The Mets are jam-packed with fantasy options including several top tier positional players. Because of their juggernaut offense, you can count on the hitters to get some RBIs and Runs Scored on average and for their pitchers to post more wins – you only need to look at Steve Trachsel’s fat win total of last season (15) to realize just how many runs this team can score.
Stats are in the format (Average-Home Runs- RBI-Runs-Stolen bases) for hitters and (Record-Earned Run Average-Strikeouts-WHIP) for pitchers. Numbers in brackets () are last season’s numbers.
Jose Reyes (SS): This guy is the NL’s elite shortstop. He’s a single player who contributes in all five categories but is something special when it comes to stealing bases (64 last year). By himself he can keep you competitive in that category while contributing in power (19 home runs last year), runs scored (122). He’s even better in leagues which count extra base hits or triples and he even makes a more than decent showing in RBIs (81), average (.300), and has had an improving OBP.
Carlos Beltran (OF): A true five tool player who had a real breakout season which justified a top 10 overall pick for him and will do so again. Even if he fails to match last years numbers and falls a third short in matching them in 2007 - he’ll still be one of the ten best five tool players in the game. Last years numbers? - .275-41-116-127-18
David Wright (3B): It’s not hyperbole to say that Wright is the best third baseman in the NL and only a handful of AL players are close to him in terms of production. Unlike many of the others however he is a five category contributor who’s capable of as matching or surpassing last year’s total of 20 steals in a season – making him an unheard of 20-20 man at the position (only A-Rod matches that). It’s scary to think that he’s young and that his prime offensive years are yet to come.
Tom Glavine (SP) – Glavine is talking about retiring after this season provided he gets win 300 this year and barring health issues there is absolutely no reason to think that he won’t do it. Certainly his age (41) is a concern but based upon last year’s numbers (15-7-3.82-131-1.33) when he pitched like a pitcher in his prime it’s fair to predict another solid season.
Carlos Delgado (1B) – It’s hard not to like Delgado when it comes to fantasy leagues. He’s been a three category mainstay guy who gets tons of RBI chances and can still crush the ball as well as anyone. He won’t embarrass you in average either. There are first basemen with more power, or better average, but Delgado is consistent and that counts for a lot. Some people may even may a little lower than he’s actually worth, due to Delgado’s missing the first few days of the season due to personal issues. (.265-38-114-89-0)
Paul Lo Duca (C) – Paul’s health is strong going into this season and he wants the Mets to talk extension with him. He’ll speak with his bat as well as via his agent early in the season and with the extra base hitting skill that Jose Reyes has Paul gets a decent number of RBIs for a number two hitter. His lack of power detracts from him but the catching pool is still pretty thin, especially in the NL. He’s probably about the sixth or seventh best fantasy catcher out there, but he starts off really hotly. (.318-5-49-80-3)
Orlando Herandez (SP) – Ordinarily I’d rank “El Duque” a bit lower and call him a third tier pitcher but he’s likely to chalk up five or more extra wins with the Mets offense behind him. That’s a big plus but his age (42) and health will always be a concern. Last season between Arizona and New York he managed a respectable 11-11 record with a 4.66 ERA, 164 Ks and a 1.33 WHIP. Those aren’t ace numbers but they aren’t bad.
Billy Wagner (CL) – Wagner is a top closer but not quite one of the elite. He’ll get plenty of opportunities to put away games but the Mets offense just blows away too many opponents for him to rack up an extraordinary number of saves that being said somewhere between 35-45 are pretty much a given if he can stay healthy.
Moises Alou (OF) – Last year at age 39 Moises had a great season putting up numbers (.301-22-74-52-2) which matched or surpassed talented men a dozen years his junior. Impressively he did that in just 345 plate appearances while playing part time. He’s likely to see that role again as age and the development of the long awaited five tool prospect Lasting Milledge cut into his playing time. That being said he’s still at least an average to better than average pick up late in the draft.
John Maine (SP) – The Mets say that he’s not definitely going to be their number three starter but anyone who really doesn’t believe that is probably deluding themselves. Maine alternated between brilliance and incompetence last year but showed a lot of grace under pressure and has a lot of development still ahead of him. When he was with the Baltimore organization, he was projected as a number one or two starter and my gut feeling is that he’ll get there. Certainly he’ll get wins, but he has yet to show that he can be a dominant pitcher past the fifth inning. Last year’s numbers (6-5, 3.60-71-1.13 in 15 starts) look very solid but in looking at his late inning splits it’s clear he runs out of gas as the game progresses.
Shawn Green (OF) – Green’s role on the team is somewhat uncertain at this time. Certainly he’ll get some time in the outfield along with Moises Alou and Endy Chavez but how much is uncertain. While other players his age are still having career years Green’s bat has grown mysteriously colder. It might be age, it might be health, it may even be something else, but Green is a bit of a wild card here. If he can rebound he’ll be a late round draft steal, but he could just as easily be little more than a bit player for the team (.257-4-15-56-0 in 113 AB for New York).
Endy Chavez (OF) – For most of his career Endy has been thought of as a bench player but last year he had a chance to play regularly and show what he could do. His .306-4-42-48-12 season still shows that he has some big holes in his fantasy game value but he may have some bench value.
Oliver Perez (SP) – Perez is a reclamation project and one who has a lot of upside. If he can regain the dominance of 2004 he could be one of the biggest surprises of 2007 since he has true ace potential. With the help of fellow lefty Tom Glavine (who is destined to be a pitching coach before long - in my opinion), and pitching guru Rick Peterson he’s got the expertise needed to put his career back on the fast track. His gutsy performance in game 7 of last years NLCS (1 ER in six innings with 4 Ks) might be a signal of great things to come. He’s a real solid sleeper pick.
Chan Ho Park (SP) – The Mets coveted Park 5 years ago for all the right reasons, he pitched well in the NL, he pitched lights out at Shea Stadium and New York’s large Asian population made a pilgrimage to the park every time he came in with the visiting Dodgers. An obscene contract offer from the Rangers derailed their hopes of getting him then and the AL turned Park into damaged goods. He didn’t recover when back in the NL either (7-7, 4.81-96-1.39). What the Mets are going to get from him remains to be seen. He’s either a disaster in the making or a solid comeback story, there is no middle ground. He’ll have some value no matter what but in deep leagues it’s possible he’ll go undrafted.
Jose Valentin (2B) – You always worry about low OBP players, especially when it comes to fantasy baseball. That’s because they have a habit of suddenly turning from valuable contributors to nothing without warning. That being said Jose’s career has mostly been up rather than down. He’s a player who is likely to contribute in three categories – Home Runs, RBIs and Runs, with a fair SB total for his position but at the cost of a mediocre average. Still when the pickings get slim he’s worth keeping in mind – especially since he should get plenty of RBI chances. (.271-18-62-14-6)
Lasting Milledge (OF) – The Mets five tool man of the future and the future almost certainly is going to come this season. The Mets brought in Moises Alou just to give him time to get a little more seasoning. His late season call up gave us a hint of his potential (.241-4-22-14-1 in 166 AB) but the numbers from last year don’t do justice to what this guy has to offer. Keep an eye on him, but you probably don’t need to draft him except in deep leagues or keeper leagues, just remember him come the middle of the summer.