There are many problems with the Mets bullpen this year. One of the most understated is the complete and utter lack of a long man in the bullpen for much of the season. This has led to Terry Collins needing to trotting out a series of relievers whenever a starter can’t go deep into games. It has led to Collins pushing relievers past their breaking points.
This has saw Hansel Robles completely break down to the point where he’s not even an effective Triple-A reliever. Collins stretched Josh Smoker to the point where he first was sent down to the minors, and then to the point where he landed on the Disabled List. With Smoker gone, Paul Sewald seems to be the guy who gets stretched out for three innings despite his being a 1-2 inning closer in most of his time in the minor leagues.
Doing that means Smoker and Sewald, two pitchers who should have been establishing themselves as late inning relievers this season, have been bounced around in their roles. We have seen uneven performances from them this year to the point where the Mets really don’t know what they have in either pitcher. More to the point, it has led to Neil Ramirez pitching in important spots.
The latest example was on Tuesday. The Mets were riding high after a sweep of the Giants, and the team was in a soft part of the schedule where they could have reasonably been at or even over .500 going into the All Star Break. At that point, who knows?
And this Mets team looked resilient last night. Robert Gsellman went down in the top of the fourth. Sewald came on and gave the team three good innings they desperately needed. Travis d’Arnaud had two RBI, including a solo home run, to tie the game at 3-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. With Sewald, one of the better relievers on the team, no longer available, Collins went with Ramirez. To the surprise of no one, Ramirez would earn the loss.
Why was he and his demonic 6.66 ERA even an option? Ultimately, it is because of the Mets refusal to carry a long man in the bullpen. Instead, the team would rather carry a group of pitchers who ideally should be limited to two innings or less that can post high strikeout numbers.
Why couldn’t the Mets carry Tyler Pill as the long reliever. Sure, he was predictably lackluster, but that is a significant upgrade from Ramirez being an abject disaster. While it is a small sample size, there are indications Pill could be useful as a long man. In this three games, the first time through the lineup teams are only hitting .250/.296/.292 off of him. Extrapolating this out, this means Pill could be good to keep the Mets into a game for about three innings.
This could led to the Mets turning the game over to their best relievers late in the game. Instead, the Mets would rather pitch their pitchers past their breaking points. They would rather pitch Ramirez in important spots. While there are many things you can pinpoint for the Mets failures this season, it’s the lack of a long man in the bullpen needs to be front and center.
As we delve more into the numbers and become more knowledgeable about the stats which truly indicate what makes a pitcher good or bad, we have begun to dismiss win-loss record. It has gotten to the point where many want to disregard it all together. Reflecting back on the life of Anthony Young, it is hard to say that wins and losses don’t matter anymore.
Starting on May 6, 1992, Young would begin his MLB record setting 27 game losing streak. He lost games in all ways possible. He was the hard luck loser losing games when he had a good start. He lost games getting his doors knocked off. He came out of the bullpen, and he lost a game on a big hit. He would leave with runners on base and another pitcher would let them score. In the stretch, Young was 0-14 as a starter, and 0-13 as a reliever.
Something odd happened during this time. Initially, Young was booed and booed mercilessly. On an under-performing 90 loss Mets team who once had designs on winning the World Series, Young had become symbolic of all that was wrong with the Mets – talented people who were just not performing. Eventually, those boos came to cheers; cheers that were almost willing Young to a victory.
Young was admirable in the stretch. You didn’t see the quote in the paper ripping the team. There was no Jon Niese moment of blaming his catcher, his defense, or anyone else. He took it like a man, and he kept going out there doing his job.
He also got to lose all of those games because he was a talented pitcher. Too often, that gets lost in everything. Young was talented. It is why when John Franco went down to injury, Jeff Torborg instilled Young as the team’s closer. It was at that time, we learned a save does not in fact interrupt a losing streak. For those that forget, Young was able to record 15 saves during that 1992 season. One thing he wasn’t able to do was vulture a win.
