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Comparing the 2018 New York Mets to John Mayberry, Jr.

Shea Home Run Apple by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Comparing the 2018 New York Mets to John Mayberry, Jr.

Estimated Reading Time: 7 Minutes

I have struggled to find the words to describe this trash fire of a baseball team we have ourselves in Queens. I have written a thousand words if I’ve written one, only to delete the entire thing as the Mets sunk to deeper levels of stink.

How do I accurately describe this team that keeps getting worse? What’s a solid metaphor for the 2018 New York Mets? And then like a flash of lightning, it hit me.

The 2018 New York Mets are comprised of 25 John Mayberry, Jrs. 

I have often discussed John Mayberry Jr.’s short stint with the Mets, mainly using it as a mile marker for the 2015 season. The week before the Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes, John Mayberry Jr. a journeyman outfielder who played 7 seasons in the MLB was slotted into the 5th spot in the Mets lineup. How did he earn that honor? Not with his numbers, that’s for sure. John Mayberry, Jr. was hitting .165 prior to that game, racking up 18 hits in 110 at-bats. The former Phillies outfielder appeared in only 59 games that season for the Mets, and this 59th would be his last.

John Mayberry, Jr. played his last game in the Majors as the cleanup hitter for the National League Championship New York Mets.

He wasn’t always terrible. In fact, he had a few bright spots in his career. In his 5 and half years with the Philadelphia Phillies, Mayberry had two years where he did alright, including his .273 effort in 2011 and his 108 hits in 2012. Mayberry was never going to be Ryan Howard or Jayson Werth(less), but he was a decent guy for what those teams were: solid competitors with depth.

At the end of his career John Mayberry, Jr. averaged .235 at the plate, 16 home runs, 23 doubles, 93 hits, and 51 RBIs a season.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the current New York Mets starting lineup and see whether or not each player is better than John Mayberry, Jr.

Buckle. Up.

For the sake of comparison, we’re going to use Mayberry’s 162 game average through 66 games, or 41% of the season. We’re keeping it at an even playing field, people. Sound good? Good. Let’s dive in.

Brandon Nimmo

.258, 9 HRs, 8 2Bs, 41 Hits, 16 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: Yes.

Of course, Nimmo is better than JMJ. Nimmo has been a shining light in the dark, horrid, stinking, mess of a black hole of this 2018 Mets season. There was a time when it was being tossed around that Nimmo might be the odd man out, but now he’s the lynchpin of this team. At times it feels like Nimmo’s the only thing going right with this team.

When Nimmo first came into the organization there were high hopes about his future, and just when we began to settle in with Conforto and Rosario, Nimmo has shown us what the first round pick has to offer this squad and if he’s not involved with the club’s future, we’re in big trouble. We might not have been looking for him, but we’ve found Nimmo.

Michael Conforto

.214, 8 HRs, 5 2Bs, 41 Hits, 17 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: No.

I never said this was going to be fun you guys. When it comes down to the numbers, Mayberry takes it 3-2. Conforto has struggled to find his 2017 level of play so far this season, and it’s beginning to grate on the young outfielder. After Friday’s loss to the Diamondbacks, SNY’s Steve Gelbs asked Mickey Calloway if he thought guys were “trying to do too much.”

Calloway said he didn’t think so, and while I trust my dad on a lot of things, I don’t buy that. I especially don’t buy that when it comes to Conforto. On a team desperate for a leader, Conforto’s struggling to find himself amidst rumors of his demotion to Triple-AAA. Conforto was the first sign of hope for the Mets late in 2015 and he’s gotta find himself soon or he’ll be set adrift down the Long Island Sound.

Asdrubal Cabrera

.268, 11 HRs, 16 2Bs, 67 Hits, 36 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: DUH.

Asdrubal Cabrera is the best player on the Mets squad who isn’t named deGrom, Syndergaard or Lugo. For a guy who seemingly asked to be traded than play second base, Cabrera’s turning it on this season. If Cabrera were to continue playing at his current level, he’ll be on his way to putting up his best season since his 2009 and 2011 seasons, the latter snagging him an All-Star selection. If there’s a Mets aside from their starters that deserves to go to Washington to represent this team, it’s Cabby. No question.

