The New York Mets have been quite busy this winter, but the team from Queens is not done adding just yet. In need for depth in the outfield and right-handed hitting, the Mets had been rumored to be on the likes of Andrew McCutchen and Trey Mancini. Both, however, are off the board. Now, it appears the Mets have filled that hole. Per reports, the Mets have reportedly agreed with outfielder Tommy Pham on a one-year deal worth $6 million. Here’s a look at how Pham fits in with the Mets.
A Look at Pham
Former Rays and Padres outfielder Tommy Pham is set to join the Mets after the 2022 campaign in which the Nevada native hit .236/.312/.374 with 17 home runs and 41 extra base hits in 144 games. Last season marked the fifth time in Pham’s career in which he has hit double digits in home runs.
Pham’s numbers were not spectacular last season, as was the case in both 2020 & 2021. The former Cardinals draft pick was one of the league’s more impressive outfielders at the plate between 2017-2019, as Pham posted three 20+ home run and two 25+ stolen base campaigns. Things, however, have not went well for Pham since the end of the 2019 campaign.
To illustrate, here’s an overview of Pham’s stats from 2020-22, as compared to his figures from 2017-19:
- 2017-19: .284/.381/.475, 65 HR, 148 XBH in 1,754 PA
- 2020-22: .231/.324/.372, 35 HR, 87 XBH in 1,308 PA
It’s not hyperbole to say that Pham was one of the game’s best outfielders from 2017-19. Pham posted an .856 OPS over that span, a figure that was 36th-best out of 234 players with min. 1,000 PA and one that only 12 other outfielders bested. Since then, Pham has performed below league-average.
Still, advanced analytics indicate that there’s still a lot to like about the new Mets outfielder. Pham has recorded Hard Hit% rates north of 45% — remember, the MLB average is about 36% — in each of the last three seasons, and still draws plenty of walks. Pham is one of the game’s more patient hitters, as his career Swing% is about eight percentage points below league-average.
Pham’s speed and arm strengths metrics were both above league-average last season, but his overall defensive metrics have gone south. Since the start of 2019, Pham possesses a cumulative Outs Above Average of -23.
What it Means
Prior to the agreement with Pham, the Mets outfield already had three starters Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, and Starling Marte. However, New York did ideally need a fourth outfielder, as well as a hitter that can help platoon at DH alongside Daniel Vogelbach. The Mets’ only other full-time outfielder on the 40-man roster aside from the three previously mentioned was Khalil Lee.
Pham can check both boxes, particularly the latter. The 34-year-old’s career splits against lefties (.276/.392/.450) are rather solid, and his approach at the plate should benefit a Mets team that proved it can produce runs in bunches last season. On a one-year deal, it’s a relatively low-risk move for a group that spent plenty this winter.