It's 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside my window as we in the New York area wait to see whether we're merely going to get half a foot, or more than a foot, of snow this weekend. The Mets hot stove is barely embers and no one seems inclined to go outside to gather more wood right now.With no trades or free agent signings to warm up to, thankfully the MLB Network is running a By The Numbers
series (check your local listings). I watched last night and one stat they provided jumped out at me. There was a tie in 2009 atop the list of batting average with runners in scoring position (BARISP).Coming in at a lofty .373 were Yunel Escobar of the Atlanta Braves and Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins. That two young NL East shortstops led the NL in BARISP last year did not make my hopes for the 2010 Mets grow. For both .373 was the highest BARISP of their careers and well above their career averages however.
That got me thinking, how has Jose Reyes done in his career with BARISP? In his 4 full seasons (2005-2008), he has batted .273, .336, .259 and .277 in those situations. To be fair to Jose, he's a leadoff hitter and those other gentlemen are not, so let's not expect Jose to match his division mates in this category. But this may give pause to anyone thinking of moving Jose down in the order.I hope you're sitting down, because I'm about to reveal the 2009 Mets leader in BARISP. Comfy? OK, here goes. Luis Castillo at .325 led the Mets. That was good for 12th in the NL. Another interesting thing leaps off the page at me.Of the top 12 NL BARISP hitters, Castillo had both the highest line drive percentage (LD%) at 22.7% and
the highest ground ball percentage (GB%) at 58.6%. So take pride Luis, you outdid Escobar, Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Michael Bourn, Chris Coghlan, Joey Votto, Brian McCann, Pedro Feliz, Chipper Jones, Miguel Tejada and Ryan Braun in LD% and GB%. Kudos maligned one.
Second on the 2009 Mets in BARISP was David Wright at .309. This made a bit more sense to me. But just when I was feeling good I glanced over at the batting average on balls in play (BABIP) category and saw that Wright's BABIP in 2009 was .394, by far the highest of his career and also the highest in the NL. History tells us that he can't sustain a BABIP that high (in his previous full seasons of 2005-2008 his BABIP was .340, .344, .356 and .321 respectively). It remains to be seen how that will affect his other statistics, but a decrease in batting average would not be a shock if his BABIP returns to it's normal range.Second on the 2009 Mets in BABIP was Castillo at .338, also the highest number of his career but not off the charts compared to his previous 4 years in which it was .317, .324, .329 (2007 w/Minn.), .319 (2007 w/NYM) and .268.What does this all mean? To me it means the Mets aren't doing anything noteworthy or at least nothing factual on the transaction front and I needed something to think about. What does it mean for you the reader? It means you have something to print out, then throw on the fire to keep warm, or put under your pets in lieu of taking them outside for nature's call. Now excuse me while I put my hands back in my pockets. It's freezing!