Final 2012 Mets’ Report Card

Looking through a vacuum, the Mets’ 2012 season was pretty par for the course.

Think about it. Nearly every pundit and prognosticator predicted the Mets to be an underwhelming bunch and almost all unanimously picked the Mets to finish last in the NL East. At least we beat out the Miami Reyes!

So, for the most part, the Mets lived up to the expectations that were placed upon them in the preseason. Granted, with the way the Mets started out of the gate, the end results are not acceptable to most Mets’ fans.

It was an eventful season nonetheless as we were all witness to the Mets’ first ever no-hitter thrown by Johan Santana. Oh, and despite the Mets just winning 74 games, the Mets’ had their first 20-game winner in 22 years in R.A. Dickey. Dickey’s magical season captivated the hearts of Mets’ fans everywhere and we now must wait to see if he wins the highly-contested and debated NL Cy Young award.

So, without further ado, here is my final 2012 Mets’ report card (I avoided most of the September call-ups, players who saw limited time or those players who are not currently with the team anymore, i.e. Miguel Batista, Omar Quintanilla):

Hitting

Josh Thole: D+
Thole’s grade could actually be worse, but I had to factor in his concussion issues. Regardless, Thole regressed big time both offensively and defensively.

Kelly Shoppach: C
Shoppach makes for a serviceable backup catcher who brings a power bat to the lineup. I’d like to see Shoppach back in some capacity next year.

Mike Nickeas: D
With no discernible offensive skills and being nothing special on defense, there is not a lot of promise with Nickeas.

Ike Davis: C+
For the first three months, Davis’ grade was an F. His last three months have been worthy of a B grade. So hence a grade in the middle.

Daniel Murphy: B
Didn’t progress as much as anticipated and a lack of power and defensive shortcomings cut into his grade. On the flipside, at least he stayed healthy all season.

Ruben Tejada: B+
Tejada abundantly exceeded all expectations while filling the shoes left by Jose Reyes. Tejada is a great contact hitter and a sure-handed shortstop that the Mets can count on for the foreseeable future.

David Wright: A
Wright had a fantastic season while trying to carry this team offensively. It was good to see him rebound after some injury-plagued seasons. Wright was all that was asked of him and then some.

Ronny Cedeno: C
Not great, but not too bad either, Cedeno always played his part.

Justin Turner: B-
Turner was a great RBI man in many clutch situations this year. Turner makes for a dependable utility man.

Jordany Valdespin: C
At times Valdespin was titillating and at other times he was maddeningly frustrating. The jury is still out, but Valdespin has a LOT of room for improvement.

Jason Bay: F-
Can we give out Z as a grade? Not much has to be stated here. He is an albatross for the Mets.

Andres Torres: C-
Torres played well in spurts, but far too often his bat went ice cold. He’ll likely never pay another game for the Mets.

Scott Hairston: A
Considering what was expected out of him and his role with the team to start the season, Hairston went above and beyond the call of duty. Seriously, who could have predicted 20 home runs?

Lucas Duda: C-
Duda was supposed to supply the power that Hairston brought but he struggled mightily while trying to live up to preseason expectations. Awful on defense, Duda’s role with the Mets going forward is in doubt.

Mike Baxter: B
Baxter will always be remembered for his sensational catch in Santana’s no-hitter, but he was an excellent bat off the bench and is great in his role.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis: C
Nieuwenhuis also played well in spurts, especially upon being called up. However, Nieuwenhuis was exploited when pitchers started getting proper scouting reports on him. After a demotion and an injury that cut short his season, Nieuwenhuis has some work to do if he wants to start next year in Queens.

Pitching

R.A. Dickey A+
What more needs to be said? An ace from start to finish and among the only bright spots on the team.

Johan Santana: B
No-hitter theatrics aside, Santana provided a real boost in the beginning of the season but simply was not the same pitcher after an ankle injury.

Jonathon Niese B+
Niese finally hit his stride in 2012 and finished up a season healthy and strong for the first time in his career.

