Jason Bay is gone, Scott Hairston’s return – at best – is up in the air and the Mets are extremely unlikely to add a big-time free agent. Which means that all of the stars have aligned for Mike Baxter to be a starting outfielder for the club in 2013.
I think most people are in agreement that Baxter is a solid fourth outfielder and nice pinch-hitting option but hardly a guy you want to count on for 150 starts in a season. So, let’s see if we can talk ourselves into this move. Or at the very least not be disgusted by the thought.
In 2012, Baxter was terrific as a pinch-hitter but far less successful when he was give a shot at regular playing time. Here are his splits:
Starter – .224/.317/.367 in 167 PA
As sub – .438/.545/.625 in 44 PA
It’s almost hard to wrap our heads around how good Baxter was coming off the bench last year. Of course, a .538 BABIP will tend to make the rest of your stats look good. But even dismissing that for a second, Baxter had six doubles in 32 ABs as ...