MADISON, February 22, 2014 — Over the next few weeks this column will unveil MLB Power Rankings starting with the weakest team and working towards the strongest. Today the process continues by looking at number 22, the New York Mets.
2013 Record: 74-88 with a -65 run differential.
Key Additions: OF Chris Young, RHP Ryan Reid, RHP Bartolo Colon, OF Curtis Granderson,
Key Losses: LHP Johan Santana, OF Jordany Valdespin, RHP Jeremy Hefner, RHP Scott Atchison,
2014 Projected Lineup:
OF Chris Young
2B Donnie Murphy
3B David Wright
OF Curtis Granderson
1B Ike Davis
OF Juan Lagares
C Travis d’Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada
2014 Projected Rotation:
John Lannan/Jenrry Mejia
Best Case: RHP Matt Harvey’s recovery from TJ surgery goes well and he is back in mid-August. Harvey makes seven starts down the stretch and starts to regain his command and feel comfortable. David Wright continues to be the Mets centerpiece offensively and wins the NL batting title with a .326 average. OF Curtis Granderson provides some pop in the middle of the Mets lineup and hits 35 HR’s. Travis d’Arnaud stays healthy all year and starts to hit like he did in the minors the last two months of the season after becoming comfortable with the staff defensively at the beginning of the year. Zach Wheeler does his best Matt Harvey impersonation and builds on a solid rookie campaign. Both Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero finish the year in the majors and allow Mets fans to dream of a young, cost controlled rotation full of power pitchers. The team finishes in third in the NL East with a .500 record in 2014.
Worst Case: Harvey struggles with his command upon his return in September. Wheeler takes a step back and struggles with his control as he did when first called up in 2013. Curtis Granderson’s move across town from the Yankees does not go smoothly as his power numbers miss the short porch of Yankee Stadium’s right field. New catcher d’Arnaud continues to have health problems and the Mets consider that their catching situation is more in flux than they would like to admit. The team’s young pitching doesn’t develop as planned and how much Syndergaard and Montero will contribute in 2015 is called into question. The team finishes fourth in the NL East.
Prospect Watch: Mets C Travis d’Arnaud finished 2013 with the big club and will be the Mets everyday catcher in 2014. While d’Arnaud struggled in his limited time in the majors last year he posted a minor league slash line of .286/.420/.514 in the minors. While he only played 31 games in the minors in 2013 that slash line is not too far removed from his 2012 line. RHP Noah Syndergaard is expected to make his MLB debut this year as well. Sydergaard started the Futures game for the US team last year and posted a 3.06 ERA with 133 K’s in 117.2 innings in 2013. Syndergaard and d’Arnaud were the bulk of the return in the RA Dickey trade. Starting opposite Syndergaard in the Futures game for the World team was another Mets prospect Rafael Montero. Montero logged 155.1 innings across two levels, finishing in AAA, with a 2.78 ERA and 150 K’s. Finally, the Mets drafted 1B Dominic Smith in the 2013 draft with the team’s first pick who is already considered one of the top 1B prospects.