The Mets are an interesting bunch from a fantasy point of view.Ā The team features five elite players, one for every position (corner infield, middle infielder, outfielder, starter and closer), two better than average players, and a lot of question marks with upside.
The Best of the Bunch (Elite Players):
Jose Reyes (SS): A top ten pick in any draft, Reyes is arguably the top shortstop and top speed player in the Major Leagues today.Ā Heās steadily improved and is just entering the prime of his career.Ā Yes, he can get better. Expect more power and increased RBIs coming this year.
Jose Reyes is one of the most exciting players in the game and a top fantasy player.
David Wright (3B): The NLās best third baseman is hands down the second best third baseman in the fantasy world - and one day soon is likely to be the best.Ā Heās still got some upside, but even without it heās a top ten pick in any league.
Johan Santana (SP): Arguably the best fantasy pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana will be either the first or second pitcher off the board in every fantasy auction.Ā Ā Heāll contribute in all four categories especially with the powerful Mets lineup and a solid closing duo available to pitch at the new Citi Field.
Francisco āK-Rodā Rodriguez (CL): After breaking the record and notching 62 saves last year for the Angels, K-Rod became a free agent and ended up in the NL.Ā Heās the only elite NL closer despite worries that his velocity has declined the last few seasons.Ā Some fantasy owners will knock him down in the rankings because of that, but donāt let it fool you - he still has upside.
Carlos Beltran (OF): Beltran just quietly goes around putting up excellent five category numbers year after year.Ā Last yearās .284-27-112-116-25 is a perfect example.Ā Expect more of the same with perhaps a slight decline as Beltran has reached the wrong side of 30 and nothing lasts forever.
The Second Tier (Superior Players):
The Mets have no second tier players
The Third Tier (Better than Average Players):
Carlos Delgado (1B): Delgado put up some rather gaudy numbers last season, almost all in the second half.Ā He finished with a .271-38-115-96-1 line.Ā While itās not realistic to expect the 36-year-old to repeat those numbers, a .265-30-100 line seems more than possible.Ā Because of age, he is an injury risk.Ā
John Maine (SP): Maine seemed poised for a breakout year going into 2008 before he was sidelined by shoulder problems.Ā Remember that he won 15 games in 2007 and had a solid first half before the injury.Ā He struggled a bit after that, which makes his 2008 numbers look considerably worse than they really were.Ā He had minor surgery to repair the problem in October, and heāll be undervalued on draft day.
Question Marks, Cheap Buys and sleepers:
Oliver Perez (OF): The erratic Perez is brilliant one day and dreadful the next.Ā Heās still searching for consistency and if he ever finds it a breakout would be in order.Ā Still you canāt count on that but you can count on his ability to strikeout 170+ batters once again.Ā His big problem is control, but with his upside heās someone to keep an eye on in the late rounds of drafts.
Luis Castillo (2B): Castillo was just about run out of town this offseason by the Mets faithful, but the team couldnāt find any takers for the declining second baseman who only played 87 games last season.Ā That may have lit a fire under Castillo who came to camp in good shape and has seemingly regained his form based on his spring numbers so far (.303 with 3 doubles and 2 steals in just 33 AB).Ā If thatās true, heāll be a sleeper capable of stealing 15-20 bases.
Daniel Murphy (OF): Murphy -- whoās slated to be the Mets everyday left fielder -- can hit for average but has yet to show much in the way of power.Ā Still heās a doubles hitter and that often turns to power with age.Ā Ā Heās been tearing it up in spring training, but hasnāt shown reason to believe that heās ready for a power surge.
Ryan Church (OF): If Church has shaken off the effects of post concussion syndrome he could be a solid sleeper for 2009.Ā Heās got 20-25 home run power, is capable of hitting for average, and will get a chance to play everyday.Ā
Brian Schneider (C): Not much value here, but heāll get at bats in NY with runners on base and could manage something like .265-7-50 which is decent enough for a second catcher late in the draft. Heās had a very good spring.
JJ Putz (RP): Former Seattle closer JJ Putz will serve as a set up man in New York.Ā Still it wouldnāt be surprising to see him get a handful of saves, and he will be second in line to close if K-Rod hits a rough spot, needs a day off or gets injured during the season.
Mike Pelfrey (SP): Pelfrey has earned a spot in the Mets rotation, but how much fantasy value he has is very much in question.Ā Heās hardly been dominating, despite the fact heās been effective.Ā He could be a cheap source of wins, but donāt look to him for big time K numbers or the best of peripherals.
Where have the Mets been going in your fantasy drafts? Let us hear your comments below.