The Mets have not finished above .500 since 2008, and have struggled to get out of fourth place for a few years. So how can a team like this be the best team in the majors? Well for starters, their organization has players and prospects with potentials higher than the sky. Of course, just because they have potential does not mean that they will produce as they are expected, but there is a good possibility that they will. Therefore, listed below are some of the players that will help the Mets rise to the top.
1. Zack Wheeler: The young number two starter for the Mets may assume the role of the Mets Ace this season, as Matt Harvey will likely not be pitching at all in 2014. According to Fangraphs, Wheeler is expected to go 11-8 this season with a 3.57 ERA. Personally, I find this to be a bit out of reach, but then again, Matt Harvey had huge success his sophomore season, so why can’t Wheeler.
2. Noah Syndergaard: Projected by Fangraphs to go 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 2014, Noah Syndegaard seems to be this year’s Mets breakout prospect. Syndergaard is not the hardest hurler in the world, but he is 6’2”, which comes in handy when trying to dominate batters. After a rookie season, Syndergaard has potential to be a great number three pitcher, which is not something to look down upon, because Harvey and Wheeler will be silencing the bats in the two games before Syndergaard takes the mound in 2015.
3. Bartolo Colon: Despite his age, Colon has been a rock these past couple of seasons for the A’s. He finished sixth overall in Cy Young Voting in 2013, and is projected to go 12-7 with a 3.37 ERA according to Fangraphs, so between Wheeler, Syndergaard, and himself, the Mets have already potentially put up a record of 30-19, which is a .612 winning percentage.
4. David Wright: When MLB Network counted down the top 10 third basemen right now, Wright finished second. When they counted down the top 100 players in all of the Major Leagues right now, he finished twenty-fifth. However, Mets fans know that he is much better than that. Over the past few years, Wright leads all third basemen in OBP, and is projected to have an OBP of .390 in 2014.
5. Curtis Granderson: Granderson already has 217 homers in his career, and Fangraphs is predicting that he will hit 25 in 2014. Of course, it will be somewhat of a challenge for Granderson to come back from a season in which he was injured twice (both times by getting hit by a pitch), but if anyone can do it, he is the man. Plus, he seems to extremely enjoy wearing a Mets uniform, as he has made comments, such as “all real New Yorkers are Mets fans.” He even thanked the fans energy for the two back-to-back home runs that he hit earlier this spring.
6. Juan Lagares: As we all know, there is no better defensive outfielder in the game of baseball than Juan Lagares. In fact, I am now establishing his nickname as “The Laser”, as there does not seem to be a single base runner that can beat his throw to a base. So, as long as he is able to improve his swing and hit for a higher average, Lagares can easily become one of the best all around outfielders in the MLB.
7. Travis d’Arnaud: The Mets have done a pretty good job with finding backstops in their history. Gary Carter, Mike Piazza, Paul Lo Duca, John Buck (for the first half of 2013), etc., have all been great during their time with the Mets. So now it is d’Arnaud’s turn. Not only does Fangraphs predict 14 home runs and a .268 batting average in 2014, but they also predict a 3.9 WAR, which is pretty good for a catcher. d’Arnaud is only 25 years old, so he does not have too much wear and tear on his knees, and will certainly be a threat behind the plate in 2014.
8. Matt Harvey: Harvey will probably not pitch in 2014, but there is still a slight possibility. If he were to pitch in a Mets uniform this season, it would probably be in late August or early September… which is right about when the Mets can make a major playoff run. Not only will Harvey be in the clubhouse for moral support, he can help the new pitchers.
When you think about it, 90 wins may not be that far off for the Mets. As long as the remain healthy, and the team plays to each player’s potential, the Mets can certainly become a major National League contender. For now, it is only spring training, so we can only guess what is to come in another season for the Mets. But let’s hope that by season’s end, we will not all be saying “just wait until next year.”