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Mets Stat of the Day: The best spring hitters of 2013

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Who were the Mets' best hitters during spring training last year? And did the quality of pitching they face matter?

USA TODAY Sports

The first spring training game is upon us. The Mets will start their 2014 campaign against the Washington Nationals at 1 PM today. It's a good time to look back at the best performers from last spring. But, before looking at which Mets had the best pure hitting numbers, let's consider the quality of pitching they had to face. Baseball-Reference has an opponent quality statistic that gives value to the opposing pitchers faced in a spring game.

The scale to measure quality of pitchers is based on the professional level their opponent played in the previous season.

10: MLB
8: AAA
7: AA
5: High A (California, Carolina)
4: Other full-season A
1.5 to 3: Rookie, short-season
1: Opposing hitter is a pitcher

Interestingly, all qualified Mets with at least 60 plate appearances last spring faced pretty decent competition, with Collin Cowgill leading the pack, owning an impressive .950 OPS versus 9.1 OppQual.

2013 Spring Training Hitting Leaders (sorted by OPS)*

Player OppQual PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Collin Cowgill 9.1 70 0.306 0.386 0.565 0.950
Lucas Duda 9.3 63 0.271 0.317 0.593 0.911
Jordany Valdespin 9.2 70 0.323 0.371 0.538 0.910
Zach Lutz 9.0 72 0.317 0.389 0.429 0.817
Mike Baxter 8.9 60 0.178 0.367 0.267 0.633

*At least 60 plate appearances