Mar 20, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) fields a ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
Here we are! Pitchers and catchers have reported, and Spring Training is in full swing (pun intended). Most of us will start having fantasy baseball drafts very soon, and we here at Fantasy CPR are no different. It is time to dust off the notes from last season, and check out which players could have an impact on your fantasy league.
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For each team, I will rundown the projected lineup, players to watch, and a complete list of 2014 stats to get you prepared for your upcoming fantasy drafts. We are finished with the American League East. Let’s move on to their National League counterparts!
2015 New York Mets Projected Starting Lineup:
C: Travis d’Arnaud (.242, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB)
1B: Lucas Duda (.253, 30 HR, 92 RBI, 3 SB)
2B: Daniel Murphy (.289, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 13 SB)
SS: Wilmer Flores (.251, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 1 SB)
3B: David Wright (.269, 8 HR, 63 RBI, 8 SB)
LF: Michael Cuddyer (.332, 10 HR, 31 RBI,3 SB in 49 games with Colorado)
CF: Juan Lagares (.281, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 13 SB)
RF: Curtis Granderson (.227, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 8 SB)
David Wright is no longer the elite fantasy option that he used to be. Drafting him as such could be a fool’s errand. He still has some power and some speed, but he is nowhere near the 30-30 threat that he once was. I would take him no earlier than the tenth round. Most likely, he will be gone by then. I am okay with that.
Wilmer Flores is still a work in progress. If he falters, we could see Matt Reynolds make his debut early in the season. Of course, he would still have to make the jump over light-hitting Ruben Tejada. Flores has the most upside of the three, and even he is not a great fantasy option. He has no speed and little power to speak of. He was a decent hitter in the minors, but that doesn’t make him worthy of standard leagues. Flores is worth a look in deep leagues or in 10×10 leagues because he has good power to the gaps and just enough speed to log you a few triples.
d’Arnaud was the prize of the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays. He has been slow to develop, but he hit 13 homers in 385 at bats last year. The average is not great, but there aren’t a lot of catchers that can hit 20 home runs. That alone makes him worthy of a standard league slot.
Daniel Murphy is one of the most boring guys to own in fantasy, and I mean that in a good way. No one goes out of their way to get him, but he is constantly hitting around ten homers and stealing double digit bags. If you don’t wind up with a top tier second baseman, Murphy is a good guy to own. He is a career .290 hitter, so his average will help you out as well.
Duda might have been the most quiet 30 home run hitter of the 2000’s last year. His .253 average tempers his upside (he is a career .248 hitter), but he has the potential to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs. He will be worth drafting once the elite 1B options are gone and you find yourself needing power.
Cuddyer’s numbers were likely a little inflated by Coors Field over the last three years considering he never hit higher than .284 in his 11 years in Minnesota. He still has decent power and will drive in his share of runs. He is also a capable base stealer. He has double digit steals twice in his last three full seasons. He is likely to gain multi-position eligibility if he doesn’t have it in your league already. He is a great plug-and-play guy for standard leagues, and is very valuable in leagues with only three bench slots. He won’t wow you with anything, but he won’t hurt you when you need an injury replacement. He is a nice late round pick in standard leagues.
Kirk Neuwenhuis is having a very nice Spring so far. That means that Juan Lagares will likely be challenged, and could find himself in a platoon to open the season. He is a decent hitter with little power and some speed. That said, Neuwenhuis isn’t much better for fantasy purposes. He has a little more power and a little less speed. Neither is worth a standard league spot, and are likely only worth it in deep leagues if you have time to check the starting lineups daily.
Granderson still has some power, but his speed is mostly gone. He only hit two triples and stole eight bases in 155 games last year. He was never a great hitter to begin with, but he has not hit above.232 since 2011, and has been under .250 five times in the last six years. He is a fringe standard league option at this point, and should likely only be used in favorable matchups. When used wisely, he could help you out a little in the power department without sacrificing much average.
Keep an eye on Kevin Plawecki. He is the most likely position player to make his debut for the Mets this year. While the team has no plans to move d’Arnaud, Plawecki could change their minds. He hit .309 between AA and AAA last year, and could force his way into the majors if the Mets offense sputters again.
Next: Let's Take A Look At The Rotation
Mar 7, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws against the Atlanta Braves during the spring training baseball game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
2015 New York Mets Projected Starting Rotation:
Matt Harvey (9-5, 2.27 ERA, 191K in 2013)
Zack Wheeler (11-11, 3.54 ERA, 187K)
Jacob deGrom (9-6, 2.69 ERA, 144K)
Jon Niese (9-11, 3.40 ERA, 138K)
Bartolo Colon (15-13, 4.09 ERA, 151K)
Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.00 ERA, 94K)
Jenrry Mejia (6-6, 3.65 ERA, 28/31 saves, 98K)
Bobby Parnell (5-5, 2.16 ERA, 22/26 saves, 44K in 2013)
The injury to Zach Wheeler likely means that Dillon Gee will make the rotation as a fifth starter. For fantasy purposes, this is a disaster. Wheeler was going to go fairly early in drafts. Gee is only for deep leagues. For those of you hoping that Noah Syndergaard would be plugged into the rotation, that likely won’t happen. At least not right away. He has not pitched that well this Spring, and it is Gee, not Syndergaard that is being stretched out for the rotation. That said, if Gee or Colon falter, Syndergaard will be on the first flight to New York. I would leave him alone in standard leagues, but if you have the bench spot in deeper leagues, keep him around. Those of you in keeeper and dynasty formats already know what he is capable of. He could have growing pains, but I would be surprised if he is not with the Mets by Memorial Day.
Matt Harvey has looked good this spring after missing all of the 2014 season rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery. That has caused his draft stock to creep upward. Harvey is the kind of pitcher that can be the ace of your staff. That said, Harvey still only has 36 starts in the major leagues under his belt. He was stellar in those starts racking up 261 strikeouts in just 237.2 innings pitched. Just be aware that it may take him a little bit to get back to that level. Still, he is worth drafting in the third round. He will go even higher in dynasty or keeper leagues. He went 17th overall in a dynasty draft that I did earlier this week.
Jacob deGrom is not a strikeout pitcher, but he looks like someone that can keep his ERA on the under side of 3. That makes him a huge asset in fantasy. He won’t be your staff ace, but he is a good fit in the middle of your fantasy rotation, and will help you far more than he hurts you.
Niese has some strikeout capabilities, but he is probably not going to be a 200K pitcher like some people think. If you draft him as a 160-180K guy, you will be pleased with the results. He is another good fit in the middle of a standard league rotation.
Bartolo Colon has found the fountain of youth. He is not the power pitcher that he used to be. He can still rack up some strikeouts, but he comes with more of an ERA/WHIP risk. He is likely best left for 12 team leagues and larger. It’s not like he is going to net you a lot of wins with the Mets anyway.
It appears more and more likely that Parnell is going to begin the season on the disabled list. That means that Mejia is the most likely candidate for early saves. The Mets seem committed to putting Parnell back in as the closer once he is healthy, but lately that is anything but a given.
Stay tuned to FantasyCPR as our team by team rundown continues! Next up: Washington Nationals!
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