New York MetsThe #8 World Ranked High Stakes Fantasy Baseball Player, Shawn Childs, breaks down every team to help you prep for your big draft!
New York Mets Team Projection
New York finished a surprising 2nd in the NL East, but they still finished under .500 (79-83) while trailing the Nationals by 17 games. Their pitching staff allowed the least amounts of runs (618) since 1994, which led to a 3.49 ERA (6th in th NL). The Mets pitching made a step forward due to the develop of P Jacob DeGrom (2.69 ERA) and P Zack Wheeler (3.54). This year pitching staff should be even better with P Matt Harvey expected back. The only two additions to the offense were free agents OF Michael Cuddyer and OF John Mayberry Jr. Last year New York finished 8th in the league in runs scored (629) and 9th in HR's (125). The health of 3B David Wright is very important to the Mets success in 2015. He struggled with a shoulder injury last year that ended in his season September. The reports have been positive in the offseason and he is expected to be ready for spring training. New York has possible weakest in the bullpen with a couple of question marks in the starting lineup. Pitching will be the key to their success in 2015. Also, the Mets moved their fences to help bring in more offense.
1. OF Curtis Granderson
Granderson has had huge batting average risk in his last 3 years. His overall approach was actually his best since 2009. His K rate (21.6 %) was much improve with the second highest walk rate (12.1 %) of his career. Surprisingly, Curtis has less success against righties (.220 with a .379 SLG %). Granderson struggled out of the box in 2014 (.136 with 1 HR's and 7 RBI). He found his stroke in May and June (.275 with 10 HR's and 29 RBI), which pointed to upside the rest of the way. His bat lost value after the All Star break (.213 with 9 HR's and 23 RBI). Curtis had a career low HR/FB rate (10.1 %) while his FB rate (46.9 %) remains high. Granderson still has a swing to deliver 25+ HR's and his approach may give him the best skill set to bat leadoff if he has a bump in batting average. If so, his speed may follow. His AVH (1.711) remains strong with a decline in his contact batting average (.303). Possible draft day value - .235 with 80 runs, 25 HR's, 75 RBI, and 15 SB's for what it is worth.
2. 2B Daniel Murphy
Murphy missed two weeks late in the season with a calf injury. Overall, Daniel repeated his success in batting average while his runs were somewhat in line with 2013 if he played a full year. His K rate (13.4 %) remains solid while his walk rate (6.1 %) is below major league average. His RBI rate (16 %) is above league average even with a low AVH (1.395). He continues to hit well against lefties (.274) with most of his coming power against RH pitching (.293 with 33 doubles and 7 homeruns). Murphy only had one bad month (.191 -September) due his calf/wrist injury. His HR/FB rate (6.3 %) was a career low as his GB rate (46.1 %) rose slightly. Daniel had a nice season in 2013, but it really wasn't repeatable. His skill set has limited upside in HR's and his speed can be only projected to be in the mid teen area. Nice steady second baseman with no strengths to gain an edge.
3. 3B David Wright
Wright has had some bad season out of nowhere. Over the past 6 years, his power had fallen well short of expectation 3 times. His K rate (19.3 %) was a step back from his last 2 years. David also lost his approach (7.2 % walk rate - career low for a full season). Wright continues to hit well against LH pitching (.367 with .508 SLG %). His loss value was due to his huge step back against righties (.241). From June through August, David only hit .239 with 4 HR's and 27 RBI in 268 at bats. His HR/FB rate (5.1 %) was a career low while being 7.9 % below his career average. His lack of power was due to a lingering left shoulder issue, which first rose in late June. His shoulder didn't require surgery. Wright is expected to be ready for spring training. In 3 of the last 4 seasons, Wright has missed 144 games. His speed isn't where it once was. On the positive side, the closer fences should work in his favor. Solid .300 hitter when healthy with 20+ HR power. His AVH (1.389) needs to return to his 2013 success. Possible discount, but we really need to have possible news about him in spring training.
4. OF Michael Cuddyer
Cuddyer is a player that has got better with age. Over his last 2 season in Colorado, he has hit .331 with 30 HR's and 115 RBI in 679 at bats. His K rate (14.6 %) was well above his last 2 years (2012 - 19.8 % and 2013 - 18.5 %) and his career average (17.8 %). His walk rate (6.8 %) was a career low. Last year he missed 2/3's of the season with a hamstring injury and a left fractured shoulder. Two years ago, he crushed RH pitching (.350 with .555 SLG %) and last year he drilled lefties (.412 with a .804 SLG %) in limited at bats (51). Michael is a career .323 hitter in Colorado with 26 HR's and 103 RBI in 511 at bats compared to .143 with 1 HR and 1 RBI in 28 at bats. His growth in power was due to a career high HR/FB rate (22.7 %) even with a career low FB rate (27.3 %). Cuddyer has had a high GB rate (48.4 %) in his last 5 years. Love his last 2 years, but health has been an issue in his last 3 years (206 missed games). His power probably has only has 20 HR upside with the change in ballparks and regression in his HR/FB rate. His growth in RBI rate over the last 3 years gives him th best resume to bat cleanup for the Mets this year. His batting average over the last 2 years will overinflate his value. .280 hitter with a 20/80 skill set with 550 at bats.
5. OF Lucas Duda
Duda was finally given full time at bats, which led to a career season. He set highs in at bats (518), runs (74), HR's (30), and RBI (92). His K rate (22.7 %) made a nice step up from his last 2 years. His walk rate (11.6 %) has been strong in his last 3 years. His bat had no value against lefties (.180 with a .252 SLG % and 32.8 % K rate), which points to a platoon role. His success was due his growth against RH pitching (.273 and .543 SLG %). Lucas has a huge FB rate (49.0 %) and rising HR/FB rate (16.0 %). There is no doubt his power is for real, but it's tough to believe he will get full time at bats with his weakness against lefties. His batting average will still have risk due to the high number of easy fly ball outs. His 30 HR's and 92 RBI will lead to him being over drafted. I see negative batting average with 25 HR's and 75 RBI.