Matt Harvey: A-
Harvey was as good as advertised. The Mets finally have a power arm they can rely on in the front end of the rotation for years to come.

Dillon Gee: B
Prior to going down with an injury, Gee was a solid back-end rotation pitcher who could give you good innings on most nights.

Chris Young: C
It was good to see Young hold up for the whole season, but he wasn’t anything special and he has probably pitched his last game in Queens.

Jeremy Hefner: C-
Not much was expected out of Hefner and he is what he is: a mediocre longman/spot starter.

Bobby Parnell: B
Parnell had quite the up and down season, but really surged towards the end of the season. Can he take that next step next year? Seems like we have been asking that question for years.

Jon Rauch: B
Solid out of the gate, abysmal from May to July, and trustworthy and dependable down the stretch defines Rauch nicely.

Tim Byrdak: C+
On most occasions (when facing lefties) Byrdak was effective, but he is by no means an anchor in the bullpen.

Josh Edgin: B-
Edgin showed flashes of brilliance sprinkled in with bouts of inconsistency. That’s a rookie relief pitcher for you.

Ramon Ramirez: D-
The Mets did not get what they signed up for when they traded for Ramirez in the offseason and he ultimately proved to be a big disappointment.

Manny Acosta: D+
Acosta overcame an atrocious start and demotion to come back and pitch at a decent level.

Frank Francisco: C-
Epic meltdowns and countless injuries curtailed the season for Francisco. He is far from a trusted option heading into the 2013 season.

Coach/Management

Terry Collins: C
Not blessed with the greatest talent assembled, Collins had this team playing above their heads for the better part of three months but he could not get a good pulse on his team down the stretch.

Sandy Alderson: C
Alderson has to be graded on a curve as we don’t know how much he is hamstrung by ownership’s lack of funds, but the moves he made in the offseason and in the season (and the ones he didn’t) still leaves a lot to be desired.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

18 comments for “Final 2012 Mets’ Report Card

  1. TJ
    October 4, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Dan,
    Nice job, I agree with most. My differences – Santana needs a C as his train-wreck 2nd half helped kill the season. Yes, I know he worked hard, had the no-no, but overall performance was at best mediocre. Alderson gets a D. I understand he was severely limited by the budget, but his moves basically all stunk – he was fleeced on the Pagan trade, Francisco was very unreliable and unavailable way too much, Rauch was okay but they could have gotten much more for $3.5 million. Young was okay, and Aldserson gets a little credit for Hairston although he was a fall-back option for 2012. Shoppach should have been signed before the season – going with Thole/Nickeas at C was a big mistake. I’d give Acosta a C- as he was at least serviceable in the 2nd half after being written off by mid-season.

    • Dan Stack
      October 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks TJ.
      I can see your points, but I guess I graded Santana on a curve since he was pitching hurt for that awful stretch.
      The jury is still out on Alderson. True.

    • ronbo
      October 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I agree with you Dan except I would grade Thole an F when he first came up I thought the he had apotential to become an offensive force and a decent defensive player he is a hugh disappointment and one area that an upgrade is a major priority for the Mets.

  2. October 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I really enjoy reading this column and I know how hard this is to write.

    The nature of the beast is that this type of article begs for people to chime in with their disagreements and I guess I have a few…

    I would not give Turner a higher grade than Cedeno
    Given how awful he was before he was sent down, I probably would have given Nieuwenhuis a C-
    Hefner made 13 starts and turned in a QS 8 times. How many swing men anywhere in MLB had a better year?
    I thought Parnell’s season deserved a B+
    Is a 4.40 ERA in 30.2 IP really worth a C+ for Byrdak?
    If Ike Davis deserved a C+ for being awful in the first half and strong in the second half, why does the same performance get Manny Acosta a D+? Acosta had a 1.80 ERA and a 0.920 WHIP in the second half.

