Mets 2013 year in review: A swing and a miss

Team PictureIt’s been a great year at Mets360. This writer has been honored to be part of the group of talented individuals to join Brian and the rest of Mets360′s outstanding staff in 2013. I am extremely thankful and appreciative to Brian, the staff, and all of the visitors who take the time to read and comment on my articles. I hope you continue to do so in 2014.

The nature of the beast that is the blogging world is that, when someone posts analysis and opinion (especially an opinion that is somewhat predictive), they’re bound to miss the mark from time to time. As we err we learn, as we learn we go grow, and as we grow we improve as individuals. In honor of the coming New Year and in the spirit of continued growth, the following are retrospectives on some of my biggest misses of 2013.

The Former Second Baseman of the Future

In January 2013 I implored Mets fans not to give up on second base prospect Reese Havens. He had an abysmal 2012 season where he slashed .215/.340/.351 with a 29% strikeout rate, but he had first-round pedigree and still held potential even as an older prospect. In the article I argued that “while his ceiling on the defensive end is really about average, his hitting ability, power, and patience shows the potential for an offensively above average second baseman.”

So what happened in 2013? Well, in October I implored Mets fans to give up on him. Continued poor performance and health led to another disappointing season. He slashed .237/.312/.330 with one home run and eight RBIs in just 38 games. His inability to stay on the field or produce when he’s on it essentially relegates him to organizational filler. It’s a good lesson in not holding on to hope for a non-producing prospect longer than you should.

(Not) The Outfield Solution

In February 2013, at the height of the “Mets have the worst outfield ever” hysteria, I wrote about a rarely discussed prospect that could potentially be the solution to several holes in the Mets roster. Former second baseman Alonzo Harris converted to the outfield in 2011 and demonstrated all of the tools that the early-2013 Mets lacked: a speedy, right-handed hitting outfielder with the potential to hit at the top of the order. He had a very successful 2012 campaign in which he hit .287/.354/.424 with 8 home runs and seven triples while earning the Mets 2012 Florida State League (FSL) Sterling Award. He ranked third in stolen bases and tenth in hits in the FSL. It all seemed to be going so well.

Harris’ 2013 season didn’t come close to his stellar 2012. In 101 games he slashed .218/.285/.305, nowhere near his 2012 marks. His OBP tanked and his stolen base total dropped from 40 in 2012 to 25 in 2013, effectively destroying the attributes that made him so intriguing in the first place. While he had been progressively improving on his strikeout rate throughout his career, it exploded in 2013 to 22.5% (up from 13.3% in 2012). At 24 years old, it’s now hard to see Harris as more than a 4th or 5th outfielder. He’ll need to turn it around next season to even reach that outcome, though.

The Future Mets Home Run King

Oh boy. Back in February I proposed the extremely optimistic possibility that Ike Davis, for all of his home run power, could become the “future Mets home run king.” I based this on a fairly small sample of his AB/HR ratio when compared to former Mets boppers. After he hit 32 home runs in what was essentially half a productive season in 2012, it was reasonable to expect/hope that he’d be able to build on it in 2013.

One of the caveats in that article was that we had to assume that “nothing goes terribly wrong for Davis” moving forward. Unfortunately, it went terribly wrong for him 2013. A slow start led to another awful first half, which led to a demotion, which led us to the point where the Mets are trying to move him for anything of value. For what it’s worth, there’s reason to at least toy with the idea that Davis still has it in him to become something resembling what we’d hoped he could become. He may have to do it in another uniform, though.

I want to give a big thank you to the Mets360 readers. Please continue to engage in comments, in the forums, and during game chats. Here’s to a great New Year for all of you in Metsland and to a great 2014 season. Cheers.

8 comments for “Mets 2013 year in review: A swing and a miss

  1. NormE
    December 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Hey Rob,
    I think it’s really great when a writer ‘fesses up to predictions which don’t work out.
    Don’t stop making them just because some fail. It would be good to see some of
    your fellow staff members do the same.
    As for me, I’m still waiting for Jason Bay to live up to my expectations.

    • NormE
      December 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      I should also add that I expected Ryan Church to be a perennial Mets all-star.

  2. Name
    December 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Personally, my big busts this year were Cowgill and Marcum, both of whom I expected to be big contributors this year.

  3. Robby
    December 30, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I was really with you on HAvens. Thought this was going to be his breakout year and we would see him the the big league club.

  4. TexasGusCC
    December 30, 2013 at 2:46 am

    My biggest misses were Marcum and Davis. I fully expected Marcum to live up to his average stats, at least. And expected Davis to pick up where he left off in 2012, but…

    My breakouts for this coming year are Murphy to be 20/20/170 (runs+rbi), and general improvement from Lagares, TDA, and Flores.

    My dud: Bartolo Colon will get hurt running to first base in April and if Davis is traded, Duda will be vilified by the fans for his “clutch walks”.

  5. Jerry Grote
    December 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Jerry Grote:

    too bullish on Lagares at the plate for the second half
    too bullish on Travis Taijeron at Binghampton (jury is still out)
    too bearish on Mejia (and now, I might be too bullish)
    too bullish on Aardsma

  6. Patrick Albanesius
    December 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I also thought Ryan Church was going to be a great right fielder for the Mets. Perhaps if the concussions were handled differently, it might have been possibly. We’ll never know though.

  7. Chris F
    December 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Far too optimistic on Tejada as the permanent fix to SS.
    Too pessimistic on the bull pen as a whole.

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