The Mets Have the Most Productive Outfield in Baseball?
According to multiple beat writers, Mets GM Sandy Alderson called the Mets outfield, “the most productive outfield in baseball.”
Edit: the full quote from Alderson: ”We’ve taken what seemed to be a fairly barren outfield at the beginning of the season and turned it over the last month into maybe the most productive outfield in baseball.”
According to Fangraphs WAR, the Mets have the second-best outfield in baseball in the July (3.4) WAR as a unit trailing only the Tampa Bay Rays (4 WAR). Yeah, I was surprised too. No other team is above three WAR in that span.
For what it’s worth, about a third of the Mets’ outfield value in the last month comes from a measure of their defense (6.4 runs) and baserunning (4.1 runs). Measuring defense over small sample sizes is really, really dicey. That defensive value of +6.4 is third-best in baseball. It passes a smell test – Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. do appear to cover a lot of ground – but I’m skeptical of the accuracy and predictive value of such measurements.
Including only offensive performances, the Mets are fourth in wRC+ (behind only the Rays, Angels and essentially even with the Dodgers). By wOBA, the Mets are seventh in the last 30 days (trailing the Angles, Reds, Blue Jays, Rays, Red Sox, and Nationals). The Mets accomplished this with an .364 outfield BABIP that accompanied a walk rate (8.8%) and an isolated slugging percentage (.156) hanging around MLB average for outfields.