Between glimpses of greatness from Matt Harvey (storming out of the gate and starting the All Star Game) and the agony of his season-ending (and perhaps longer) injury, the Mets have not had much to hang their hat on this season.
Well, before we look forward, let’s look back with our annual final-season grades for each major contributor to the Mets this year.
The grading is based on a combination of expectations and overall success. Exempt from this list are: players no longer with the club (John Buck, Marlon Byrd, etc.), players with limited playing time with the club (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Wilfredo Tovar, Zach Lutz, etc.) and players who flamed out and were sent to the minors (Jordany Valdespin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, etc.).
Travis d’Arnaud: Inc.
I was tempted to grade d’Arnaud, but with him overcoming his foot injury and trying to play catch-up in such a short amount of time, it would be harsh to accurately grade him. There are some concerns, though, but in due time, he should be a fine player.
For a backup catcher, Recker does his job admirably. He calls a good game and has decent pop, but he clearly he has his limitations.
Ike Davis: D-
It was a disaster from the start for Davis. From his miserable beginning, to his season-ending oblique injury, Davis failed on mostly all fronts this season—aside from his strong on base tendencies he displayed prior to getting hurt.
Lucas Duda: C-
While he has his flaws, Duda is doing a decent job at first, now that he has been freed from the burden of trying to masquerade playing the outfield. It would be nice if Duda could be a bit more aggressive at the plate while also driving in more runners in scoring position.
Josh Satin: B
Satin showed his versatility and ability to tee off on lefties, and he was a great stopgap option when Davis was in Vegas. While he may not be a starter going forward, Satin should be be a valuable role player off the bench for the Mets.
You know what you’re getting from Murphy year in and year out and that is reliability and solid hitting. While not the best second baseman out there, he is more than capable and is still one of the Mets’ most trusted assets.
For the role he plays (utility man and pinch-hitter), Turner just does fine for what he does. It’s when you rely on Turner to be more than that, that he starts to show cracks in his game.
Wilmer Flores: C-
95 at-bats are enough to warrant a grade, but alas, the jury is still out on Flores. While he showed great ability to knock in runs early, his ankle injury late in the summer derailed a fine start and he shouldn’t be judged just yet.
Ruben Tejada: F
Tejada’s season mirrors that of Davis. Awful from the start, demoted to Vegas only to return and reinjure himself. After his miserable season, there is a good chance Tejada lost his job at shortstop for good.
Omar Quintanilla: C-
Quintanilla on the surface may deserve a lower grade, but between Tejada’s struggles, Quintanilla simply just played too much. He is simply not an everyday shortstop and his many weaknesses came to the surface with extended playing time.
David Wright: A
The Mets got the season they expected to get out of their new captain, and aside from his hamstring injury holding him down a bit, Wright lived up to his lofty new contract. Hopefully in the offseason the front office provides Wright with the necessary protection for him to thrive.
Juan Lagares: B
How do you grade superb defense to go along with shoddy (for the most part) offense? Well, you go down the middle between an A and a C. Lagares should only get better with time.
Eric Young Jr.: B-
Young was the necessary spark plug and base-stealing threat the Mets always needed. However, Young is not prone to getting on base enough for anyone’s liking. He’s real streaky, but he should have a place with the Mets going forward regardless.
While he also doesn’t have a lot of at-bats to accurately judge him, den Dekker is living up to his scouting report, in that he his defense is way ahead of his offensive skills.
Andrew Brown: C
Brown is good at what he does: providing a nice power bat off the bench. He’s not much more than that, though.
Mike Baxter: C-
Aside from his local boy made-good story, Baxter is just simply not a reliable outfield option to bank on. He’s at best a fringe 5th outfielder type with good skills against righties .
Matt Harvey: A
Harvey was everything and more than expected. He was pitching like an ace and also restoring hope among the fanbase. But a season-ending injury (and perhaps longer) put a damper on things.
Struggled from the start; but once the weather heated up—and aside from a trip to the DL—he came back with vigor and proved to be a quality middle-of-the rotation pitcher to trust.
Dillon Gee: B
Much like Niese, Gee struggled badly early on, but in June, things clicked for Gee and he was awesome the rest of the way.
Zack Wheeler: B
Still a little rough around the edges, Wheeler is definitely showing us that he has the stuff to be a frontline starter. Good things are in store
Jeremy Hefner: B-
Prior to getting hurt, Hefner was doing a bang up job, and his Tommy John surgery couldn’t come at a worse time. Hefner will now not likely be back until the 2015 season.
Jenrry Mejia: B
Yet another injured Mets’ starter that showed a lot of promise when he was called up in late-July. Mejia should be fine for spring training, and he has every chance to secure a spot in the rotation next March.
You can slot Torres in the bullpen too, but any way you slice it, Torres was a reliable arm all season. He should have the long-man role all to himself heading into 2014.
Bobby Parnell: A-
Yet again, we have to talk about a guy (this time in Parnell) who was doing a bang-up job in his role prior to getting injured. Parnell relished in the role as closer and took his game to the next level. But alas, a neck injury derailed a fine season.
LaTroy Hawkins: B+
Hawkins exceeded all expectations, and was an anchor for a bullpen in flux all season. There is even talk that the Mets want to bring him back after his revitalized season.
Atchison was never one for consistency, but he was useful more times than not. Don’t expect to see him back with the Mets though.
Scott Rice: C-
The lefty “specialist” was certainly overused, and, as a result, was exploited for being a marginal pitcher. There were some positive outings, but the Mets should be looking at another lefty specialist for next year.
David Aardsma: B-
For the most part, Aardsma has been a dependable arm in the bullpen, and with his experience as a closer, he may be brought be back for 2014.
Gonzalez Germen: B-
Although still a work in progress, Germen did show flashes of potentially being a solid arm out of the bullpen for years to come.
They are what they are: aging and adequate specialists on the downside of their career. But kudos to both for battling back to pitch this year.
Like it or not, Collins is probably coming back next year. I still believe in the mantra that the manager/coach takes too much blame when things are going bad and not enough praise when things are going well. Not blessed with the best of talent, Collins still bungles lineup decisions and is bad with bullpen management. The Mets probably could do better.
Sandy Alderson: B-
Whether strapped financially by ownership or not, Alderson has made some nice moves this year. He acquired Eric Young Jr. for a song (Colin McHugh), while also dumping Marlon Byrd and John Buck at the right time for some intriguing prospects (Dilson Herrera and Vic Black). Still, he will ultimately be judged by how he does this offseason—which is of course of critical importance.