I stumbled upon a YouTube video from MLB Network, were Scott Braun explained how important outfield defense is. Especially from the CF position. You can see the video below.
As Scott Braun mentioned, teams with good OF defense, makes it to the promise land. While it’s obvious it’s not the only reason those teams make it to the playoffs. However, it can not be all coincidence.
So with that in mind. Let’s take a look at how the Mets outfield defense faired according to OAA.
Brandon Nimmo: We start with our main center fielder in Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo was atrocious in center field as he was in the worst 2 percent in the league. He had a minus 4 in CF, with a limited year. All his negative OAA came when he went back on balls. Before 2020 Nimmo was able to be an average CFder. However, that was in a part time role. CF defense clear spot the Mets need to improve. JBJ? Springer? Trade for Kiermaier? All possibilities.
Michael Conforto: Although lots of people thought Conforto was a good right fielder. According to OAA, he was not. Conforto was even worse in RF than Nimmo was in CF. Conforto had a terrible minus 5 in RF, -4 going back to balls and -1 going in on balls. His burst and routes were below average and routes is something has been an issue for him his whole career. However in 2019, Conforto was a plus 7 in right, which is great. Let’s hope his full season RF numbers return and his routes improve.
Jeff McNeil: Jeff McNeil will most likely man second, but did play some left field in 2020. He was the only one to get a positive OAA, as he collected a plus 1 in left. However, in 2019 he had a minus 2, so we can say he is an average LFder at best.
Dom Smith: Smith was also a negative defender in the outfield. He collected a minus 2, as he also had trouble going back on balls.
With this outfield currently on the roster (plus Herredia). It’s clear the Mets need some improvements. Mainly CF, to put Nimmo in left, were he thrives and improve CF defense. That with the hope of Conforto returning to his 2019 RF days.