NL East: ATL
The Mets dealt with a lot of injuries to the pitching staff last season. With the offense settled and the pitchers healthy, what can we expect in 2017?
The New York Mets had a successful 2016 season, despite losing most of their rotation at one point or another. The offense is what carried the team to an 87-75 record, second in the division. Unfortunately, their postseason run ended in the Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants.
Entering this offseason, the Mets had a lot of players available on the free-agent market. Luckily, though, they were able to bring almost all of them back. The biggest surprise was Yoenis Cespedes. After going through a similar situation in 2015, the Mets front office was able to re-sign him again. He is the powerhouse in the outfield.
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The Mets did lose two members of the starting rotation in Bartolo Colon and Jonathan Niese. However, if the current group of pitchers can enter the season 100 percent, then it won’t be a total loss for the team.
There are clear contributors in the Mets’ lineup. They had three batters hit at least .280. Four batters hit at least 23 home runs. There are some weak spots in the offense and the Mets aren’t a speed team.
The bullpen has some good options, but there could be a temporary closer for the first month if any disciplinary action is taken for their current closer.
The Mets finished 25th in batting average, 23rd in on-base percentage, 25th in runs scored and fifth in home runs. As a whole, the offense is anemic. But there are a few players worth drafting on both sides of the ball.
Only two starting pitchers made 30 or more starts. Two others made more than 20 and the final two made less than 20. The point is, the Mets pitchers were not healthy.
Colon made 33 starts, the most on the team. Noah Syndergaard was next with 30. He is the ace of the rotation. He finished with a 2.60 ERA, 1.149 WHIP and 14-9 record. Syndergaard struck out 218 and walked 43 batters in 183.2 innings. He is my No. 7 starting pitcher.
Jacob deGrom is No. 2 on the list. In his 24 starts, he had a 3.04 ERA, 1.203 WHIP and a 7-8 record. He is a decent strikeout pitcher, almost one per inning. He comes in at No. 9 for me.
Matt Harvey struggled for most of the season before being put on the disabled list. He had a 4.86 ERA and 1.468 WHIP in 17 starts. If he can come back and perform like he did in 2015, then he’ll move up in my rankings, but No. 19 is not bad.
The fourth pitcher is Steven Matz. After just six starts in 2015, he made big improvements last season. In 22 starts, he ended with a 3.40 ERA, 1.209 WHIP and 9-8 record. As an SP4, you could do a lot worse.
The No. 5 spot in the rotation, for now, belongs to Zack Wheeler. His return has been delayed after undergoing a setback from his Tommy John surgery recovery. He hasn’t pitched since 2014 when he made 32 starts.
If he can finally come back, I would use one of my final picks on him. He could be your best value pick if he pitches well.
The Mets bullpen is anchored by Jeurys Familia. They have serviceable names behind him, but none that stand out.
That could change if Familia is suspended. Not to get too deep into the off-the-field stuff, but Familia was charged with domestic assault, but his accuser dropped the charges. However, after similar cases shown, like with teammate Jose Reyes, he could still be suspended.
Familia led the league with 51 saves, in 56 opportunities. Aroldis Chapman was suspended for 30 days but still posted 36 saves last season. If the same happens to Familia, a 20-save drop hurts his value greatly. As of now, he is my No. 9 closer.
If he is suspended, the Mets could go with a platoon in the closer role. Jerry Blevins recorded two saves and Addison Reed and Hansel Robles had one each. Reed might be my favorite to get the majority of saves.
If there is no suspension, then the other relievers have no value.
The Mets infield is Travis d’Arnaud (catcher), Lucas Duda (first base), Neil Walker (second base), Jose Reyes (shortstop), and David Wright (third base).
Save for d’Arnaud, the infield is over 30 years old. While they are still productive, Father Time is catching up to them.
I do not have a single Mets infielder in my top 15 in their respective positions. Walker is the closest at No. 18 among second basemen.
Duda only played in 47 games. Reyes played in 60 and Wright played in 37. As a result, Reyes spent some time at third and Asdrubal Cabrera played some shortstop.
I think the Mets should keep Wright on the bench, move Reyes to third permanently and start Cabrera. Walker and Cabrera hit 23 home runs each, drove in 55 and 62 runs and hit .282 and .280, respectively.
Walker is a middle infield option in standard leagues. That’s it.
The Mets did it again. Cespedes is back in the lineup. Looking at the rest of the offense, they need him.
Cespedes led the Mets with 31 home runs and 86 RBI. He did miss 17 games in August. He hits very well at Citi Field, and against the NL East. Cespedes is my No. 19 outfielder.
The rumor mill was spinning this winter, as there were reports that the Mets were looking to shop either Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce. I can see the Mets keeping Granderson, based on his performance.
He hit 30 home runs and 59 RBI, despite struggling in April. Bruce, in 50 games, hit eight homers, 19 RBI and .219.
I think Michael Conforto deserves a starting spot. He hit 12 home runs, 42 RBI and .220 in 109 games. The averages are the same, but the Mets could use the extra power in their lineup.
Granderson, Bruce and Conforto rank between 42 and 52 in my outfield rankings. Any trade or Spring Training struggles could change that quickly.
And no, no Tebow Time.
The Mets’ most valuable asset is the starting rotation. Four of the five pitchers are worth drafting. Two of them are borderline first round picks.
Their closer is a top-10 option if he’s available all season. If not, he drops a few rounds.
The offense is questionable. Cespedes and Walker are the top-two hitters. Granderson, Bruce and Conforto are options in deeper leagues.