According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the New York Mets are keeping a close eye on the available left handed hitting free agent outfielders; Juan Pierre, Raul Ibanez, Rick Ankiel, Kosuke Fukudome and Johnny Damon:
While it is still a bit unclear as to what role any of the above mentioned players will serve on the team, I can only assume it to be as a back-up center fielder or late inning defensive replacement for Lucas Duda. Keeping that in mind, the names that intrigue me the most are Rick Ankiel and Juan Pierre. Although Pierre has not played a game in center field since 2009 (he played left field each of the last two seasons for the Chicago White Sox) and there is not doubt in my mind he could still handle the position. A lifetime .296 hitter, the 34-year-old free agent batted .279 last season while stealing 27 bases — his lowest total since becoming an everyday player in 2001 — with a .329 on base percentage last season.
Unlike Pierre — who is more of a contact hitter — Ankiel could provide some pop of the bench. The 32-year-old free agent hit .239, with nine home runs and 37 runs batted in over 380 at-bats for the Washington Nationals in 2011. Here is what Nationals beat writer Adam Kilgore had to say about Ankiel back in November:
Well-liked by teammates, Ankiel became part of the clubhouse’s bedrock. He played frequently exhilarating defense, changing several games with his arm, perhaps the strongest outfield arm in baseball. Fighting injuries and sometimes inconsistent playing time, Ankiel endured some dismal stretches at the plate. But he could also get hot – from the start of July through mid-August, Ankiel hit .320 and blasted a home run once every 17 at-bats”
Powered by Facebook Comments