New York MetsOur expert from ScoutPRO.com,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.
New York Mets Team Projection
The only excitement the Mets fans had last year was the right arm of Matt Harvey. However, those high moments were crushed when they lost him in September to an elbow injury. New York hasn't made it to the playoffs in their last 7 seasons and they have played under .500 ball in each of their last 5 years. Last year, the Mets scored their lowest amount of runs (619 - 23rd in the majors) since 1992, and finished 25th in HR's (130). In addition, their pitching finished 8th in the NL in ERA (3.77). During the offseason, New York signed OF Chris Young, OF Curtis Granderson, and P Bartolo Colon. New York lost P Aaron Harang, P Johan Santana, and P LaTroy Hawkins. Their starting lineup should hit more HR's, but there is downside risk due to the possibility of a high amount of K's. The starting rotation may be stronger than it looks if P Zack Wheeler and P Jon Niese pitch at a high level. Lastly, the bullpen is in transition with the closer job up in the air with P Bobby Parnell coming off of neck surgery.
1. OF Eric Young
Last year was the first time Young was given a chance to get full time at bats in the majors. His speed was exciting, but his overall production fell short of expectations. His K rate (16.0%) was better than his career average, while his walk rate (8.4%) was league average. He was a slightly better hitter against LH pitching (.259), and continues to be a GB hitter (54.5%). As of now, he will compete with Lucas Duda for at bats. He is a career .258 hitter in the majors with plus speed, but his lack of success in 2013 may lead to a part time role. He would be a nice option as a lead off hitter if he could get his batting average in the area of his minor league resume (.297). His value will rise if he is named a starter in LF in 2014. 50+ SB upside with 550 at bats.
2. 2B Daniel Murphy
Murphy was a perfect back end option at second base last year. He was an asset in 4 categories and hit enough HR's to keep you in the game. Daniel had a nice bump in power (13 HR's). He has 78 double over the last 2 years, but his AVH (1.452) suggests he doesn't have a lot of upside in HR's. Murphy is tough to strikeout (13.6% K rate), but his walk rate (4.6%) is weak and fading. All of his power comes against RH pitching (12 HR's in 442 at bats - 1 HR in 216 at bats vs. lefties). He hit well against LH pitching (.273), but his approach was weaker (6:48 BB:K ratio). Daniel hit over .280 in 5 of the 6 months last season. He played his best ball in July, August, and September (.294 with 8 HR's, 46 RBI, and 14 SB's). His HR/FB rate (6.3%) only rose slightly, while his increase in power was due to a huge bump in his FB rate (36.3% - 24.9% in 2012). Overall, he has a short major league resume with a high level of success. We know he can hit and his speed is somewhat supported by his minor league resume. His power doesn't look out of line and it could have upside if he continues to hit more fly balls. With more strength, he could hit 20 HR's. Let's set the bar at 15/15 with a plus batting average and hope for upside in HR's and SB's. Murphy could be an easy player to overvalue in 2014, so proceed with caution and don't overpay.
3. 3B David Wright
The elite David Wright appeared again in 2013. His K rate (16.1%) ranked near his career best and his walk rate (11.2%) remains strong. It appears David solved his swing and miss problem that he struggled with from 2009 to 2011. His season was cut short when he suffered a bad hamstring injury early in August, which cost him 7 weeks of the season. Wright had success against both RH (.296) and LH (.336) pitching. He had a smokin .605 SLG % vs. LH pitching, while most of his power came on the road (12 HR's). Wright crushed two seam fastballs last year (.439 with a .673 SLG %). He has struggled with injuries in 2 of the last 3 seasons, which will hurt his chances to get 3000 hits (1558 in his career at age 30). His low stats total from 2013 due to an injury will discount his draft value in 2014. If he played in 155 games last year, he would have finished with 25 HR's, 80 RBI, and 24 SB's. Wright is an excellent 5 category hitter that has upside across the board with better overall play by his supporting cast. The correction in his K rate makes him a lockdown .300 hitter going forward.
