The New York Mets finished 2016 with a record of 87-75 and lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The 2016 season saw the Mets make their ninth playoff appearance in franchise history. The team received valuable contributions from various players over the course of the season. Last Word On Baseball writer John Jackson will count down the top ten most valuable Mets on a weekly basis. He will also analyze the value they brought to the team this past season. Number 10 was Steven Matz, number nine was Neil Walker, number eight was Jacob deGrom, number seven was Curtis Granderson, number six was Asdrubal Cabrera, number five was Jeurys Familia, and number four is Addison Reed.
Top Ten Most Valuable Mets of 2016
4. Addison Reed
The Mets decided to take a flier on Addison Reed near the end of 2015. Reed was a typical August acquisition; a reliever with a 4.20 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. While he didn’t seem to be much of an impact player at the time of the trade, he rewarded the Mets with outstanding pitching. He had a 1.17 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 15.1 innings the rest of the way. He then gave up only one run in his first 6.2 innings of the playoffs. Unfortunately, he gave up five runs (four earned) in Game Five of the World Series.
Barring that last game, what Addison Reed did in 2015 was amazing. The Mets held on to him for 2016 and he once again rewarded their decision.
Reed’s first four months were repetitive. In April, he gave up five runs; in May, he gave up no runs; in June, he gave up five runs; in July, he gave up no runs.
Since Reed was not a closer, he didn’t collect any closely-followed stats, such as saves. However, he was collecting holds as the setup man to Jeurys Familia. He picked up six, four, six, and 10 holds in each of the first four months.
Reed was consistent and reliable. He only gave up 10 runs in his first 51 games (49.2 innings).
Nothing much changed in these three months. In August, he gave up four runs in 13 innings for a 2.77 ERA. It only his second month with a WHIP over 1.00, as he had a total of 18 walks and hits in the 13 innings. He also picked up two of his four wins in the month, as well as another five holds.
He had a great September, as he gave up four runs (three earned) in 14 innings, good for a 1.93 ERA. All three runs came in one game, which resulted in his fourth and final blown save of the regular season. Luckily, the Mets were able to salvage a win. New York did a lot of winning in September and went 12-3 in games Reed appeared in. Reed reached 39 holds at the end of the month, as he picked up eight more holds.
Reed appeared in two games in October and impressed in both. On October 1, Reed pitched a perfect inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. That game gave him his 40th hold of the season and lowered his ERA from 2.00 to 1.97. It was a proper way to cap off a terrific regular season. He then appeared in the eighth inning of the Wild Card game and loaded the bases with two outs. He was able to get Hunter Pence to strike out swinging and keep the game scoreless. Familia later gave up a three-run home run and the Mets lost, but Reed showed the calm, dominant demeanor which he displayed time and again all season.
Addison Reed ended his 2016 season with a 4-2 record, accompanied by a 1.97 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP, 91 strikeouts, 40 holds, and one save in 80 appearances (77.2 innings). He gave up 60 hits, 18 runs, 17 earned runs, four home runs, and 13 walks, and blew four saves.
It is impossible to deny that this was the best season of his career. After all, he reached career-highs in games played, innings pitched, strikeouts, and holds. He also recorded career-lows in ERA and WHIP.
Just as wins are a way to evaluate a starting pitcher and saves are a way to evaluate a closer, holds are a way to evaluate a setup man. Obviously, wins and saves are only one way to evaluate players and some people view those statistics with a grain of salt. Wins have notably been disregarded more as sabermetrics have become more popular. However, these stats are still considered.
Why He Deserves Fourth on This List
Addison Reed had the best season of his career in 2016. He can be considered one of the best setup men in baseball. He certainly deserves a high position on this list.
Putting Reed and Familia back-to-back on the list made sense, considering they both had similarly tremendous seasons. It was a similar decision to putting Asdrubal Cabrera and Curtis Granderson back-to-back at six and seven.
Familia broke the Mets all-time single-season saves record and led MLB in saves. That makes Familia look more valuable on the surface, but when you analyze their numbers and performances, Reed gets the edge.
Reed’s 1.97 ERA and 0.94 WHIP topped Familia’s 2.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. That is an accurate comparison, considering they both pitched 77.2 innings. Reed also gave up three fewer hits, seven fewer runs, five fewer earned runs, 18 fewer walks, and one fewer blown save. Reed struck out seven more batters, had one more win, and two fewer losses. Familia, on the other hand, gave up three fewer regular season home runs than Reed, but did give up the most important one of the year in the Wild Card game.
Reed outperformed Familia in almost every stat. He also delivered when it matter in the Wild Card game, while Familia faltered. Throughout the season, he was more consistent than Familia.
The biggest argument in favor of Familia beyond this would be to say that saves are much more valuable and/or more difficult to achieve than holds. However, if you believe saves are more valuable, then it’s important to recognize that Familia would not have had that many saves if Reed didn’t hold the lead 40 times.
Finally, if you don’t like these arguments, you can refer to Wins Above Replacement. Reed had 2.9 WAR in 2016 compared to Familia’s 2.0.