Legends On Deck

New York Mets: How They Were Built

2015 New York Mets

The New York Mets will be heading into the 2015 season with question marks as most teams do.  The health and progression of their young pitching staff remains a question as well as their offense.  Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson wasn’t overly active this offseason, but he along with manager Terry Collins, feels like the team that will take the field in Queens will have a decent shot at the postseason.

Starting Rotation

Matt Harvey – Drafted in the first round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Mets.  There is a lot riding on the elbow of Matt Harvey this season if the Mets are to become a playoff contender.  The 26-year old is recovering from surgery that forced him to miss all of 2014.  According to Harvey, he is right on track to make his return this spring which could be the lift the Mets need to reach the next level.  Harvey made the All-Star team in his first full season in the major leagues in 2013, and also finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting.  In his career (36 starts), Harvey is 12-10 with a 2.39 ERA.  Many of his starts in 2013 he pitched well enough to win but wasn’t provided much offense.  If he is healthy he could potentially be a 20-game winner, and 15 wins doesn’t seem unreasonable, but it all depends on how strong he is this spring.  “Harvey Day” will be back in Queens which could be just enough to get Mets fans interested again.

Bartolo Colon – Signed a two-year $20 million free agent contract in 2014.  Colon made 31 starts for the Mets in 2014 going 15-13 with an ERA of 4.09.  He recorded over 200 innings of work for the eighth time in his 17-year career, and the first time since 2005.  His name came up as a possible trade candidate for the Mets this winter but nothing came about.  He could possibly be on the block depending on his performance and how well the Mets are playing as the trade deadline approaches.  He is a three-time All-Star and has one Cy Young Award in his trophy case.  Colon did what the Mets needed him to do last year and they hope they can at least match 2014’s totals.

Jon Niese – Drafted in the seventh round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Mets.  Niese is the lone lefty in the rotation heading into 2015.  There were rumors of him being traded this offseason, but as of right now he will be staying in Queens.  He is entering his eighth season in the major leagues and holds a 52-51 career record.  He was a 13-game winner in 2011 and the Mets would obviously love for him to get back to that or even more.

Zack Wheeler – Acquired in a trade with the San Francisco Giants in 2011.  Wheeler, 24, made 32 starts last season for the Mets and showed signs of things fans have been waiting for.  He posted an 11-11 record in 2014 and probably could have won a few more if the team provided him with some runs.  I don’t feel its unrealistic for Wheeler to eclipse 15 wins this season as long as he stays healthy.

Jacob deGrom – Drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 amateur draft by the Mets.  What is deGrom going to do as an encore in 2015?  The Rookie of the Year went 9-6 with an ERA of 2.69 in 22 starts.  Alike like Wheeler, deGrom wasn’t the beneficiary of many runs which led to several no-decisions and losses.  You often hear about the Sophomore slump, but one thing going to deGrom in 2015 is he isn’t expected to be the ace.  10-12 wins should be easily reached this season.

Bullpen

Jenrry Mejia (CL) – Signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets in 2007.  Mejia started the 2014 season in the rotation and then was moved into the bullpen.  He seemed to find a comfortable home as closer when he was transitioned there and finished the season with 28 saves.  This will be his fifth year in the major leagues and should continue the closer role until Bobby Parnell returns.

Jeurys Familia – Signed as an amateur free agent by the Mets in 2007.  Familia spent time closing as well as late relief in 2014, appearing in 76 games, recording five saves, and had a record of 2-5.  His ERA dropped from 4.22 in 2013 to 2.21 in 2014.  Up until last season, Familia only had 17 appearances in two years.

Vic Black – Acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013.  Black, 26, made 41 appearances in 2014 posting a record of 2-3 with an ERA of 2.60.

Josh Edgin – Drafted in the 30th round in the 2010 amateur draft by the Mets.  The big lefty had a career-high in appearances in 2014 finding his way to the mound 47 times.  He had a 9.2 K/9 rate and had an ERA of 1.32.  Depending on what happens with the Rule 5 pick the Mets had with Gilmartin, Edgin may be the only left-handed option out of the bullpen.

Sean Gilmartin – Selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Mets.  Gilmartin has yet to make his major league debut, but very likely will if he sticks with the Mets out of camp.  As a Rule 5 pick, Gilmartin has to say on the 25-man roster all season or will be returned back to the team he came from.  He has bounced around throughout the different levels of the minor leagues.  He could be a second left-handed option for the Mets out of the pen.

Dillon Gee – Drafted in the 21st round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Mets.  Gee apparently will be the odd-man out in the rotation in 2015.  A nice problem to have for a team is too many arms and not enough spots.  Gee was the opening day starter in 2014 and finished the season with a 7-8 record with an ERA of 4.00.  He was another pitcher that was potentially on the block as the Mets were exploring possible trade partners.  There is a chance that he is still moved but could be closer to the trade deadline now that spring training is underway.  Gee is 40-34 in five seasons with the Mets.

