Here we are at the All-Star break, and it’s time to hand out the mid term grades for the Mets players. For the third straight year the Mets are closer to the bottom of the division than they are to the top at this time of year, but even so we do have star performers.
Batters with at least 50 PA or pitchers with 20 IP for the Mets will be evaluated, which means 24 players qualify for grades. There will be a wide variation, ranging from an F to some A pluses.
Pete Alonso…The rookie has pounded 30 homers, tied for second in the Majors, and his 68 RBI ties him for third in the big leagues. Some nit pickers might say he strikes out too much, and that he is no Gold Glove candidate at first. Ignore those nitpickers and give him a well deserved A+.
Robinson Cano… Cano has usually batted third in the order so far this year, though I suspect the only two people who think he belongs in that spot are Cano and the GM, Brodie Van Wagenen. Cano has more errors (5), than he does homers (4). He is among the league leaders in one category, unfortunately it’s GIDP, he’s tied for third with 12 of those rally killers. He gets a D-.
Michael Conforto…Conforto has underperformed some this year, perhaps partially due to an injury suffered when Cano barreled into him as they were both going for a pop-up. His slash line is .244/.359/.470, certainly not bad, but we know he can do better. He gets a B-.
J. D. Davis… Davis has assembled a pretty good slash line of .279/.341/.468. He’s versatile, too, with playing time at the corner outfield spots and third base. The bad news is that he is a sub-par fielder wherever he plays. He receives a B- grade.
Jacob deGrom… He’s not as dominant as he was last year, but that was a historic season. He is in the top ten in the league in several categories including ERA, WHIP, K’s and K/9, and he made the All-Star team again. He hits and fields better than most pitchers. He earns a well-deserved A.
Edwin Diaz…Diaz has a 1-6 record with four blown saves, although it seems like more. His ERA is an ugly 5.50. Yet he has had some key saves where he’s been terrific. Diaz gets a D.
Jeurys Familia…Familia was supposed to be a key element in the Mets bullpen. So far he has a stratospheric ERA of 7.50, batters are averaging .292 against him, and he has blown all four of his save opportunities. That translates to a grade of F.
Wilmer Font… He’s started, he’s relieved, and he’s been decent. His ERA is 4.94, but hitters are only batting .244 against him. He’s probably exceeded expectations, so he gets a C.
Todd Frazier… The popular third baseman is an above average fielder at his position, which is more than you can say for most of the Mets. He can be fooled at the plate, but overall he’s hit better than expectations with a line of .256/.340/.443. Frazier gets a B.
Drew Gagnon… He has an ERA of 7.65, and hitters are batting .295 against him. Those figures are worse than what Familia put up, and he got an F. But because Gagnon did not have the expectations that Familia had, his grade will be a bit higher at D-.
Robert Gsellman… Gsellman was a key contributor to the 2016 team, but he has not lived up to that standard. This year he sports a 5.09 ERA, and his grade is D +.
Adeiny Hechavarria… The utility infielder has a line of .229/.260/.427. He doesn’t get on base much, but he has given more power than expected. His fielding is better than the incumbent starters at short and second. Give him a C +.
Juan Lagares… Lagares is having a dreadful year, especially at the plate. His line is .175/.242/.252, and it must be about the worst in the league. He is the best defensive outfielder on the team and is a useful pinch runner. Feeling generous, we’ll give him a D-.
Seth Lugo… Lugo has been, hands down, the best reliever on the team this year. He’s got a 4-2 record with a nice 3.35 ERA and a good WHIP of 1.19. He earns a solid B+.
Steven Matz… Matz has not been consistent this year, with a few good outings marred by some pretty bad ones. He’s got a 5-6 record with a lofty ERA of 4.89, although the juiced balls this year have been part of the reason for the high ERA. Matz avoids the D territory with a shaky C-.
Jeff McNeil… Despite being deployed in positions other than his natural second base most of the time, McNeil has assembled an amazing year. He leads the Majors with a .349 BA, he’s third in the NL in OBP with a .409 figure, and he has shown surprising power with a .509 SLG. The All-Star gets a well deserved A+.
Tomas Nido… It wasn’t even clear that Nido would make the team this year, but he did and has contributed, especially on defense. He has zero passed balls and only three wild pitches have got by him in his 195 innings. For context take a look at the totals for the normal starting catcher below. Very telling is the much better performance of deGrom and Noah Syndergaard when Nido catches. He gets a B.
Brandon Nimmo… Nimmo has spent a lot of time on the IL this season, and his performance has suffered. His slash line is .200/.344/.323. We’ll give him a D+, mainly because he still gets on base at a respectable rate.
Wilson Ramos… He is slashing at a .272/.349/.408 clip, not bad for a catcher. His defense though has been downright poor, with nine PB, 17 WP, and a microscopic percentage of runners thrown out. His grade is a C-.
Amed Rosario… Rosario has been ok at the plate, at least for a shortstop, slashing .260/.299/.414. However his defense has really fallen off, he has 12 errors and could easily have been charged with more. He gets a generous C- for his grade.
Dominic Smith… Smith is having a really good year with the bat, although he has tapered off some lately. He’s slashing .304/.389/.551. Unfortunately his best position is 1st base, where Alonso plays. He is adequate in LF, and that’s where he plays unless Alonso gets a day off. Smith grades out with a well deserved A-.
Noah Syndergaard… Syndergaard just might have the best stuff in the game, but he does not have anywhere near the best stats. He’s 6-4 with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Despite having about the best velocity of any SP in the game, he’s not even striking out a batter per inning. If he didn’t have such potential he’d get a better grade but we’ll put him right at a C.
Jason Vargas… Vargas is the polar opposite of Syndergaard with about the slowest fastball in the game. Relying on a changeup as his best pitch, he has exceeded expectations to be one of the best number five starters in the league. He’s 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA. If he went a little deeper into games he’d get a little higher grade but B- seems about right for him.
Zack Wheeler… He’s 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA and a WHIP of 1.28. Those numbers are nearly identical to Syndergaard, who got a C. Hence Wheeler is also graded at a C.
So far it’s been a very disappointing season, we can only hope the All-Star break will rejuvenate some of the underperformers so the team could take a run toward respectability.