The New York Mets are a team that sputtered out of control in 2017, with just 70 wins, but could surprise people in 2018. Last year, they suffered a lot of injuries and a barrage of other problems like Matt Harvey and Mr. met flipping fans off! Their pitching was a mess and finished with the 3rd highest ERA in the Majors. In 2018, with a few solid additions as well as prospects becoming full time pieces, the Mets are set to surprise some people and maybe even solidify a WildCard spot if all goes well in Queens.
Todd Frazier, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Anthony Swarzak, RHP
Why they can win: They have the names to get it done in the rotation in Syndergaard and deGrom. Enter new Manager, Mickey Callaway. He was pitching coach for Cleveland and made significant improvements in their pitching and now he has his hands full with Zack Wheeler and gong show, Matt Harvey. If their rotation can stay healthy and eat innings, it would help with the average, but improved bullpen with the addition of Anthony Swarzak. In their lineup, they have 3 guys who could hit 30 homeruns and 4 if Michael Conforto gets back to his normal self. People forget that Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera still know how to play baseball and they can catch teams off guard.
Why they can lose: The same way they can win, they can lose on the opposite views. What if they can’t figure out the pitching and they only have Syndergaard and deGrom who can get it done again? What if age catches up to a few of these bats like Adrian Gonzalez? They will most likely be an average offense and hit a lot of homeruns but that doesn’t mean that they’re an efficient offense all year. They could struggle if the right pieces decide to take a year off and even more if one of their big 2 starters gets injured.
Bottom Line: The Mets could surprise a lot of teams with their experience and not many teams have the top two SP that they have. But the bottom line is that their sickeningly average. They’re just blah, no too 100 prospects and a bunch of pieces thrown into a lineup hoping it works until they can really sort out their franchise direction. Amed Rosario could be an absolute stud for them and will be fun to watch but other than that, it’s a mishmosh of guys who can kind of “get it done” in a sense.
Major4 Numbers Game:
Stud: Jacob deGrom, SP
The Mets had a couple good options for this section, but deGrom has been so stellar for an extended period. I really really really wanted to write about Thor, but his thoracic outlet syndrome has put a slight damper on his 2018 outlook. In the meantime, deGrom will more than suffice. He has posted a WAR of 3.2 or higher in each of his four seasons (4.4 in 2018). You like some old school counting stats? deGrom posted a 15-10 W/L record, 3.53 ERA, and 239 Ks in 201 innings. Oh you prefer the new advanced metrics, well deGrom posted career highs in K% (28.9), FB velocity (95.2 MPH), and each of his four pitches graded out as positive in Fangraphs pitch values. Add in the fact he’s only slated to earn $7.4M in his 30 year old campaign, it screams value. Hot Take: 5+ WAR and winds up in the top 3 in NL CY Young Voting.
Sinkhole: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Acquired in a serious salary dump from the LA Dodgers, A-Gon is a sinkhole for the Mets for multiple reasons. First, his performance in 71 games last year was horrible (-1.1 WAR), his walk-rate was the second lowest of his career (6.3%), and a wRC+ of 63. Second, he’s making a boatload of money ($21.5M) so he’s going to provide a serious deficit in value. Lastly, he’s blocking top prospect Dominic Smith from quality MLB ABs after Smith proved he was major league ready during a solid minor league campaign. The trade was an odd fit for the reasons mentioned above, and I really don’t see much upside in the whole acquisition.
Regression Candidate: Jose Reyes, 2B/SS
Shockingly, Jose Reyes turned back the clocks a bit and posted a very respectable 2017 campaign (15 HR, 24 SB, 2.0 WAR). I really didn’t think he had that in him. Count us as skeptical as he enters his 35 year-old season. He graded out as a slightly below-average hitter wRC+ (94), hit a ton of soft contact (26%), There’s just no way he repeats that season, he hit a ton of fly-balls to the pull side, but just doesn’t have the pop to maintain his home run pace.
Impact Acquisition: Todd Frazier, 3B
Well, patience certainly was a virtue for the Mets. They landed Todd Frazier for pennies on the dollar (2/$17M), for a guy who has never posted a WAR of under 2.5. He just recorded his highest BB% of his career (14.4), posted a respectable 104 wRC+, while increasing the average distance per fly ball to (330 ft). Honestly, it was pretty shocking to see him decrease his HR total from 40 to 27. To us that means he will probably regress to somewhere in the mid-30s in home runs, despite the downgrade in stadiums. Lastly, he posted a studly 10 DRS, which was 4th among qualified 3B. Call us bullish on the value for the Mets here!
Major4 Prospects, (Top 100):
Andres Gimenez, SS
David Peterson, LHP
Peter Alonso, 1B
Justin Dunn, RHP
Why We Love Them: The Mets always seem to be a fascinating mess and it keeps us entertained. They had a fun World Series run in 2015 and since then…yikes. They have two awesome starters with swing and miss stuff in Thor and deGrom, Amed Rosario and injured Michael Conforto are huge, fun building blocks for them and they have great unis. Mr. Met is a classic despite flipping off fans.(maybe more of a classic?) I also got the chance to play Prep School Baseball with Justin Dunn so I will be following him!