Todd Frazier

.221, 7 HRs, 6 2Bs, 33 Hits, 25 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: No, but it’s close.

In a similar scenario to Conforto, Frazier doesn’t pass the Mayberry line, falling short in 3 of our 5 stats.

Frazier has simply not been the same since 2015, when he left the Cincinnati Reds. That’s also something you can say about Jay Bruce. The Toddfather has seen a drop in his numbers across the board since leaving the Great American Ballpark, but that might not be his fault. If you have guys like Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in front of you, you’re gonna see some good pitches.

Frazier did see good pitches and did a lot of damage from the 5 spot, but he has only hit in that spot in 12 games for the Mets. During that span his numbers are better, he’s producing and he’s in a spot where he can do damage.

In the 2 spot? His numbers pale in comparison. #BatFlavaFifth

Jay Bruce

.216, 3 HRs, 12 2Bs, 45 Hits, 17 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: No, but it’s close yet again!

Bruce. I would love for you to reintroduce yourself, mainly to reset expectations. As I mentioned with Frazier, Bruce was able to hit in a lineup that featured some solid offensive players in front of him, mainly the Greek God of Getting On Base, Joey Votto. So it’s no wonder that Bruce hasn’t had the same success in a Mets uniform that he did as a Cincinnati Red.

One of the lesser known Jay Bruce stats is possibly the most important. Did you know that Jay Bruce is horrible at Citi Field?

Dominic Smith

.333, 1 HRs, 1 2Bs, 4 Hits, 1 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: N/A

The kid just got here. He’ll be fine., just needs to see some pitches, get some at-bats. Smith is the future. If he wasn’t, they wouldn’t have released Adrian Gonzalez.

Devin Mesoraco

.203, 10 HRs, 4 2Bs, 30 Hits, 20 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: No.

I did my man Devin a solid here. Since he only has 74 at-bats, I doubled his numbers since Mayberry would have had 139 ABs through 66 games.

Even when I help him out, it’s still not the same. The only matchup where Mesoraco is favored is Home Runs, but there’s a catch(er). Mesoraco has only hit double-digit home runs one other time in his career. So here’s hoping that he makes it 2 times in his career.

Amed Rosario

.239, 4 HRs, 9 2Bs, 51 Hits, 19 RBIs

Mayberry – .237, 6 HRs, 9 2Bs, 37 Hits, and 20 RBIs

Better than John Mayberry, Jr?: Yes…. but it’s a tie.

I’m just as shocked as you guys. In what world are Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier miss the infamous Mayberry line, but Amed Rosario does? This world! This world we’re living in! The thing to note about Rosario’s 2018 is not that he’s eclipsed the incredible John Mayberry, Jr., it’s his pitch recognition at the plate.

In 2017, Rosario had 165 at-bats and struck out 49 times. The young prospect struggled to adjust to big league pitching. Time and time again pitchers would pull the string on Rosario and by the time he realized it wasn’t a fastball, it was too late. The young stud was showing his youth.

2018 has been a different story, approaching 220 at-bats, Rosario has struck out 45 times, a vast improvement from last year. Rosario has also matched his offensive numbers from last year and has taken twice as many walks. Rosario has taken leaps and bounds towards his potential. He’s becoming the star we always knew he could have been.

Final Results

3 Players have better numbers than John Mayberry, Jr.

4 players have worse numbers than John Mayberry, Jr.

1 player is Dominic Smith.

The long and the short of this experiment is that the Mets need to find out who’s real and who’s fake. In 2015 when they made their run to the World Series, the Mets hit a turning point where every player stepped up. Each guy became who we thought they could be. That team became mythical. These Mets are miserable. And they are no better than a team full of John Mayberry, Jrs.

Perhaps my bringing JMJr up and using him as a comparison is to rekindle the spirit of 2015. Maybe I’m trying to bring him up to revive the 2018 Mets. I don’t know. All I know is I’m sad and the Yankees are very good.

I’m really hoping this John Mayberry, Jr. Voodoo doll thing works.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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