % .175 .200 .200 .375
Kirk Nieuwenhuis 17 2 0 5.9 % 47.1 % .063 .125 .176 .188

Duda has been the team's everyday left fielder since Opening Day, but all five of the team's other outfielders are flawed. Baxter is probably the best of the bunch, and the Mets should give him more of an opportunity. Nieuwenhuis needs to figure out a way to not strike out nearly every other at bat, but he might get that opportunity if he's demoted in favor of Juan Lagares today.

Valdespin is making it happen with his legs this year with four infield hits and three stolen bases, but he's yet to hit a home run. Byrd has been neither spectacular nor terrible, and Cowgill is off to a rough start.

The Mets' outfield is holding its own despite its holes. We'll see the first patch applied in the person of Juan Lagares, and if Lucas Duda can continue to punish baseballs, perhaps the outfield can be more of a strength than a weakness for the Mets' overall offense.

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