Monday, April 23, 2012

Mets Patient Approach At The Plate Is Paying Off

There is something a little different about the Mets offense this season.  They've taken a very different approach at the plate than in years past.  This different approach has the team taking more pitches, working deeper counts and at least to this point its paying off.

Entering play today the Mets boast a .257 batting average, admittedly a few points lower than last season.  However, that's good for fourth in the National League and ninth in all of baseball.  Even better, the team has worked its way to a .332 on-base percentage, which is the third best mark in the National League and either best overall.  The positive vibes don't end there either.

By seeing more pitches, the Mets have worked their way into hitter's counts.  One obvious result is better power numbers.  To date, the team has averaged a home run per game.  Despite the fact that these stats represent a small sample size, that's significantly better than the .667 home runs per game they averaged over last season.

The Mets entered the season with what was considered a formidable offense.  However, they had certain handicaps to overcome as well.  The departure of Jose Reyes and the trade of Angel Pagan left the club with little team speed.  Therefore, it has been far more difficult for the team to manufacture runs this season.  This, and the current lack of inexperience on the roster could have aligned to negatively impact the start of the year.

However, to date the Mets's approach at the plate can claim at least partial responsibility for their 8-6 record.  Their collective patience have provided timely hits, and a budding confidence at what might just be possible this season.  Its early, and in an NL East that appears strong from top to bottom, nothing could be taken for granted anyway.  But the Mets are in the thick of it thus far, a place few folks "in the know" predicted them to be.  Will they keep it up?  Who knows...but right now its paying off.