March 23, 2009
Amazin’ Avenue: The Tao of Ryan Church
by: Tino Evangelou on Mar 23, 2009 10:23 PM | Filed under: News

Over at Amazin’ Avenue, Meddler takes a closer look at Ryan Church and what the Mets can expect from him this season. Turns out that if you’re counting on the pre-concussed, All-Star caliber Ryan Church to show up for all of 2009, you’ll probably be sorely disappointed:

The fact is, Church has always been an incredibly “streaky” hitter.  The variance between his good months and his bad months is about as large as you’ll find with a major league hitter.  In his good months, he looks like an MVP candidate, and in his bad months, he looks like he belongs in Triple A.  His hot start to 2008 was hardly an outlier in this scheme.  He’s had hot stretches like that before (May-June 2005, April and September 2006, April and September 2007), and he’s never been able to sustain them for more than a month or two at a time.  He nearly always regresses, falling to a sub-.600 OPS for a month in both 2005 and 2007.  Obviously, with the concussions, its impossible to know if he would have managed to finally sustain his hot streak in 2008, but looking at this, I have less faith than I want to.

The breakdown shows wild variation in Church from month to month that almost always add up to the Ryan Church that we saw in Montreal and Washington, an okay-ish hitting corner outfielder with a nice glove. The article also discusses the prospects for Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis, who are projected in the same neighborhood as Church. If the left field job is really Dan Murphy’s, it’ll be interesting to see how playing time breaks down between the three, and whether it will be an area the Mets will be looking (or scrambling) to improve during the season.

Also of note: Mike Newman of Baseball Handyman wrote a similar piece that I didn’t catch until I already wrote this up, but it bears repeating that expecting the Ryan Church of last April and May to show up for a full season would be, as he puts it, blind faith.

One Response to “Amazin’ Avenue: The Tao of Ryan Church”

  1. Comment posted by pj on March 24, 2009 at 4:56 am (#940661)

    see also: every post by LFM

    can you also find an article about how brian schneider is a poor hitter and his defense is not as adroit as advertised?

    i suspect there is an article somewhere on the advanced age of luis castillo’s knees relative to the rest of his body.

    we r doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomedededed