Who are 2016’s Ten Most Important Mets?
To satisfy my cravings for updates to the ongoing saga of the New York Mets, I’ve spent some of the offseason reading projections. While not really news, these projections help me develop an initial framing for the upcoming season. Do the pundits and the computer models agree on what’s likely, or possible, for the 2016 Mets? If not, which positions do I find most credible? As a Mets fan who’s watched nearly every inning over the last few years, are their some players who I feel I can judge more accurately than ESPN writers and FanGraphs charts can?
In the past, this kind of thinking has led me down two paths. Path Number One is where I start thinking through what I expect from one player, and then move on to the next player, and eventually finish the starting lineup and move on to the rotation, and finally feel like I’ve come far enough that I really ought to finish projecting every player on the roster. That’s Path Number One. Path Number Two consists of thinking, “Ack, no, I’m not getting sucked into doing Path Number One again!” and instead doing nothing at all.
Well, with 2016 baseball about to begin, now’s a good time for new year’s resolutions, right? This year, I plan to pursue a middle ground. I will project the ten most important Mets only.
So, MetsToday readers, can you help me out with that? Who are 2016’s ten most important Mets?
Here’s my provisional list. For each guy, I’ve written a note about why he’s ranked where he is.
1. Noah Syndergaard With elite velocity, excellent control, and improving command of a nasty arsenal, we could be looking at one of the best starters in MLB… or another torn UCL victim.
2. Yoenis Cespedes Based on his track record, he should be a very good hitter and a below-average center fielder, but there’s plenty of evidence for much better… or much worse.
3. Travis d’Arnaud Has he eliminated his defensive holes? Is his bat elite when healthy? And how often will he be healthy?
4. Lucas Duda Duda can carry a lineup, or create a big hole in the middle of one. Which will he do more often in 2016? And is he still improving, or starting to show signs of age?
5. Matt Harvey 2016 will demand a lot of Harvey, both mentally and physically. Can he be the guy who vied for the title of Best Pitcher in Baseball in early 2013? Everyone – fans, haters, opponents, media – will be watching to find out.
6. Jacob deGrom The 2016 Mets’ strength is their three aces. All three are vital to the team’s postseason hopes.
7. Jeurys Familia With a lot of unknowns in the bullpen, the Mets need Familia to continue to be a rock. It would be nice if he could continue to be a workhorse too.
8. Michael Conforto Without a bunch of superstar bats, the Mets lineup instead hopes to be deep and dangerous. How quickly Conforto comes into his own will go a long way toward determining how deep and dangerous it really is.
9. Addison Reed Who will be the 2016 Mets’ second most important reliever? If Robles plateaus and Bastardo isn’t what he once was, will Reed pick up the slack like he did in 2015, or throw gas on the fire like he did in 2014?
10. Curtis Granderson The 2015 Mets’ best asset might have been Granderson in the leadoff spot every day. Can he provide that again at age 35?
Once I hear what you all think, I’ll revise my list, and, if there’s interest, offer a projection for each top ten guy here on MetsToday. So, who’s in your top ten?