The Mets are seven games under .500 three-plus years into the tenure of the current front office, so maybe it was inevitable that someone got fired. And with 252 runs scored, the offense is middle of the pack (ninth in the National League by runs per game). Hitting coach Dave Hudgens made an easy target for someone in the Mets’ organization. But was it the right move?
That’s a hard question to answer. But by focusing on the peripherals of the team, and perhaps even the career of Lucas Duda, who played all but a hundred or so of his plate appearances under the tutelage of Hudgens, maybe we can try to evaluate the move.
In some ways, focusing on results understates the problem. Yes, the Mets are middle of the pack in runs, but their underlying numbers are worse. Their weighted runs created — calculated by weighting each offensive event according to its impact on the game in the past — is 11% worse than league average and near the bottom of the National League. They walk more than any team in the big leagues, but with that walk rate has come a high strikeout rate (sixth-worst)… and none of the power that usually comes with taking pitches. The Mets have the second-worst slugging numbers in the National League.
Of course, the hitting coach can only work on the process, he can’t hit the ball. Research suggests that the major axis between hitting coaches is between those that preach patience and those that preach aggressiveness.
Print This Post