Mets’ 2013 Mid-Season Report Card

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.

Catcher:

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.

Infield:

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.

Daniel Murphy: B

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.

Omar Quintanilla: B

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.

Justin Turner: C

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.

Outfield:

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.

Jordany Valdespin: D-

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.

Starting Pitching:

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.

Jonathon Niese: C

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.

Relief Pitching:

Bobby Parnell: A

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.

LaTroy Hawkins: B

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.

Carlos Torres: A

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

Head Coach:

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.

GM:

 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.

15 comments for “Mets’ 2013 Mid-Season Report Card

  1. Jerry Grote
    July 15, 2013 at 8:16 am

    If the manager is playing an F above an A, and D+ above a C+ … how do you figure the manager to be anything but a D?

    Terry Collins continues to commit ABs to players that simply detract from the team. Not that they are approaching being bad; they are historically, irrefutably bad AND he has viable alternatives nearby.

    It reminds me of the SNL skit, where comedians hit themselves in the head with a hammer continually, saying how much they hated doing it.

    • Name
      July 15, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Remember, he’s grading on expectations (which i think is the right way) so a player getting an B compared to someone getting a C doesn’t mean that the player who is rated B has produced more than the player who got a C.

      • Jerry Grote
        July 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        So we should have expected Terry Collins to have been so committed, to so many players, playing so horrifically?

        My post wasn’t centered on Kirk or Satin or Davis or Lagares … it’s on the premise that even a stopped clock gets the time right twice a day. Collins has been wrong on nearly every roster decision he’s made. I won’t even get into the in-game decisions.

        For Terry Collins to grade out above a D – which is just above failing – you need to have *expected* him to be wrong on nearly every player decision.

        No. I pretty much give TC a D.

        • Name
          July 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

          I wasn’t saying anything about TC. I was just commenting that you can’t really use the raw grades for two players to compare them.

        • TexasGusCC
          July 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm

          I agree Jerry. Collins’ moves, lineups, and dumb public comments are such a mockery of the team’s attempt to progress that Alderson has to continuously give him public support, and still no one believes Alderson. That’s how bad it has been at times!

    • nym
      July 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Well starting Ike was more of a move thinking of the long term. He was thought of by the organization as a guy to be one of the key long term pieces, so they were trying to give him any chance to succeed. And the reports from AAA were good…there was the thought he was “fixed” so they were giving him a shot to show that at the MLB level. The FO wouldn’t have made the move to bring him back up if he was just going to be immediately placed on the bench. Though now you have to wonder how much more rope he is going to get. He hasn’t been back THAT long…only 26 AB so far, but there seemed to be increasing talk the past couple days about his role being uncertain and that he might lose some ABs to Satin.

  2. July 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

    With the grades based on expectations, I would think Byrd and Hefner should get A-level marks.

    Also, is anyone intrigued by Valdespin anymore? If you’re really curious how he would do in the majors with full-time ABs, just check out Yuniesky Betancourt’s page. And just try asking fans of any of the teams that played him full-time if they would care to repeat the experience.

    Collins is trickier. I guess I expected him to do his typical reliever thing, ride players for too long, show no creativity and lead the Mets to another sub-.500 season. If my expectations are low and he meets them completely – how would I grade that? I almost think you have to give him two grades. And one of those should be in the D/F range.

  3. Trey
    July 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

    My assessments are based on actual performance.

    Catcher:
    Anthony Recker: B-
    John Buck: B-

    Infield:
    Ike Davis: F
    Josh Satin: A
    Daniel Murphy: B-
    Ruben Tejada: F
    Omar Quintanilla: B+
    Justin Turner: C
    David Wright: A

    Outfield:
    Lucas Duda: C- (can’t field, does not hit in the clutch)
    Marlon Byrd: A
    Eric Young Jr.: B+ (based on time with the Mets)
    Juan Lagares: C+
    Jordany Valdespin: F
    Kirk Nieuwenhuis: D
    Andrew Brown: Inc.

    Starting Pitching:
    Matt Harvey: A+
    Jonathon Niese: C
    Dillon Gee: B
    Jeremy Hefner: A
    Shaun Marcum: F
    Zack Wheeler: B

    Relief Pitching:
    Bobby Parnell: A
    LaTroy Hawkins: B
    David Aardsma: B
    Scott Rice: B
    Josh Edgin: C-
    Carlos Torres: B+
    Greg Burke: C

  4. July 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Byrd deserves at least an A- not only for the effort but for his interpretation as to how the game should be played. He just comes ready to play and no excuses. How refreshing. Considering how handicapped SA is with payroll I think he too deserves an A-. Maybe he felt Cowgill wasn’t what he expected and didn’t waste any time in replacing him. I would of given him an A except his ridiculous signing of Rick Ankiel. So the question remains is Terry Collins getting the most out of his players? And to that end is he going to take the Mets to the next level? No and No. Grade C simply because if he had an outfield at the start of the season one wonders if the Mets could be at 500 today. The outfield disaster is not his fault.

  5. Name
    July 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I think we have seen the last of JV. According to reports, he threw a tantrum after being told he was demoted and called TC some unpleasant and profane names.

    Personally, i would give EY an A. He’s exceeded all my expectations: hitting over .300, OBP above .380 and a healthy .782 OPS. And the team is scoring almost a run more per game when he has started (4.875 runs to 3.94).

    I think Hefner has to get an A. Other than Brian, did anyone else expect this?

    Rice is tough to evaluate. He’s been GOD AWFUL since May 10th(and before that he had terrible peripherals that screamed regression) but then again I did not expect him to be very good. I guess C- is fair, most of the blame should be placed on TC anyways for keeping him on the roster.

    Otherwise, i agree with everything else.

    • Metsense
      July 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      I read where JV rated Collins a C in metsblog ESPN and added a sucker to the grade.

  6. Michael von Graevenitz
    July 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I have to agree on just about everybody. I’m also glad that the flameouts ate gone, not to mention the ones that were released and signed on with other teams and didn’t produce. I believe one was Laffey. I also noticed that Thole can’t hit a lick for Toronto. Also an observation: did you notice how Jose Reyes affected the Blue Jays in a negative way once he came off the DL? They were white hot and now nothing. Did he affect the Mets clubhouse the same way? It is possible that is the reason the Metropolitans never got serious in contract negotiations? It was a bush league play the way he went out. Bunti.g for a hit and then taking himself out of the game. Ted Williams would have ripped him apart( remember 1941 and his 6 for 8 to bat .406 instead of sitting out to protect .400).

  7. July 16, 2013 at 12:16 am

    To Michael. It’s pretty clear your not in the Jose Reyes fan club. Glad you were able to get that off your chest after so many years. But the blog is about mid season grades. Anyway just to note the Jays were already slumping before Reyes was activated and no I don’t remember 1941.

  8. Metsense
    July 16, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Between a D and F is the grade E for extinct and three Mets deserve that grade.
    JV who was replaced by Eric Young at all 4 of JV’s positions.
    Justin Turner who was replaced at 1B, 2B, 3B by the emergence of Josh Satin and the aquisition of EY.
    Ike Davis who should lose his position to a Duda/Satin platoon.
    All three players no longer have a future in the Met organization as they have been replaced by better players and therefore are extinct.

  9. Michael von Graevenitz
    July 16, 2013 at 10:47 am

    As much as it pains me, I agree with the assessment that Ike has to go. Maybe for an outfielder. Valdespin was given a chance, blew it, then blames the manager. Bye to him. And Peter, you didn’t have have to have been around for 1941, I wasn’t, but that is part of baseball lore, not to mention a great story.

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