No, that elusive win would not come until July 28, 1993. On that day, his team would finally pick him up. After giving up the lead in the top of the ninth, the Mets would rally against the Florida Marlins. The rally would begin with Jeff McNeil. There is an odd symmetry there as McNeil was another player from those teams who died too young. A few years ago, McNeil would die of leukemia at the age of 52.
After an Eddie Murray RBI double, Young would finally get his win, and the Shea faithful couldn’t have been happier for him:
Without that losing streak? Young is just a footnote in major league history. With that losing streak, Young mattered. He will forever be remembered, and it turns out he was a person worth remembering.
He left behind a family and former teammates that were devastated by his passing away. He leaves behind a fan base who can now actually reminisce about those terrible 1992-1993 Mets.
As we know, Young fought and fought bravely. Recently, there had been reports his inoperable brain tumor had taken a turn for the better. There were reports the tumor was shrinking. At that point, there was hope Young could beat a cancer more daunting than a 27 game losing streak. Unfortunately, Young wasn’t getting better. It was just a short lived victory.
At the age of 51, Anthony Young has passed. With him passing, people have lost a family member and a friend. Fans lost a player they once cheered. Everyone lost a person who handled one of the toughest situations a professional can face with grace and humility. When someone like Young passes, we all lose.
Looking back at the life of Anthony Young, it is hard to tell anyone that losses no longer matter in baseball. In fact, losses matter more now than they ever have.
With the Mets announcement of selling, we have officially begun the silly season of people proposing ridiculous trade rumors. However, that isn’t limited to fans like you and I. That goes to people who are actually paid to write about baseball, and those that are paid to talk about it on the air. The first doozy came from Mark Feinstand of MLB.com who wrote the Mets should trade Lucas Duda to the New York Yankees for Austin Romine. Shockingly, instead of being met with derision, Evan Roberts was right on board with this one.
How can anyone be on board with that trade?
Since becoming the Mets everyday first baseman, Duda is a .247/.347/.484 hitter who has averaged 28 homers and 83 RBI in the seasons he was able to play a full season. This year, Duda is hitting .251/.362/.553 with 13 homers and 29 RBI in 53 games. That’s a 40 HR and 89 RBI pace.
Since 2014, Duda is eighth among first baseman with a 129 wRC+. Considering Edwin Encarnacion has been a DH more than 1B over that time, Duda is really seventh. If you focus on his two full seasons of 2014 and 2015, Duda has a 134 wRC+, which would rank him seventh. Again, if you view Encarnacion as a DH, Duda is sixth. And with Duda’s stats this year, it looks like he’s back to that 2014-2015 form.
Sure, Duda can be prone to bouts of streakiness (like any other player), and he had one bad throw in the 2015 World Series. That doesn’t detract from the fact Duda’s in the upper echelon of Major League first baseman.
His return should be much more than a career backup catcher like Romine. Think about it. Romine’s career numbers are .219/.268/.342, but he is better this year hitting .268/.305/.423. Sorry, those are Rene Rivera‘s numbers. Romine is a career .224/.258/.325 hitter who is hitting .231/.262/.314 this year.
How can anyone believe Duda is worth a player worse than Rene Rivera? The same Rivera who the Mets signed prior to the 2016 season because he was released by the Tampa Bay Rays after Spring Training. And by the way for all the hand wringing over Travis d’Arnaud‘s arm, d’Arnaud has thrown out to 22% of base stealers in his career to Romine’s 21%. At this point, you could even argue you would rather have Kevin Plawecki over Romine.
And yet, people believe Duda isn’t good enough to fetch more than a backup catcher . . . a bad one at that. They say that despite the Yankees, Astros, Angels, Twins, Royals, and possibly other teams being in the market for a 1B/DH.
There is going to be a point where Duda is no longer the Mets first baseman. He is going to go to another place where the fans are going to appreciate him for getting on base even when he’s cold at the plate. They’re going to be in awe of a 30 home run caliber bat. He’s going to play a good first base.
All the while, Mets fans will be bending over backwards to say no one could have expected this. It’s just another case of Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy. In reality, they’ll be wrong. Duda was this good when he was in New York, but you just failed to appreciate him.