4. OF Curtis Granderson
2013 was a tough year for Granderson. He broke his right forearm in late February, which cost him the first 6 weeks of the season. Curtis was barely getting his feet wet when he was hit by a pitch that broke a finger in his left hand (required surgery). When Granderson returned in early August, he wasn't the same player as he struggled through 186 at bats (.226 with 6 HR's and 14 RBI). The Mets signed him to a 4-year, $60 million contract in December. The change in ballparks will hurt his upside in power. His K rate (28.2) has been very weak over the last 2 seasons, while his walk rate (11.0%) remains a positive. Rather than reflect over his injury plagued season, here's his write up from last season: Granderson repeated his success hitting HR's and will be one of the few players that will enter 2013 with over a 2.00 rating in the average hit category (AVH). He has hit 46 of 84 HR's at home (Yankee Stadium) over the last 2 seasons. His K rate at home was 26.7% in 2011 and 2012, which has led to a .251 batting average. His quest for HR's has led to a decline in his K rate (28.5%) over the last four seasons. While his walk rate (11.0%) has been solid for five straight seasons, it did take a nose dive during the 2nd half of 2012 (8.2% - 15.3% in 1st half). He is a career .225 hitter against LH pitching, hitting .218 against them last season. In 2011, he had a 20.5% HR/FB rate. Last year, that number rose to 24.2%. Granderson is motivated to hit HR's, which puts his batting average at risk. Last year, I shied away from him due to his batting average risk (I was right in this area), but he still delivered on three plus categories. His production will give you an edge, but it will be tough to overcome his BA. I think the pluses outweigh the negatives, but is he really a key piece when you start building your team If your goal is to get 60+ points in the batting categories, you can still accomplish your goal by punting batting average. If you are looking to win an overall prize, he may leave you one category short of a championship. I think he is a smart enough guy where he will hit above .250 this season. Note: his ADP was 96 in 2012 and it is about 131 in 2013.
5. 1B Ike Davis
Davis has been a frustrating player to own over the last 3 seasons. He flashed upside during his rookie season and even showed some growth during his sophomore campaign before getting hurt. His K rate (26.8%) has spiraled downward, but still shows a willingness to take walks (15.1%). Ike only hit .161 over the first 2+ months of the season with 5 HR's and 16 RBI, which led to him being sent back to AAA. He played at a high level during the minors (.293 with 7 HR's and 13 RBI - 17.5 % walk rate). Davis played better when he returned (.267 with 4 HR's and 17 RBI in 131 at bats). Best of all was his improved K rate (20.6%) and electric walk rate (22.4%). However, he only hit .145 against lefties in 69 at bats. During his rookie season, Ike held his own against left handed pitching (.295), but he has only hit .165 against lefties over the last 3 years. At AAA in 2013, he hit .292 against LH pitching with 2 HR's in 24 at bats. Overall, Davis will be an interesting player in 2014. His approach at the plate gives him upside with some growth in K rate, but his lack of success against lefties suggests he is a platoon player. However, he showed the ability to hit lefties in 2010. Additionally, his minor league resume shows he has more upside. His lack of success last year will push his draft value low enough where he could be a difference maker in 2014. He'll get drafted as a DH in many leagues and may end up delivering top 15 first baseman stats. I see .265 with 20 HR's and 80 RBI's with upside if he improves against lefties.
6. OF Chris Young
Young has tried to hit his way out of major league baseball over the last 2 seasons. His K rate (24.8%) was his 2nd highest of his career. His walk rate (9.6%) has declined over the last 3 years, but it is above the league average. Chris has only hit .218 against RH pitching over the last 3 seasons and last season faded against lefties (.209). In 2013, Young hit 4 HR's with 15 RBI's in April before developing a left quad injury. When he returned, he was only a part time player. The Mets don't have great options in the outfield, so Young should get full time at bats. Prior to last season, his K rate was above his career average for 3 straight seasons. Chris is a free swinger with upside in speed. He never really had a chance to find his stroke in Oakland. His career average is only .235, so he has plenty of downside risk. I know he won't be a sexy pick in 2014, but he has a 20/20 skill set. His ultimate value will be the result of his batting average. Young is a high FB hitter (49.8%) that tends to hit too many infield pop ups (16.4% during his career). A change in swing path will help his overall success. Possible value play.