Starting Lineup

Travis d’Arnaud (C) – Acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  D’Ardnaud had the tale of two seasons in 2014.  After struggling out of the gate, d’Arnaud was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas where he just tore it up.  Once he was recalled things turned around dramatically and he ended the season batting .242 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI.  The job is all his but he can’t rest on his laurels because the Mets have top catching prospect Kevin Plawecki waiting in the wings.

Lucas Duda (1B) – Drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Mets.  When 2014 started for the Mets, one of the questions was who was going to play first base.  Was it going to be Duda or was it going to be Ike Davis?  Long story short, Davis was traded away and Duda thrived.  He saw career-high totals in games played (153), home runs (30), runs batted in (92), and had a .481 slugging percentage.  Duda’s followup to last season will be key to the Mets success or lack of success in 2015.

Daniel Murphy (2B) – Drafted in the 13th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Mets.  Questions were looming in 2014 and most of this offseason as to the future of Murphy.  With his contract running out and doubts of being able to re-sign him, the 29-year old heard his name come up as a possible trade candidate.  None of the talk came to fruition and Murphy is still a member of the Mets.  For now.  Murphy made the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career in 2014, and ended the season with a .289/.332/.403/.734 split.

David Wright (3B) – Drafted in the first round in the 2001 amateur draft by the Mets.  There really isn’t much to say about Wright that baseball fans don’t already know.  He was the face of MLB in 2014 through a voting process on the MLB Network, he is a seven-time All-Star. two-time Gold Glove winner, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting four times.  Wright has played in over 1,500 games and has collected over 1,700 hits.  There was a dip in his power numbers in 2014, but his career line is .298/.377/.494/.871 with 230 home runs and 939 RBI.  His health is obviously one of the factors moving forward if the Mets are to take the next step.

Wilmer Flores (SS) – Signed as an amateur free agent in 2007 with the Mets.  Flores is one of the players you might feel a little bad for.  The shortstop incumbent had to hear things on a daily basis about how the Mets needed an upgrade at the position he was slated to take over everyday.  He believes he’s ready and I think many members of the Mets fan base feel the same.  Flores appeared in 78 games with the Mets in 2014 and scratched together six home runs and 29 RBI while hitting .251.  The 23-year old has doubters and will need to do his best to prove them all wrong in 2015.

Curtis Granderson (LF) – Signed a four-year $60 million free agent contract with the Mets starting in 2014.  Granderson didn’t start 2014 as well as Mets fans, or management for that matter, would have liked but ended up having a relatively decent year.  Trying to adjust from hitting in the new Yankee Stadium to Citi Field was certainly difficult and his 20 home runs were only half of what fans wanted to see, but Granderson will be back at it playing left field everyday in 2015.

Juan Lagares (CF) – Signed as an amateur free agent in 2006 with the Mets.  The Gold Glove winning center fielder is one of the more exciting players to watch in the Mets lineup.  There really doesn’t seem to be a ball he can’t track down in the outfield and has the ability to hit as well.  It will be interesting to see what he can produce playing a full season, but if 2014 was any indication things will be just fine.

Michael Cuddyer (RF) – Signed a two-year $21 million free agent contract with the Mets this offseason.  Looking to add some protection in the lineup for some of the other hitters, Cuddyer inked a deal with the Mets and will see a good portion of the season in right field.  Cuddyer is 35-years old but still has some hits left in his bat.  As one of the only moves the Mets made this offseason, Cuddyer will have to get back to hitting .280+ with 15+ home runs to make fans feel alright with the signing.

Projected Bench

Anthony Recker (C) – Selected off waivers by the Mets from the Chicago Cubs in 2012.  Recker is entering his fifth season in the major leagues and is a quality backup catcher.  He appeared in 58 games in 2014 and depending on Plawecki and d’Arnaud, could see about the same in 2015.

John Mayberry Jr. (OF) – Signed a one-year $1.45 million deal with the Mets in December of 2014.  Mayberry is entering his sixth season in the major leagues, and spent time with both the Blue Jays and the Phillies in 2014.  He will be a decent option off the bench as the fourth or fifth outfielder.  Mayberry has bonuses built into his contract based on plate appearances.

Ruben Tejada (SS) – Signed as an amateur free agent in 2006 with the Mets.  The starting short stop job was Tejada’s to lose, and as of right now he did.  After a promising 2012, the Mets believed they may have their short stop of the future, but things didn’t quite go that way the past two seasons.  Tejada will see plenty of playing time and could potentially earn the job back depending on what happens during spring training.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis (OF) – Drafted in the third round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Mets.  Nieuwenhuis started his career off well in 2012, but has dipped slightly ever since.  He appeared in 61 games in 2014 hitting .259 which is around his career average.  He, like Mayberry, will get plenty of playing time giving Granderson and Cuddyer rest, and appears to be one of the only left-handed options off the bench.

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.

You can also reach out to John at jginder@legendsondeck.com