New York Mets: 5 reasons for 2019 optimism – Part 1 Young Stars

Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, New York Mets. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, New York Mets. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. New York Mets. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Edwin Diaz

I can hear it now, “Edwin Diaz had 57 saves last season, what do you mean he’s going to break out?”

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Yes, the man known as “Sugar” in Seattle led the American League in saves last season. He also had a 1.96 earned run average and an incredibly stingy 0.791 WHIP. There is a huge difference however putting those numbers up in Seattle for a team that descended into oblivion after the All-Star break and doing it New York where there is a 24/7 spotlight on you.

I covered the M’s last season and I can tell you he is the real deal. What’s really amazing is that on his birthday this Friday, Diaz will turn the ripe old age of 25. He’s going to get better. During the Mariners fade to black, save opportunities became rare as the season went on. If Diaz was on a good team, he could have saved 70 games.

The world is about to find out about this hidden gem from the Emerald City. Think about it, he’s got Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler in the rotation with Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo to set him up.

You want optimism, Diaz is it. He’s had 91 saves the past two seasons and blown only nine opportunities. Here are some other important numbers, Diaz’ fastball averaged 97.3 mph last year and he regularly topped 100. How many games better does Sugar make the New York Mets this season over last?

Tomorrow the series continues with part two.