As the New York Mets head into the All-Star break with a 41-50 record, the team is now set to host the Major League All-Star game at its home stadium, Citi Field, for the first time amid much fanfare.
And with two stars to be on display on Tuesday, it should be a nice showcase for a franchise who is yet again having a tough time playing winning baseball.
As it is a yearly tradition at Mets360.com, here is my first-half report card for the New York Mets.
(The players mentioned below have had just enough at-bats or innings to warrant a grade. Those who flamed out—Rick Ankiel, Brandon Lyon, etc.—or been sent back down to the minors—Mike Baxter, Robert Carson, etc.—will be precluded from receiving grades. Those who missed a majority of the season, i.e. Scott Atchison, will also be exempt from this exercise.)
Also, grades are based on expectations.
Anthony Recker: C+
Recker is starting to get more time at the plate and has done a solid job in back-up duties. For what he is, Recker does his job admirably.
John Buck: B-
After a hot start, which we all thought was unsustainable, Buck predictably has regressed to become what we thought he was: a catcher with limited contact skills who calls good games and has the knack for the occasional bomb.
Ike Davis: F
Davis failed miserably from the start, which led to his demotion to Las Vegas. For the better part of three months, Davis was a lost soul at the plate and was giving the Mets pathetic production at first base. If not for a semi-decent stretch since he was recalled, Davis is lucky his grade wasn’t worse than the F he was given.
Josh Satin: A
Obviously, Satin is being graded on a curve, seeing as though he’s only had 58 at-bats, but he has gone above and beyond the call of duty while solidifying the first base position while Davis struggled.
Murphy has been streaky all year, sometimes looking locked in at the plate and, surprisingly, in the field. However, Murphy has been prone to some hitting droughts and he is better than the grade he was given.
Ruben Tejada: F
Tejada is another Mets’ player who seemingly lost his confidence. Before hitting the DL, Tejada was wretched and looked like a shell of his former self—both at the plate and in the field.
Giving the Mets a shot in the arm after Tejada flamed out, Quintanilla has done a good job of stabilizing the shortstop position for the Mets. Quintanilla is no world beater, but he doesn’t hurt you either.
Prior to getting hurt, Turner was too inconsistent for anyone’s liking. Turner has proven to be versatile, but he’s seen better days as a Met.
David Wright: A
The Captain is having a terrific season and has been the steadying force for the Mets once again. Wright has lived up to what was asked of him, but he can’t do this alone.
Lucas Duda: B-
When healthy and playing with confidence, while playing at a position at first base where he’s comfortable at as opposed to the outfield, Duda can be a valuable asset. While Duda is awful in the outfield, we should not overlook that when he is locked in at the plate, he can be bring some much-needed power to the lineup.
Marlon Byrd: B+
Ok, who had Byrd leading the team in home runs and RBI’s as we hit the break? Byrd has been a revelation this year and has provided a powerful bat from the right side of the plate.
Eric Young Jr.: B
Ever since he was traded for in mid-June, Young Jr. has proven to be a spark plug for this team with his speed and athleticism. The Mets have received lighting in a bottle after acquiring him from the Rockies.
Juan Lagares: C+
How much do you value defense over offense? Lagares has shown he is a fantastic fielder, but has yet to make an impact with his bat.
Winston Churchill once said Russia was “a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma.” Those sentiments can be applied to Valdespin, who continues to baffle, underwhelm and intrigue the Mets all in one. All in all, though, Valdespin has been largely unproductive in the first half and has now since been demoted.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: D+
Between starting the season with the Mets and then being sent down and then being promoted again, Nieuwenhuis has done nothing to dispel the notion that he is anything better than a back-up outfielder.
Andrew Brown: Inc.
Brown is another player who just needs more time before he can be accurately evaluated. Brown has some tools to succeed in this league, but the jury is still out on him.
Matt Harvey: A+
What else can be said that hasn’t been said already about Harvey? Harvey has been a godsend for a franchise in need of a power arm who can electrify the masses. Simply put, Harvey is an ace and is on his way towards a terrific career with Mets.
Prior to getting hurt, Niese was giving the Mets inconsistent efforts. Whether that stems from injury-related issues or not, Niese has simply not been the pitcher he was last year.
Dillon Gee: B-
Gee is what he is: A solid, back-end rotation filler with not a huge amount of upside. Gee has overcome a poor start to give the Mets some solid outings down the stretch of the first half.
Jeremy Hefner: B+
Seemingly out of nowhere, Hefner has stabilized the Mets’ rotation and has pitched out of his mind lately. While he doesn’t rack up the wins, the fact that he has 13 quality starts is what tells the story.
Shaun Marcum: F
Regardless of his season-ending injury, Marcum was an abject failure from the start and rarely gave the Mets any quality innings.
Zack Wheeler: B
Much like Satin, it’s hard to give Wheeler an appropriate grade since he’s had just four starts, but his energy has given the rotation a shot in the arm.
Parnell has put it altogether this year and has become the type of closer we all thought he was capable of. With the way he is pitching, Parnell has now been mentioned in plenty of trade rumors. Parnell has been a bright spot in the bullpen from the start.
The career journeyman pitcher has had his moments this year and has been a mostly dependable arm in the bullpen.
David Aardsma: B+
Ever since being placed into the pen in early June, Aardsma has been a pleasant surprise and is once again looking like an arm to trust late in games.
Scott Rice: C-
The lefty-specialist Rice is hardly doing a convincing job of intimidating lefty batters and is not the most reliable arm in the bullpen.
Josh Edgin: C
After struggling early and earning a demotion, Edgin has come back and pitched pretty well. Still, Edgin has a lot of room for growth.
Torres has been phenomenal out of the bullpen, but with Marcum going on the DL, Torres will be used as a starter at least until Niese is ready to come back.
Greg Burke: C
Burke is another pitcher who has been shuttled between Las Vegas and Queens while producing erratic results in the process
Terry Collins: B-
Collins is one of the most polarizing figures amongst Mets’ fans. Some think he’s doing a good job with less-than-superior talent to work with, while others are baffled by him continuing to be a slave to matchups.
Sandy Alderson: B-
Alderson is also starting to feel the heat from impatient Mets’ fans, but if his preaching of having patience pays off, then we’ll all be better off for it. Besides, he did bring in Young for an expendable pitcher in Collin McHugh.