    • Dan Stack
      October 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Very valid points Brian.
      The only reason I gave Turner is because he is good at dishing out pies. Ha, just kidding. But his clutch factor played a role. On the surface, yes Cedeno did play better.
      Can’t argue about Kirk. I guess I factored in how much spunk he gave to the team early.
      Hefner could also see a boost. Parnell disappeared when the team needed him most.
      I could see a lower grade for Byrdak.
      Acosta could certainly have a higher grade, I admit, but his importance to the team is not the same when compared to Ike’s.

  3. David Groveman
    October 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Some Quibbling:

    Thole – We Agree

    Shoppach – For what we gave up, I think Shoppach should get at least a C+

    Nickeas – F (He was a total waste of space and Rob Johnson would have been more useful)

    Davis – We Agree

    Murphy – Maybe a little high… but that’s getting picky

    Tejada – We Agree

    Wright – B At Best (Sure he was an A+ to start the year but he regressed a lot to finish it)

    Cedeno – Again… the guy deserves a C+ or better for playing better than expected

    Turner – If Cedeno is a C then Turner is a C- in my book

    Valdespin – Sure… but there is plenty of hope he could be a major league OF with some luck

    Bay – We Agree

    Torres – C- is generous I’d rank him a D based on what we gave up

    Hairston – A is a little generous even for his GREAT season. He’s still not a starting OF

    Duda – We Agree… but only because his expectations were too high

    Baxter – B is a little generous but I like him too much to care

    Nieuwenhuis – I would probably rank Kirk higher because he really was a big part of that early success… but we’re talking C+

    Dickey – We Agree

    Santana – I’m so down on his contract that a B is hard for me to swallow

    Niese – We Agree

    Harvey – We Agree… I might go higher

    Gee – Backend pitchers getting B’s? Maybe…

    Young – We Agree

    Hefner – He deserves more credit for producing some success from ZERO expectations

    Parnell – We Agree

    Rauch – We Agree

    Byrdak – We Agree

    Edgin – We Agree

    Ramirez – D- is strong… I would give him a C- but nothing lower

    Accosta – We basically agree

    Francisco – I guess…

    Collins – We Agree

    Alderson – We Agree

    Wilpons – F (If the Wilpons had lost the legal battle the Mets would be better off right now. Staring at fresh ownership, a new contract for Wright and an influx of capital… sigh)

    • Name
      October 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Here are some of the things i might disagree with. Overall, i thought all the grades were slightly on the low side(maybe you had higher expectations for some?), but still a solid job.

      Thole-I would really factor that concussion issue here, it’s a hard injury to come back from.
      Ike-His last 3 months are only worth a B grade? What exactly are you expecting from Ike? I would have given him F for 1st half, A for 2nd and overall probably B-.
      Tejada-Has to be an A+ in my book. I don’t know what you were expecting.
      Torres-Only value in him was defense. D- for me.
      Hairston-A+
      Santana-Thank you for saying ankle injury rather than no-hitter fatigue! You made my day! :)
      Gee-I think he had good underlying stats, but his primary stats weren’t that good. B-/C+
      Young-filled my expectations. B
      Parnell-COuldn’t handle big situations. B-
      TC- F, F, F, F, F, Triple F. #FireTC
      Sandy-F for making no moves when holes were evident and trades were possible.

    • Dan Stack
      October 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Can’t argue much with what you said.

  4. kjs
    October 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    “Harvey was as good as advertised. The Mets finally have a power arm they can rely on in the front end of the rotation for years to come.”

    Oops! You just jinxed us. Either his arm will now fall off or he’ll be found au natural with a 17-year-old gal.

    • October 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Harvey will not be found in a compromising position unless you spend a fortune for a jersey with his name on the back, for you or yours. The day after said purchase, the scandal will be on the NY Post Page 6.

    • October 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Harvey will not be found in a compromising position unless you spend a fortune for a jersey with his name on the back, for you or yours. The day after said purchase, the scandal will be on the NY Post Page 6.

      Don’t buy the jersey and he will have a Rookie of the Year season next year and a long, wonderful career as a power pitcher!