After a sweep of the Giants in San Francisco, fans could allow themselves hope for the 2017 season again. Yes, the Giants are a dreadful team, but there was a lot to like about the Mets in that series. If you dig deeper, there is still things to like about this Mets team.
Jacob deGrom is in a stretch where he has gone at least eight innings in three consecutive starts. This could be the best stretch of his career, which is certainly saying something.
Rafael Montero has now had three consecutive strong outings allowing just two earned runs over his last 14.1 inning pitched. In this stretch, he not only finally looks like a major league pitcher, he looks like a good major league pitcher.
Curtis Granderson has been the best hitting National League outfielder in the month of June (204 wRC+), and he’s been hitting .297/.408/.595 with 13 doubles, two triples, nine homers, and 23 RBI since May 1st.
Jay Bruce has been resurgent hitting .315/.358/.629 with four doubles, eight homers, and 17 RBI. He’s on pace for his first 40 home run season and just his second 100 RBI season.
While acting unprofessional about the switch to second base in the clubhouse, Asdrubal Cabrera has been nothing but professional on the field going 7-14 in the series and playing a very good second base.
Lucas Duda is flat out raking hitting .375/.474/.813 over the past week, and as we know when Duda gets hot like this, he can carry the team for a long stretch. Just ask the 2015 Nationals.
Lost in all of that is Yoenis Cespedes being Cespedes, Addison Reed being a dominant closer, and Seth Lugo stabilizing the rotation. There is even the specter of David Wright returning to the lineup. When you combine that with the Mets schedule, this team is primed to reel off nine straight wins.
If the Mets were to win nine straight, they would be just one game under .500. At that point, the Mets will be red hot heading to another big series in Washington. Last time the teams played there, the Mets took two of three. After that is a bad Cardinals team before the All Star Break.
Combine this hypothetical Mets run with a Rockies team losing six straight, and the Mets are right back in the mix with a bunch of teams hovering around .500 for a shot at the postseason. Last year, the Mets were under .500 as late as August 19th, and they still made the postseason. Throw in a potential Amed Rosario call up, and you really have things cooking. Why not this year’s team?
Well, that’s easy. The bullpen is a mess. You have no idea when Noah Syndergaard and Neil Walker can return if they can return at all. Jose Reyes is playing everyday. The route to the postseason partially relies upon Montero being a good major league pitcher, and the Mets calling up Rosario. At this point, those are two things no one should rely.
As a fan? We should all enjoy the ride for as long as it will carry us. As Mets fans, we have seen miracles. We saw this team win in 1969. We saw a team dead in the water in 1973 go all the way to game seven of the World Series. We watched a Mookie Wilson grounder pass through Bill Buckner‘s legs. We saw Mike Piazza homer in the first game in New York after 9/11.
As fans, we can hold out hope for the impossible. We can dream. Sandy doesn’t have that luxury. He needs to look at the reality of the Mets situation and make the best moves he possibly can. That includes trading Bruce, Duda, Granderson, and any other veteran who can get him a good return on the trade market.
For starters, lets concede that Jose Reyes has been playing so poorly he should unseat no one for a starting position unless he was going to play for the Long Island Ducks. In turn, it also needs to be conceded Asdrubal Cabrera is no longer a major league caliber shortstop. In his interview on the topic, Cabrera admitted as much saying, “I think next year, I have to go – I have to move to another position . . . I’m fine with that.”
Cabrera needs to be fine with that as he’s not a shortstop now. His -10 DRS is the worst among shortstops with at least 100 innings played at the position. His -5.5 UZR is the second worst in the majors among players with 100 innings played at short. But it’s more than the advanced metrics. Visually, you can see he no longer has the range. His sure hands aren’t so sure anymore. His 11 errors are the third most in the majors and are four more than he had all of last year. The final indignity for him came when he had his Luis Castillo impersonation.
It was time to move Cabrera to second base. With the team having an eye towards the 2018 season, it was time to see if the team should pick up his 2018 option in the offseason to play him alongside Amed Rosario. With the team looking to sell, it was also a chance to improve his trade value.
