New York Mets 2017 Team Preview

2016 Recap: 87-75, 2nd in the NL East. Lost Wild Card game to San Francisco. Despite losing the Dark Knight Matt Harvey in early July to a major shoulder injury, the Metropolitans were still able to snag one of the two Wild Card spots in the NL only to have their ace Noah Syndergaard get outdueled 1-0 by Madison Bumgarner in an epic pitching matchup that lived up to the hype. The Mets did essentially nothing this offseason as they are hoping better injury luck will get them back to the postseason in 2017

Offseason Moves:

Significant Additions: None

Significant Subtractions: RHP Bartolo Colon, 1B James Loney, OF Alejandro De Aza

Projected Lineup and Breakdown:

  1. 3B Jose Reyes
  2. CF Curtis Granderson
  3. LF Yoenis Cespedes
  4. RF Jay Bruce
  5. 2B Neil Walker
  6. SS Asdrubal Cabrera
  7. 1B Lucas Duda
  8. C Travis D’Arnaud

The Mets lineup is still pretty deep despite the fact that they currently do not have enough room to play one of their better hitters in outfielder Michael Conforto. The Mets desperately need to move either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson to make room, but as of now they have failed to do so. There are rumors they might move Jay Bruce to first base if Lucas Duda’s back is not ready to go by opening day, but that is only a temporary solution. The Mets will also likely be without David Wright to start the season as he is currently dealing with a rare injury… lol jk. Wright is completely broken down and instead of just using him as a part time player the Mets continue to think Wright will be able to make significant contributions eventually. They will probably end up blocking top middle infield prospect Amed Rosario longer than they should in a failed attempt to get Wright everyday playing time.

Projected Rotation, Bullpen, and Breakdown:

Rotation –

  • RHP Noah Syndergaard
  • RHP Jacob deGrom
  • RHP Matt Harvey
  • LHP Steven Matz
  • RHP Robert Gsellman

Bullpen –

  • RHP Jeurys Familia – Closer
  • RHP Addison Reed
  • RHP Fernando Salas
  • LHP Jerry Blevins
  • RHP Hansel Robles

As frustrating as the Mets lineup is, their rotation is still one of the best in baseball in spite of the injury concerns around a few of their players. Thor is one of the best starters in all of baseball and should continue to lead this rotation no matter how broken down it may get. Jacob deGrom has been somewhat overshadowed by some of his bigger name rotation mates, but has posted a 2.74 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and has struck out 25% of the batters he’s faced over his three seasons in big leagues. We all know about Matt Harvey’s dominance before 2016, but shoulder issues limited his velocity, and command eventually leading to thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. I am very sure that is as painful as it sounds. How Harvey rebounds from this surgery will be the focus of the Mets for the majority of the season. Second year starter Steven Matz showed his potential during his rookie campaign striking out nearly a batter per inning as well as having a groundball rate above 50%. Injury issues continue to follow Matz however as he was limited to just 132.1 innings and I have major questions about his long term durability. As of this posting (3/22) there still has not been an official announcement on closer Jeurys Familia’s suspension, but one would have to think it will be similar to Aroldis Chapman’s 30 day suspension to start last season. There is not a lot of good options after Familia in this bullpen and the Mets will almost definitely be in the market for a reliever at the trade deadline.

Fantasy Analysis:

Stud: SP Noah Syndergaard. It only took two seasons, but the man they call Thor has shot up fantasy starting pitcher rankings. Syndergaard is currently going fourth among starting pitchers behind Kershaw, Scherzer, and Bumgarner. That is some elite company. Syndergaard struckout 218 batters in 183.2 innings last season with a strikeout to walk rate of 5.08 which was tied for fourth in the majors among starting pitchers. I am more than comfortable paying full price for Thor this season and fully expect him to be a top fantasy starter for many years to come.

Sleeper: OF Curtis Granderson. Granderson isn’t your typical sleeper as he is entering his age 36 season. However Granderson is criminally underrated coming into this season going at pick 283. Granderson has popped 25 or more home runs in four of his last six seasons and hitting near the top of a solid and deep Mets lineup should produce enough counting stats to stay in your lineup all season. No one is going to say “nice pick” when you take Grandy in the late rounds, but it is pick’s like these that can help you win your league.

Bust: SP Matt Harvey. This one hurts. I love Harvey, but there are just too many questions surrounding him and not enough discount at the draft table for me to touch him in 2017. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare injury, but the track record is not good. Former All Star Josh Beckett was able to make just 20 more starts in his career after his TOS surgery before having to retire and former Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter was able to pitch just 30.2 innings after his surgery before having to retire. Lesser known names such as Shaun Marcum and Noah Lowry have had TOS surgery in recent history. Marcum has only been able to throw 35 innings in the big leagues since his surgery while Lowry never made it back to the majors after his. Harvey wasn’t even the only big league pitcher to have TOS surgery last season as fellow righty Tyson Ross also had the surgery and he does not have a clear time table for a return as of right now. Basically I’m not sure I would want to take Harvey his first year after surgery if there was minimal cost knowing what I know about TOS, let alone as the 36th starter off the board. Let someone else in your league take the risk on Harvey in 2017.

2017 Record Prediction: The Mets are a pretty old and fragile team as a whole and I do not think they are very well run either. They will still be competitive, but I do not think they will have enough to get back to the postseason in 2017. 80-82. Second in the NL East.

-Randy Haines

Check out our other 2017 team previews here.

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Statistics are courtesy of Baseball reference and Fangraphs

Projected rosters are courtesy of rosterresource.com and accurate as of 3/22

Fantasy ADP data courtesy of STATS.com and The NFBC

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