  5. October 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the article; I always enjoy the end of the year grading and see how differently we all end up with. Mine are in the ( )

    Hitting

    Josh Thole: D+ (AGREE)

    Kelly Shoppach: C (D: He strikes out with impunity and has an even less chance of throwing out a runner than Thole Looks out of shape)

    Mike Nickeas: D (AGREE)

    Ike Davis: C+ (B: 31 home runs and 90 ribbies gets a B)

    Daniel Murphy: B (A: 40 doubles, .290 average, consistency, and surprising defense!)

    .

    Ruben Tejada: B+ (A: solid hitting and solid fielding)

    David Wright: A (Agree: though he hit .250 or so after the All Star Break. This means he was 100 points less! His fielding was superb)

    Ronny Cedeno: C AGREE

    Justin Turner: B- (AGREE)
    Turner was a great RBI man in many clutch situations this year. Turner makes for a dependable utility man.

    Jordany Valdespin: C (AGREE: I WONDER IF HE COULD BE PINCH HITTER EXTRAORDINAIRE)

    Jason Bay: F- ( Even lower due to what his salary does to our payroll! )

    Andres Torres: C- (AGREE)

    Scott Hairston: A (AGREE: For his role, he was great)

    Lucas Duda: C- D (Major let down)

    Pitching

    R.A. Dickey A+ (AGREE)
    What more needs to be said? An ace from start to finish and among the only bright spots on the team.

    Johan Santana: B (C. He was as awful as awful gets with record breaking awfulness after the no hitter)

    Jonathon Niese B+ (AGREE)

    Matt Harvey: A- (A+ I could not imagine why A- He could have been 8-2 He reminds me of Seaver! )

    Dillon Gee: B (AGREE)

    Chris Young: C (AGREE)

    • Dan Stack
      October 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      I guess the only reason for Harvey’s A- grade was because he was rookie and I didn’t want to go overboard with the praise. I don’t want to jinx it, but he looks sooo promising.

  6. October 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I apologize for the duplicate entry.
    By the way:

    Matt Harvey led the Mets in hitting this year. Give him an A+ !

  7. Chris F
    October 4, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I guess it was expected everyone would chime in…heres my grades in parentheses.

    Josh Thole: D+ (C- he dropped the fingers for the most memorable games of the year. He was hitting fine before the concussion)

    Kelly Shoppach: C (agree)

    Mike Nickeas: D (F. Who is Mike Nickeas?)

    Ike Davis: C+ (C. He still swings at ghosts and while the HRs are great, too little too late)

    Daniel Murphy: B (B+. Contact hitter for high average, and did fine at 2B without injury; was athletic for the whole season).

    Ruben Tejada: B+ (A. Jose who? 21 yr old must fill the shoes of a NY hero in his first full time role at SS)

    David Wright: A (B-. No one that is a veteran and all star can be that inconsistent and get a gold star from me)

    Ronny Cedeno: C (B. He did his job above average when called on)

    Justin Turner: B- (I agree)

    Jordany Valdespin: C (C-. Enough credit as a rookie to keep him out of the dog’s house and a few highlight moments, but hyper-confidence cant replace real discipline)

    Jason Bay: F- (sad, but true)

    Andres Torres: C- (D-. Not the glove, speed, or bat we ordered. A major let down. Mr Hit-into-a-double-play. See ya Andres)

    Scott Hairston: A (agreed)
    Considering what was expected out of him and his role with the team to start the season,

    Lucas Duda: C- (agreed)

    Mike Baxter: B (A-. The catch, the pinch hitting, a reasonably stable guy in either corner OF. He did it all)

    Kirk Nieuwenhuis: C (agreed)

    Pitching

    R.A. Dickey A+ (indeed)

    Johan Santana: B (agreed)

    Jonathon Niese B+ (A-. Our only pitcher that doesnt throw a knuckleball that pitched all season to career level highs)

    Matt Harvey: A- (A+. Im gonna say better than advertised. Better in the Show than in Buff. Cant miss any of his starts. His rookie numbers for all the starts he had put him in some very rare air)

    Dillon Gee: B (C. Average)

    Chris Young: C (D. I cant rally around CY for anything. Too erratic.)