Now, this isn’t the first time the Mets have asked Cabrera to change positions. Earlier in the year, they asked him to move to third base. He wasn’t amendable going so far as to demand the team pick up his 2018 option if they planned such a move. Rather than promote discord throughout the clubhouse, Terry Collins dropped it. The team had to know moving him to second base was going to create issues.
And it did. Cabrera demanded a trade from the team. Sure, part of it could be the Mets didn’t give him the courtesy of speaking with him first, or the team not giving him the opportunity to play some games at second base during his rehab stint in the minor leagues. Still, even with the Mets mishandling the situation, given how Cabrera responded to moving to third base, this incident was going to happen anyway.
It is better for that incident to have occurred with Reyes supplanting him than Rosario. It is hard enough for a rookie to get acclimated to playing in the major leagues. It is even more difficult with a disenchanted veteran angry you took his job. This is the same veteran you would want to mentor a young Rosario to help ease his transition. Seeing Cabrera’s actions, this was not going to happen if Rosario was the one who replaced him.
That is why having Reyes take over at shortstop made sense. Reyes is a veteran better capable of handling the situation, especially when he previously faced the same situation when the Mets signed Kaz Matsui. Let Reyes deal with the fallout now so all issues are resolved by the time Rosario is called up to the majors.
Overall, while we can quibble with how the Mets handled moving Cabrera to second base, we can all agree they made the right decision. They got to find out more about Cabrera both in terms of his ability as a second baseman and how he handles a change in his roles. More importantly, they made Rosario’s transition to the major leagues that much easier.
It is interesting to hear the Mets are selling because the news came just one day after the Mets said they were going to move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base to allow Jose Reyes to stay at shortstop when Cabrera comes off the disabled list. Naturally, this move blocks both Gavin Cecchini, who has played fairly well over the past four games earning him a longer look at the the position, and Amed Rosario, who is considered an Über prospect.
If you are team looking to sell, you have really announced you want to clear your veterans out of the way to both get some prospects in return and to give your young players some time at the major league level. However, it could behoove the Mets to play their veterans as much as possible now to increase their trade value.
For example, in the outfield, the Mets have four caliber starting outfielders. There is no way the team is going to bench Yoenis Cespedes under any circumstances, nor should they. This means the team has two spots for three left-handed hitting outfielders. The Mets have control over only one of them after this season.
For the long term, the Mets need to get Michael Conforto as many at-bats as possible. With that said, would it harm his development to be a part-time player for the next month? He has suffered a back injury to some unspecified severity. He has slumped in June albeit while keeping a more than respectable OBP. If sitting him potentially leads to a better return for Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, shouldn’t the Mets at least try to get the most value from those players?
Same goes for the infield. The Mets are going to have to clear some room for their presumed infield of the future including Dominic Smith, Rosario, and possibly Cecchini to take form. If playing Reyes for the next month gets some major league team interested in him as a late inning pinch runner or utility player, shouldn’t the Met do that? Maybe that seemingly low rated prospect becomes something. Remember, Wuilmer Becerra was seen as a throw-in to the R.A. Dickey trade, and he has become a real prospect over the past few years.
The same thing goes for Cabrera. The Mets need to get him going to get teams interested in him. Presumably, moving him to second has more to do with showing teams he can be the answer at second as well than making a spot for Reyes.
Overall, the Mets need to maximize the returns for everyone to build up the team not just for 2018, but for the oncoming seasons. Up until the trade deadline, getting the most in return for the veterans has to be the Mets singular focus. Conforto can sit for a while or go to Triple-A. Rosario and Smith can wait an extra month. However, the veterans cannot wait. The Mets need to get them going to try to maximize the return on them. To do that, they need to be in the lineup everyday.
However, once August 1st rolls around, those veterans not shipped out needs to be put on the bench. At that point, it is l about playing Conforto, Cecchini, Brandon Nimmo, Rosario, and Smith.
Before last night’s game, the team announced they would finally move Asdrubal Cabrera off of shortstop. This should have been a sign the Mets were finally ready to call up Amed Rosario and play him everyday. Instead, this was a move to create more playing time for Jose Reyes at the position he prefers.
