The Mets’ offense was a prime culprit in the team’s disappointing 77-85 record last year—not to mention its work in forcing Jacob deGrom to struggle to cross the 10-win plateau in his historic Cy Young season.
Yesterday, the Mets continued an active offseason by signing an offensive-minded catcher in Wilson Ramos to a reasonable contract. Ramos joins 36-year-old Robinson Cano as prominent additions this offseason to a lineup that showed improvement late in the 2018 season. And perhaps even more importantly, his addition did not involve the sacrificing of any of the Mets’ burgeoning young core—Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario—as had been rumored in in potential trades for J.T. Realmuto.
So, with Cano & Ramos in tow, let’s take a look at what a potential 2019 Mets lineup might look like as the team is currently constituted—with the understanding that the roster might not be finalized, and Brodie Van Wagenen seems thus far to be the type to remain active. Below is a potential lineup with each player’s 2018 slash line and wRC+:
- CF Brandon Nimmo .263/.404/.483, 149 wRC+
- LF Jeff McNeil .329/.381/.471, 137 wRC+
- RF Michael Conforto .243/.350/.448, 120 wRC+
- C Wilson Ramos .306/.358/.487, 131 wRC+
- 2B Robinson Cano .303/.374/.471, 136 wRC+
- 1B Peter Alonso .241/.318/.458, 113 wRC+ (2019 Steamer projection)
- 3B Todd Frazier .213/.303/.390, 93 wRC+
- SS Amed Rosario .256/.295/.381, 85 wRC+
Only Frazier (with his career-worst 93 wRC+) and Rosario (who recorded a 116 wRC+ over his final 209 plate appearances) would be below average in this accounting. Of course, if the Mets aren’t comfortable with Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto in center field, that would currently make Juan Lagares the primary center fielder, which could look more like this:
- LF Brandon Nimmo
- SS Amed Rosario
- RF Michael Conforto
- C Wilson Ramos
- 2B Robinson Cano
- 1B Peter Alonso
- 3B Jeff McNeil/Todd Frazier
- CF Juan Lagares
Jeff McNeil is certainly a bit of a wild card since the acquisition of Cano—the hope being that he’ll be worked into the lineup around the field in a Zobristian manner. Or, if the Mets have at least one more medium-to-large splurge in their offseason budget, an outfielder could push Lagares to the bench (and potentially Frazier, if McNeil takes over third) and give the Mets the deepest and most dangerous lineup they’ve featured in some time.