7. C Travis D'Arnaud
Travis had a slow recovery from knee surgery in 2013. He hit .286 in the minors with 3 HR's and 20 RBI in 105 at bats before getting called up to the majors in mid August. His K rate (18.8%) was about the league average and he had a solid walk rate (10.7%). During his minor league career, D'Arnaud hit .286 with 69 HR's and 309 RBI in 1933 at bats. The Mets desperately need a RH bat to step forward to help solidify the hitter order. Travis has 35 career at bats at AAA, so his time is now. He is expected to be New York's starting catcher. In many leagues, he is a C2 with upside. D'Arnaud has 15 HR upside during his rookie season with a neutral batting average. He might even surprise with a hand full of steals.
8. SS Ruben Tejada
Tejada just about hit his way out of the big leagues after 2 months in 2013 (.209 with no HR's and 8 RBI), but he did the Mets a favor when he suffered quad injury on May 29th. When Ruben returned, he served his sentence at AAA, where he hit .288 with 2 HR's and 24 RBI in 240 at bats. Early in his minor league career, Tejada flashed possible 20 SB steal upside. Over the last 2 seasons, he has only attempted 10 steals between the majors and minors. His K rate (10.6%) was a career best with the Mets, while his walk rate (6.6%) has declined after being a slight positive during his first 2 seasons with New York. From a fantasy prospective, he has no value unless his speed re-emerges. At best, he is a injury cover in deep leagues.
9. OF Lucas Duda
Duda had a whole lot of empty in his stats. Last year, he hit 13 solo HR's. Additionally, his RBI rate (8%) was incredibly low for someone with 15 HR's. His K rate (26.6%) was also a career high, while his walk rate (14.3%) has improved during each year in the majors (was a career high in 2013). Last year, he only hit .183 against lefties with a 33.6% K rate. Last year, he started in 65 of the Mets first 70 games (.235 with 11 HR's and 23 RBI) before developing an oblique injury in June. When he returned, Lucas played first base (.200 in September with 4 HR's and 10 RBI). Overall, his skill set has declined over the last 2 seasons. Duda is a big guy with plus power. His lack of contact against LH pitching suggests he should be a platoon player going forward. In 2013, he had the highest FB rate (48.4%) of his career. He only hit .136 against breaking pitches and .140 against off speed pitches last year. It looks like he is a pure fastball hitter and his skill set has been exposed in the majors. While he has 20 HR upside with 450+ at bats, his batting average has risk and it looks like he has low value in terms of RBI's. With one more slump, he could turn into a bench player.
10. OF Juan Lagares
The Mets gave Lagares solid at bats in 2013 as almost every other OF option hit under .200. He is a career .282 hitter in the minors with 31 HR's and 100 SB's in 2400 at bats. His K rate was 22.8%, which was higher than his minor league resume (17.0%). Overall, Juan is a free swinger with a short walk rate (4.8%). He struggled against both RH (.243) and LH (.241) pitching. Lagares has a low skill set with the most upside in speed. He will enter this year as the 5th outfielder.
11. C Kevin Plakecki
He is an upside prospect with a very low K rate (10.0%) and is a career .287 hitter in the minors with 15 HR's and 107 RBI in 773 at bats. He will start the year at AA, but he may emerge as a possible backup at some point in 2014.
12. C Anthony Recker
He is career .194 hitter in the majors with 7 HR's and 23 RBI's in 2012 at bats. He is expected to be the backup catcher to start the year.
13. MI Wilmer Flores
He has been in the Mets system since 2008 as a 16 year old player. He played well in AAA at age 21 last year (.321 with 15 HR's and 86 RBI in 424 at bats). Early in his career, he played shortstop, but he has played 1B, 2B, and 3B over the last 2 seasons. Last year, he struggled in 95 at bats in the majors. If the Mets are willing to trade defense for offense, he may have value at short in the majors in 2014. May be an option in LF as well.