Keep in mind the Mets made this decision when they were getting something out of their 2012 first round draft pick Gavin Cecchini. In Cecchini’s first three starts in the majors, he was playing a good defensive second base. At the plate, he was 3-10, and he hit his first ever career home run off of Clayton Kershaw. While he had been struggling in Triple-A, he was showing you the player he was last year. He was showing you he’s not intimidated by playing in the majors. He was giving you a reason to give him an extended look at the major league level.
Instead, the Mets decided to clear a path for two veterans who have simply not been performing this year. In a season where the Mets had a shot at the postseason, you could certainly justify allowing Reyes and Cabrera return to form. If both players were under contract another year, you could justify getting them back up to speed because you need more from them going forward. None of these situations are present. Rather, the Mets are just throwing away games and at-bats that could be used to helping see if Cecchini is a part of the 2018 season.
That’s not the only place they are doing it. Right now, Michael Conforto has a back issue, and he’s struggling. In the Mont of June, he’s hitting .164/.361/.273. This is the second straight year a physical issue has coincided with a Conforto slump. As a result, we still don’t truly know what he is.
Is he a streaky hitter? Is he a guy who gets off a fast start and tapers off? Is he a superstar who just got hindered by a wrist and back issue that are worse than the Mets have let on. We don’t know, and we’re really not going to find out when Terry Collins plays Curtis Granderson over him everyday.
The main difference between Granderson and the middle infielders is Granderson has certainly earned his playing time. Since a dreadful April, Granderson is hitting .287/.395/.574 with 13 doubles, a triple, eight homers, and 21 RBI. He’s been even better in the Month of June hitting .313/.450/.688 with five homers and eight RBI.
Still, even with the Dodgers starting Hyun-Jin Ryu, it was hard to see Granderson in the starting lineup over Conforto. With the Mets entering play so far out of the National League East and Wild Card races, there is little to be gained when you play a veteran like Granderson in the last year of his deal over a young player like Conforto, who could be a cornerstone of the Mets offense for the next decade.
Yes, Granderson did hit a lead-off homer against Ryu giving him the Mets all-time lead in lead-off homers surpassing the aforementioned Reyes. But in the end, what did the Mets gain from this.
The team still lost the game. Steven Matz would lose the lead given to him. The 1-0 lead evaporated when Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez would hit a pair of third inning home runs to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Unlike most games in this series, the Mets were able to fight back. Travis d’Arnaud hit a solo home run in the fourth to pull the Mets within a run, and the team rallied in the sixth with Lucas Duda driving in Jay Bruce with a two out double against Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher.
The good feelings from the comeback were soon diminished. Paul Sewald came on to relieve Matz in the seventh, and he was greeted by a Joc Pederson home run. Things got worse from there. After a Logan Forsythe single, Sewald would not only walk the bases loaded, he would walk Chris Taylor leading to Collins lifting him for Jerry Blevins.
Blevins, the Mets most reliable bullpen arm all year, would get his man Cody Bellinger out. Unfortunately, he followed that by walking Enrique Hernandez and Pedro Baez to increase the Dodgers lead to 5-3. As if that wasn’t enough, Blevins would also walk in Austin Barnes to make it 6-3. This is not to criticize Collins or Blevins. Going to Blevins to pitch to Bellinger in that spot was 100% the right call.
Still, it was disappointing on some level. Even if the Mets were to win this game, it wouldn’t have mattered much. It was the difference between eight and 10 games under .500. It would have been better to see if Conforto could work out of his funk, or in the seventh, to see if Sewald could have gotten out of the inning without allowing another run.
Certainly, you can justify starting the hot hitting Granderson and going to Blevins in that spot. However, doing that hasnt’ gotten you anywhere this year, and it certainly isn’t going to help you find out if the young players are going to be big pieces for the team next year.
Game Notes: Chasen Bradford was called up to the majors, and Tyler Pill was sent down. to make room for Bradford on the roster, Tommy Milone was transferred to the 60 day disabled list. Bradford did not appear in the game.