    Jeremy Hefner: C- (agreed)

    Bobby Parnell: B (B-/C+. When its high leverage, its bad news.)

    Jon Rauch: B (agreed)

    Tim Byrdak: C+ (agreed)

    Josh Edgin: B- (B+. If TC hadnt managed his outings so poorly, he would have had better numbers and more confidence)

    Ramon Ramirez: D- (F. Id change the keys to Citi and never let him back in.)

    Manny Acosta: D+ (for the come back, C-)

    Frank Francisco: C- (agreed, but I want to give him an F. I cringe when he takes the hill)

    Coach/Management

    Terry Collins: C (C-. He has too rigid and predictable of a game plan that ate through the pitching staff. He is delusional Im afraid. He may like this group, but the present team doesnt have more than 75 wins no matter what he thinks.)

    Dan Warthen: D- If RA didnt have good comments for the help he got, it would be an F. Presided over some of the most miserable pitching and lack of conditioning for his staff that it is astounding he can still be there. What pictures, and of who, do you have Dan?

    D. Hudgens: D- Another systemic failure aside from helping Ike a little. The Mets are a pro club that looks as if it has never seen a single breaking pitch before. Here comes the hook, low and outside…swing, batter batter, swing.

    Geren: D- Maybe a hotfoot to run him out of NY so Wally can be the bench coach.

    T Goodwin: D- The comedy of base running errors was inexcuseable…Moooooooooooooooooook

    Tuff: A, We all worried about Hale’s departure, but Tuff was great with the infield and even got back DW back to gold glove level play

    Sandy Alderson: C (D. Im tired of the passionless demeanor that seems to not be connected to the reality of live time events. His solution to the pen was a failure, the keeping of this crap coaching squad make me wretch, and I have no confidence whatsoever anymore)

    Wilpons: F

    • Name
      October 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Since you mentioned some other members of the coaching staff, I’ll chime in with my reviews.

      TC: F, F, F. See my earlier comment

      Geren: I forgot he was the on the staff. Who knows what he does. But a negative thing that he did was he was an obstacle to getting Huston Street. I don’t think a fan can really give him a grade on his job.

      Tuff: Similar to Geren

      Goodwin: Can baserunning actually be taught?

      Hudgens: Um.. B-. This guy’s patient philosophy did lead us to the 3rd highest RS total in the 1st half. Unfortunetly, after 1.5 years, other teams caught on to their philosophy and really exposed it in the 2nd half. I won’t blame Hudgens too much because it’s hard to change your approach abruptly in the middle of the season, but he better get his act together in 2013 with a new plan.

      Warthen: He has made some idiotic comments like Harvey needs to use breaking stuff more, Meija is a relief pitcher, etc… but he has guided Niese to a nice season, and gotten decent performance from Santana/Gee in the 1st half. C+.

      Ray Ramirez: C-. Shoulda provided better support/advice to Santana when he was hurt

      Ricky Bones: Whatever he was telling the bullpen guys when they were warming up obviously didn’t work.

      Bullpen water boy: There was obviously something wrong with the water that the bullpen guys were drinking.

      • Dan Stack
        October 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        Good synopsis Chris and Name. I loved the added commentary of the other coaches!!

  8. October 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Reading the various grading from others has been interesting and I find myself adjusting slightly upwards or downwards as I take in the other opinions. Great article and great discussions.

    Terry Collins: I struggle with him. I listen carefully to what he says. I like him. I think the players like him and he likes them. His strategy was, at pointed out by others, predictable and routine.

    It has to be tough to face the NY press time after time and he was clearly uncomfortable.

    The personality that comes through the pressers is imminently likable. I recognize, of course, that this does not make for a grade on his performance. I’m torn.

    I go back to the period where the team seemed to quit on him. I pictured John Torts lining up his team with wind sprints in the outfield at the sound of a whistle, while the remaining fans in the stands stop exiting and turn to watch.

    “You don’t want to run out a grounder during the game? Perhaps you’ll enjoy the suicides we will now do in the outfield.”

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