While not particularly relevant to the 2016 edition of the Mets, it’s difficult to examine the ZiPS projections below without also acknowledging the system’s relative optimism concerning free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (629 PA, 4.4 zWAR). The gap between Cespedes’s forecasted win total and Michael Conforto‘s second-best mark is equivalent to the gap between Conforto’s mark and the average of the club’s 11th- and 12th-best hitter projections. In other words: for whatever Cespedes’s flaws, his strengths appear capable of compensating for them at the moment.
Which isn’t to ignore another of the system’s perhaps surprsing outputs — namely, the projection for Conforto himself. Entering just his age-23 season, Conforto began the 2015 campaign as the left fielder for the High-A St. Lucie Mets. He’s expected to play that same position for the actual New York version of the team on opening day this year — and, it would seem, is a candidate to produce wins at a higher rate than any of his teammates.
In general, what the Mets feature is essentially the antithesis of a stars-and-scrubs configuration. The success of the club relies not on elite performances by one or two players, but rather the competence of the entire starting eight.
Source: Dan Szymborski, FanGraphs
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