Well, it is another one of these seasons. It seems as if every Mets player is headed to the Disabled List. To be fair, this only seems to happen every other year . . . at best. Can you name all the Mets players who have landed on the Disabled List this year? Good luck!
Juan Lagares Brandon Nimmo Seth Lugo David Wright Steven Matz Lucas Duda Wilmer Flores Yoenis Cespedes Noah Syndergaard Travis d’Arnaud Jeurys Familia Asdrubal Cabrera Tommy Milone Josh Smoker Neil Walker Matt Harvey
Stop it. The notion is insane. In fact, it is completely preposterous. No self respecting Mets fan should even broach the topic. Before even pursuing further, we should all stop while we are ahead.
Except the Mets aren’t ahead. They’re way down in the standings. They are eight games under .500 trailing the Nationals by 11.5 games in the division. Things are worse for the Wild Card. They are behind the Diamondbacks for the second Wild Card by 12.5 games with five other teams ahead of them. Seriously, at this point what is there to lose?
And that right there is the Mets best rationale to finally seeing what they have with Rafael Montero.
Let’s dispense with what we all know. Montero has been absolutely terrible in his time with the Mets. In his major league career, he has pitched in 39 games going 1-9 with a 5.51 ERA, 1.756 WHIP, and a 5.7 BB/9. Each year he pitches in the majors, he has arguably gotten worse. What makes that all the more frustrating is when he gets sent down to the minors, he dominates. This has led the Mets to keeping him on the 40 man roster while getting rid of valuable pitchers like Gabriel Ynoa when it had come time to clear space on the 40 man roster.
It has been a frustrating four years. However, in that time frame, the Mets still see something in him that leads to them keeping him on the roster. They have given him chance after chance after chance. About the only thing they haven’t given him was an extended shot. Maybe it’s time they give him one.
For the first time, Montero has earned the shot. Due to Matt Harvey‘s injury, Montero was recalled, and he has pitched well.
On Thursday, after Robert Gsellman was only able to pitch five innings against the Nationals, Montero came in and pitched surprisingly well. In three shutout innings, he didn’t allow a hit, and in a complete shock, he didn’t walk a batter while striking out three.
On Monday, when Zack Wheeler couldn’t get out of the second inning, Montero came in, and he pitched well again. Over 3.2 innings, Montero allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out five. The only run against him was a Justin Turner home run in what was the last batter Montero would face in the game.
In those two combined outings, Montero has pitched 6.2 innings allowing three hits, one run, one earned, and two walks while striking out eight batters. If that was one start, it would be an outstanding start.
It at least seems like Montero is a different pitcher over those past two appearances. He has been throwing more strikes, and he has been trusting his stuff. These are exactly the things people have been waiting for him to do for years. It appears now he’s finally doing it, and in this ever so brief sample size, he appears that he could be an effective major league pitcher.
Fact is, we don’t know if this is for real or not. This could be another one of his mirages. It could also be him FINALLY figuring things out. If he has figured it out, the Mets owe it to themselves to finally see the fruit of their patience. With the Mets being so far out, now is the time to give him that chance. With the Mets going nowhere, you need to find out who can be piece of the future. That is especially important with Montero being out of options. Next year, he has to be on the roster or exposed to another team on waivers.
At this point, the Mets need to use the rest of the season to find out who is a part of the future. For the longest time, the Mets assumed that would include Montero. It’s time to find out if he is.
In the NHL draft tonight, the Vegas Golden Knights will be drafting players from each of the other 30 NHL rosters. There is a provision that players who have less than two years of service time are automatically protected thereby not making a team choose between a significant player and a huge prospect. It does beg the question about what would happen if that provision were removed.
Better yet, what would happen if teams were forced to protect just 10 of their best prospects in an effort to permit the new team to stock their minor league system. If the Mets were put in the position to select eleven players with under two years service time, who should they select?
1. SS Amed Rosario
By any account, Rosario is among the top prospects in all of baseball if not the top prospect. He has more than justified that billing this year. Through 69 games, Rosario is hitting .325/.368/.479 with 15 doubles, four triples, seven homers, 48 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He’s great, and there is no circumstance in which the Mets should even think about losing him to another team.
