2013 Positional Comparison: Yankees vs. Mets (Infielders)

There will soon be just four teams left vying for the ultimate goal in baseball, the Commissioner’s Trophy, and neither New York baseball team even sniffed it as both the Yankees (85-77) and Mets (74-88) had disappointing seasons. I’m going to compare how they stacked up statistically position-by-position but before that, let me clear one thing up.

The Yankees were plagued with injuries this year but going in to the 2013 season, they were a title contender. For them to have an 85-win season with a bunch of backup players was a miracle in itself. Going in, the over/under on wins for the Yankees was 88.5 according to the LVH Sportsbook – so they were close, but not quite as good as expected.

The Mets won 74 games with a team that no one expected to compete in the NL East and to be honest, how many Mets fans expected them to win that many games? According to LVH Sportsbook, the Mets over/under was set at 74.5, so they were pretty spot on. They had a glorified AAA baseball team despite a record that was 14 games under .500.

So here we have the statistical comparison for each position on the field by the player who started the most games at said position.

Catcher – Mets > Yankees

  • Chris Stewart, NYY – In 108 games behind the plate, Stewart hit .211 with 4 HR and 25 RBI and for someone who is supposed to be a solid defensive catcher, his 12 passed balls were second-worst in baseball.
  • John Buck, NYM – Prior to being shipped to Pittsburgh, Buck his .215 with 15 HR and 60 RBI for the Mets in 101 games, pretty solid numbers despite the low average.

First Base – Yankees > Mets

  • Lyle Overbay, NYY – In 130 games, the veteran Overbay did alright for the Bombers, hitting .244 with 14 HR and 59 RBI. He was inserted in once Mark Teixeira was injured and filled in adequately despite putting up non-Teixeira numbers.
  • Ike Davis, NYM – No one in Queens liked Ike and his demotion to AAA during the season was the icing on that cake, but he did start 96 games at 1B, winding up with a .205 average to go along with 9 HR and 33 RBI, not your prototypical stats for a first baseman.

Second Base – Yankees > Mets

  • Robinson Cano, NYY – Now seeking a 10-year deal worth around $300 million, Cano had yet another big season even though he was the only real threat in their lineup. A .314 average with 27 HR and 107 RBI is better than his career averages (.309, 23 HR, 91 RBI) but he was a bright spot all year.
  • Daniel Murphy, NYM – Murphy did what many Mets fans expected him to do, put together a solid year. He hit .286 to go along with 38 doubles, 13 HR and 78 RBI. He should be a staple in the middle of the lineup for years to come.

Third Base – Mets > Yankees

  • Jayson Nix, NYY – The leader in games played with 41, third base was a revolving door for the Yankees all year thanks to A-Rod’s injury and hilarity that ensued. Overall, he his .236 with 3 HR and 24 RBI while shuffling his way around the infield.
  • David Wright, NYM – Wright hit .307 with 18 HR and 58 RBI but was limited to 111 games thanks to a hamstring injury but still put up respectable numbers but not Wright-esque numbers.

Shortstop – Yankees > Mets

  • Eduardo Nunez, NYY – I speak for a ll Yankees fans when I say that I hold my breath whenever a ball is hit towards Nunez, but he fielded only .953. He put up sub-par offensive numbers at the plate (.260, 3 HR, 28 RBI). Jeter has big shoes to fill and Nunez struggled to find that out.
  • Omar Quintanilla, NYM – His .978 fielding percentage would have placed him 10th in MLB had he played enough games – in other words, he made the plays. His bat was non-existent, hitting just .222 with 2 HR and 21 RBI.

I give the edge (slightly) to the Yankees but only due to the fact that Ike Davis struggled after despite the hope that he would thrive this season as he under-performed compared to his veteran counterpart to the north. As long as Cano is in pinstripes (hopefully for another 7 years), the Yankees should win this battle. Wright will get the edge at third base when/if A-Rod comes back while the Yankees should win the shortstop battle for another year if Jeter can get and stay healthy. Behind the plate, it’s a crapshoot now that Buck is out of Queens and the Yankees situation remains in limbo.

I’ll tell you who didn’t win…the fans.

(Outfield and Pitching Staff comparisons coming soon.)

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