It’s going to be another very long season for the Mets and an even longer season for Mets fans. Downright brutal in fact. However there are some bright spots, beyond the fact that Mets fans can at least look down on Marlins fans when it comes to team bragging rights. The Mets are beginning to see the rewards of the prospect pipeline, and trades to get those prospects at least hinting that there is some upside in sight.
They won’t come close to competing, and .500 might be a reach, but there is talent here.
Here are 10 to watch in 2013
David Wright (3B): The fences came in and the home runs flew out. 2012 was a great season for Wright who remains a top 5 option at the hot corner. At age 30 it’s possible that we are beginning to see the slow erosion of his skill set, especially his speed since his stolen base percentage level fell to its lowest point in the last five years. The power looks to be real, but I really think his .300 average was more fluke than fact, so I wouldn’t count on that.
Ike Davis (1B): The old political slogan “I Like Ike” has certainly been applied over and over to the Mets first baseman especially when it comes to fantasy value. Last season he gave us an Adam Dunn light-esque performance by posting a .227 average to go with 32 bombs. That was following a bout of Valley Fever which may have led to a very slow start. If he can avoid the slow start and keep up the gains, we might remove the “light” from the above tag. Plenty of upside and not even in his prime yet.
Lukas Duda (OF): The stars might have to align themselves just about right for Duda to really blossom in 2013, but Duda is better than he showed in 2012 when a demotion to AAA due to his inability to make contact and high whiff rate, sabotaged what could have been a 25 home run campaign. He’ll get another shot at that mark this upcoming season, but low average and high K rate could lead to a step back almost as easily. Oh, and don’t expect more than a .240s average unless he sacrifices power to get it.
Travis D’Arnaud (C): The centerpiece of the R.A. Dickey trade to Toronto might not break camp with the Mets out of Spring Training (despite what so far has looked like a good showing), but it certainly won’t be long before he flashes those skills in New York. Even as a rookie he has tremendous fantasy value, but how much will depend on the number of ABs the team gives him. Based on his MLE’s with 350 AB, he’s certainly capable of double digit home runs and a decent average.
Bobby Parnell (CL): Without even having to throw an in-season pitch Parnell has overtaken Frankie Rodriguez as the Mets closer of 2014 according to manager Terry Collins. That will give a big boost to Parnell’s value and put him on a fast track to 20-plus saves even if he wavers a bit. If he can show consistency, add at least 10-15 more.
Johan Santana (SP): So just how long is Johan actually going to miss? I certainly wish I could look into my crystal ball and come up with an answer to that question. It’s one of several for Santana who in the last five years has had elbow surgery, shoulder surgery, back issues and ankle issues. When healthy last year he took as serious step back towards top rank status, but his second half, following the no hitter, lasted just 19 disastrous innings, and dragged his ERA from 2.76 to 4.85. If health were not an issue he’d be a definite buy, but since it is, he better be cheap to warrant a gamble on draft day.
Jonathan Niese (SP): Niese isn’t an elite talent, but he’s a solid number two pitcher who should help in just about every standard 5x5 or 4x4 league. He strikes out over 7 / 9 IP, will post a sub 4.00 ERA and doesn’t walk enough men to hurt you in WHIP. With some run support he could build on last year’s 13 wins, and there is a tiny bit more in upside as he’s still not reached his prime pitching years. Shaun Marcum (SP): Marcum is one of those guys easy to overlook on draft day as he’s never excited enough attention to be squarely in anyone’s fantasy sights. Yet he’s managed to post a career 3.76 average while averaging 7.3 Ks / 9 IP. Moving to a better pitching park should add fantasy value.
Dillon Gee (SP): Comes into the season with the potential to be the best of the Mets hurlers going forward. However he is not without risk, mainly due to youth and inexperience (and the blood clot in his shoulder last year raises concern too). If everything comes together he could put up number two starter type numbers. A sub 4.00 ERA could be in the cards and would go hand in hand with a nice strikeout total. Matt Harvey (SP): The centerpiece of the Carlos Beltran trade put together a nice run last year, managing 10 wins, a 3.39 ERA and striking out just about a batter per inning. If he can cut down on walks he’s capable of taking a step forward, but he’s so far away from his prime that baby steps rather than breakouts seem to be likely. Expect some growing pains, but he’s definitely worth a mid to late round gamble.