Yes, I believe the New York Mets will have a winning season; winning, as in finishing the season with a .500 record or better, heck, maybe even playoffs. But that’s as far as I go–I’m not that delusional.
Yes, the Mets only won 74 games last season, and are in a tough division, but the Mets have made a few moves this offseason that should have Mets fans optimistic for this upcoming season and beyond.
This team will be better than last season’s, and they have huge upside. So with that being said, here are a few reasons why Mets fans should be optimistic:
The Mets’ Top Prospects
The Mets acquired pitcher Zack Wheeler, who is ranked the 13th best prospect in baseball, through the Carlos Beltran trade with the San Francisco Giants. They also acquired 14th best prospect, catcher Travis d’Arnaud through the R.A. Dickey trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Zack Wheeler has a lot of potential. He played great Tiple-A ball and is ready for the next step. He has command of his pitches, and has an aggressive fastball and a decent curveball, but needs to work on some of his other pitches. Wheeler can be a solid No. 2 in the rotation.
Travis d’Arnaud will be a great addition to the batting lineup. He has a lot of power, and has potential for 25-30 homeruns–which would be a great addition to a weak Mets offense. The catcher also had good defense and works well with pitchers.
The Return Of Ike Davis
There’s no question that something was wrong with Ike Davis last season (contracting valley fever)–and we all know what Davis can provide to the team. He was having a All-Star 2011 season before a ankle injury took him out–but he still managed to end the season with 32 homeruns and 90 RBIs. If he can stay healthy this season, he will be a huge contributor for the team’s offense.
The Mets bullpen was a big problem last season. Their relief pitchers compiled a 4.65 ERA, so blowing late leads became the norm for the Mets.
But the Mets made a few moves that will improve their status this season. They picked up pitcher Scott Atchison, who pitched a 1.58 ERA with the Boston Red Sox last season. They also signed Brandon Lyon, who has experience as a closer. He went a combined 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 67 relief appearances.
These signings aren’t exactly splashy, but the Mets did add, and improve, their bullpen with veteran arms.
The Starting Rotation
The Mets still have ace Johan Santana. After getting off to a hot start in 2012, his production completely nosedived as the season wore on, and they had to shut him down in August. But, he’s still Johan Santana. If he can stay healthy, he will no doubt be a weapon in the starting rotation.
The team also has Matt Harvey. Harvey compiled a 2.73 ERA before shutting him down to preserve his arm. Let’s not forget about top prospect Zack Wheeler and recent acquisition Shaun Marcum. Marcum is a four-pitch pitcher who has a career 3.76 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. His addition strengthens the Mets’ starting rotation.