With our site projections winding down, I wanted to revive a favorite piece of mine from last year and that is having fun with predictions (team leaders in most statistical categories) for the upcoming season.
(For a refresher and primer, here is last year’s column. Some were on the mark and some were way off target.)
That all being said, let’s have some fun with predictions once again and see what the crystal ball has to say for this year.
Batting Average Champ: Daniel Murphy- .309
Once again I am bullish on Murphy, as I think he has all the skills to be a great hitter. This may be the year he breaks out. With not having to worry about what position he will play, Murphy will be locked in at the plate and have his best season yet.
Home Run Champ: Ike Davis- 35
35 home runs are what I projected when we did our staff projections for Davis and I think I may have undersold him with that amount. Davis is finally healthy and is focused in on a rebound season. Don’t be surprised if he is good for 40 or more home runs this season.
Runs Champ: David Wright- 94
Wright led the team in runs last year with 91 and that doesn’t seem likely to change. Wright does it all for the Mets and between him getting on base and possessing above-average speed, he should get his fair share of runs scored.
RBI Champ: David Wright and Ike Davis- 99
Wright and Davis should duke it out all season for being tops on the team in runs batted in. Wright is the seasoned vet who should continue to be the rock for the team, while Davis is set to break out now that he is healthy.
Stolen Bases Champ: David Wright- 14
There is not a lot of speed on this team and Wright (who led the team last year with 15) should once again go unmatched on the base paths. Unless an outfielder-say a Corey Patterson or a Jordany Valdespin gets a chance at regular playing time-then Wright will have this title all to himself once again.
Wins Champ: Jonathon Niese- 16
After three full seasons in the majors, Niese will get his chance to breakout in 2013. Niese will assume the role from R.A. Dickey as the Mets’ most trusted and dependable arm in the rotation. All signs point toward Niese piecing together his best season yet.
Strikeout Champ: Matt Harvey- 177
The Mets have not had a hard-throwing pitcher for years and Harvey will satisfy that need with his hard-throwing ways. While he may not get the innings of a Niese, Harvey will still dazzle in his appearances. You can’t argue with his 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.
ERA Champ: Matt Harvey- 3.44
Harvey will not settle for “mediocrity” and he has all the tools to succeed and lead the Mets out of the darkness and into the light. It all starts this year.
Saves Champ: Bobby Parnell- 31
We have been sold a bag of goods on Parnell for years, but I think this year Parnell grabs the closer role by the horns and never looks back. He could be due for more chances, but I see Terry Collins giving Frank Francisco and Brandon Lyon some token save opportunities.
Innings Champ: Jonathon Niese- 195
Again, with the departure of Dickey, Niese will be the rock of the Mets’ rotation. Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee all have injury concerns to deal with and Harvey could see his innings scaled back in an effort to protect himself from overusing his arm in his second season in the big league. That leaves Niese as the most logical choice.
So, who do you got leading the team in these categories? Feel free to chime in on the discussion and give us your favorites.