6. C Travis D'Arnaud
D'Arnaud pretty much hit his way out of the majors in June (.180 with 3 HR's and 9 RBI). At AAA, Travis crushed the ball for 15 games (.436 with 6 HR's and 16 RBI in 55 at bats). When he returned to the majors, he hit .272 with 12 HR's and 32 RBI in 257 at bats. His K rate (15.2 %) was very good with a just below average walk rate (7.6 %). D'Arnaud had almost equal lack of success against righties (.241) and lefties (.242). His HR/FB rate (10.5 %) gives him 15 HR upside with 450 at bats. Travis hit .290 in his minor league career with 76 HR's, 327 RBI, and 21 SB's in 1996 at bats. In early October, D'Arnaud had bone chips removed from his right elbow. Very exciting young catcher with upside in batting average and a 15/60 skill set.
7. OF Juan Lagares
Lagares looks like the favorite for the starting centerfield job for the Mets with an opportunity to bat leadoff. His walk rate (4.4 %) is well below leadoff status. His K rate (19.3 %) came in just above the league average. Juan was a career .281 hitter in the minors with 31 HR's, 271 RBI, and 100 SB's in 2429 at bats. SB's looked to be his biggest asset with limited upside, but he has enough size to develop more power. Lagares hit well with runners on base (18 % RBI rate) while his AVH (1.359) remained in a weak area. His bat has the most value against LH pitching (.349 - .488 SLG %). Juan had a weak HR/FB rate (3.8 %) in his first two seasons in the majors. Low upside player with a skill set that could lead to job loss.
8. SS Wilmer Flores
Flores may not have the glove to play shortstop in the majors, but his bat should be much better than any other option the Mets have in their system heading in 2015. Wilmer is a career .292 hitter in the minors with 77 HR's, 461 RBI, and 15 SB's in 2975 at bats. He has played very well at AAA over the last 2 years (.321 with 28 HR's and 143 RBI in 644 at bats). HIs K rate (11.3 %) had growth in his half season in the majors last year and it was supported by his minor league resume (12.8 %). His walk rate (4.4 %) doesn't have any upside at this point of his career (5.3 % in the minors). Flores played well with the Mets against RH pitching (.285 with a .435 SLG %) while struggling mightily against lefties (.119 with .169 SLG %) in short at bats (59). Over the last 4 years in the minors, Wilmer played very well against LH pitching (.313 with .520 SLG %). His HR/FB rate (8.7 %) gives him a 15 HR opportunity without growth in his swing. Flores has a solid bat with neutral to positive upside in batting average. He lacks speed and his runs and RBI will probably be short due to his slot in the batting order. Very playable at MI with the right team structure. I'd draft him thinking he can win and keep the starting shortstop job all season. My baseline is .275 with 15 HR's and 60 RBI.
9. OF Cesar Puello
Puello has had a slow crawl through the Mets farm system since he was 17. His lack of advancement led to him being involved in the Miami Biogenesis scandal that cost him 50 games in 2012. Cesar had his first impact season at AA in 2013 (.326 with 16 HR's, 73 RBI. and 24 SB's in 331 at bats). Last year his bat had less value at AAA (.252 with 7 HR's, 37 RBI, and 13 SB's in 318 at bats). His K rate (20.5 %) is below par with weaker results at AA and AAA (23.8 %) over the last 2 years. His bat has upside in power when he learns how to pull the ball plus he has 148 SB's on his resume. Not an elite prospect, but one thay may offer more upside than Lagares down the road. His success will fall on his ability to make contact in the majors.
10. C Anthony Recker
Anthony Recker is a career .197 hitter in the majors with 14 HR's and 50 RBI in 375 at bats. He is expected to be the backup catcher to start the year.
11. C Kevin Plakecki
Kevin Plawecki is really close to making it to the majors. Last year he hit .309 between AA and AAA with 11 HR's and 64 RBI in 376 at bats. He has very low K rate (11.4 %) with a just below average walk rate (7.2 %). If D'Arnaud trips up, Kevin will be ready to steal the job.
12. 1B John Mayberry
John Mayberry will compete for playing time in the outfield. He is a career .241 hitter in the majors with 53 HR's, 171 RBI, and 14 SB's in 1276 at bats. His skill set is high enough where he could hits 20+ HR's with 550 at bats. His K rate (20.8 %) was a career high plus he had growth in his walk rate (11.9 %). He is a career .268 hitter against righties with a plus SLG % (.533). Most likely a lefty platoon option at 1st base with Duda with some playing time vs. righties in the outfield.
13. MI Ruben Tejada
Ruben Tejada had a spike in his HR/FB rate (5.0 % - less than 1.0 % in his previous 4 years) plus he had growth in his walk rate (11.9 % - career high due to 11 intentional walks). His K rate (17.4 %) was also his highest of his career most likely due to him hitting in front of the pitcher. His batting average offered upside in 2011 (.284) and 2012 (.289), but it has been a negative over the last 2 years (.202 and .237). His skill set is just high enough to get in the way of Flores. With no real upside in power or speed, his bat has no value in the real world or fantasy.
14. OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Kirk Nieuwenhuis flashed some power in 2012 (7 HR's in 282 at bats), but he has been unable to earn more playing time over the last 2 years. He is a career .241 hitter in the majors with 13 HR's, 58 RBI, and 10 SB's in 489 at bats. He will compete for a backup outfield job this season.