2. 1B Dominic Smith
The Mets have been aggressive promoting their 2013 first round pick through the minor leagues. Last year, he was the youngest player in the Eastern League. This year, he has been among the youngest in the Pacific Coast League. Through it all, he has held his own, played a terrific defensive first base, and is developing power at every stop. He is the first baseman of the future for a team who will likely lose their current first baseman at the trade deadline or free agency.
3. RHP Justin Dunn
Last year’s first round pick has terrific stuff, and he showed it off last year. While he struggled this year, he has been better off for those struggles. Since being demoted to the bullpen to help him find himself, Dunn has gone 3-1 with a 0.86 ERA and an 8.1 K/9. When you have a player that struggles and improves this much, this is a player you make sure to keep.
4. RHP Robert Gsellman
Gsellman started last year pitching in Double-A, and he finished it helping pitch the Mets into the postseason. He’s had an up and down 2017 season, but he has shown flashes of his tremendous talent. He is just 23 years old, and he still has the stuff he did last year when he posted a 2.42 ERA in eight games. With a better infield behind him, which we should see with a Rosario promotion, we will likely see a return of the stats we saw last year.
5. SS Andres Gimenez
The 18 year old dominated the Gulf Coast League last year showing off his skill set that had him one of the highest regarded international free agent signings in 2015. He has skipped short season ball and held his own during his 37 games for the Columbia Fireflies. He has a good bat regardless of position.
6. LHP Thomas Szapucki
Szapucki is potentially a top of the rotation starter with a mid to high 90s fastball and a very good curve ball. He used that to be completely dominant in rookie ball. After an injury to start the year, he has just returned from the disabled list, and he is rounding into form.
7. CF Desmond Lindsay
The man dubbed as the “Offensive Machine” when he was drafted has certainly taken off lately. While he struggled to start the year, he has adjusted to the Sally League, and he has begun dominating. Since June began, he has been hitting .333/.400/.694 while playing a good center field. It seems he may have put his leg issues behind him, and he is taking the next step.
8. C Tomas Nido
After years of struggling at the plate, Nido broke out last year winning the Florida State League batting title. After a slow start to the season in Double-A, he is once again showing he is as complete a catcher as they come hitting .300/.353/.483 with 10 doubles, four homers, and 22 RBI in his last 32 games. He is proving last year was no fluke, and he is the Mets catcher of the future.
9. RHP Marcos Molina
Despite missing a year due to Tommy John surgery, the Mets believed enough in Molina to add him to the 40 man roster. They were right to do so. In five starts for St. Lucie, he was 2-3 with a 1.26 ERA, 0.767 WHIP, and a 7.2 K/9. That has earned him a promotion to Double-A and a clear path towards the major leagues.
10. RHP Seth Lugo
With spin rates, we know Lugo’s curve ball is the best in the majors. He has used that to help propel him not just to the majors, but also to have success in the majors. In addition to that, he has a fastball he can get into the upper 90s when he needs a big out. He used this repertoire to help pitch the Mets into the postseason last year. He has used it again this year to be effective in the rotation upon his return to the rotation from his elbow injury.
11. LHP Anthony Kay
The Mets have long wanted him. After failing to sign him out of high school in 2013, they made him their second first round draft pick last year. That is because he has a fastball he can get into the upper 90s with a promising curve ball and change. Like many college pitchers, his arm was abused by his coach, and he has suffered an injury requiring Tommy John surgery. He should be able to bounce back and be the pitcher the Mets have long thought he could be.
In the above list, the Mets have lots of pitching talent, but that would also leave a lot of pitching talent exposed. If the Mets went this route, they could lose a Harol Gonzalez or Jordan Humphreys, both of whom are having terrific years. There is also the potential position player cost. Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini are both former first round picks who are close to being regulars at the major league level.
Even if you were to make some amendments to the above list, you are still going to leave a very talented player exposed. This speaks to the depth of the Mets farm system that the Mets continue to improve with each draft and each international signing period.