New York Mets 2019: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the NL East?

The Mets went looking for a new general manager last season, and some candidates recommended a roster teardown. That’s not what the Wilpon family wanted to hear, so they hired Brodie Van Wagenen, a charismatic agent who promised he could make the Mets a winner, both now and for years to come. We’ll have to see it to believe it with this offense, but the Mets’ pitching talent at least gives them a shot. 

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Mets

Baltimore Orioles logo“They’re trying to take a shortcut back to the postseason, but they’re too old and always prone to injuries. Two of their high-impact guys, Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard, can never stay on the field, and who knows when or if Cespedes will be back to full strength? At his best, Syndergaard can match up with anyone, but he’s so erratic physically that the Mets should have sold high on him and traded him after he finished up strong. Jacob deGrom can’t possibly be better than he was in 2018, but he’s obviously a superstar; nobody has supreme command over four pitches the way he does. Zack Wheeler is pitching for a contract, and he was dominant in the second half, but it’s time to stop expecting Steven Matz to be more than he is: a serviceable five-inning guy. I do like their bullpen a lot. Wilson Ramos can really hit, and he’s shown a knack for earning the trust of great pitchers. Brandon Nimmo brings tons of energy and a knack for getting on base, but I don’t know how much Todd Frazier has left.”


Beyond the Box Score

Closer to Home For the last six years, the Mets’ top minor league affiliate played in Las Vegas, a forbidding 2,500 miles or so from Citi Field. This made it challenging to get well-rested players to New York on a moment’s notice, a big problem for a team that used a franchise-record 56 players in 2018. Now the Mets begin a 25-year agreement to make their Triple-A home in a more sensible location — Syracuse, N.Y., the previous home to the Nationals’ top minor league club. The team will be called the Mets, dropping the Chiefs nickname the city had used in some form since 1934, and NBT Bank Stadium will get a $26 million upgrade from the state, county and city.


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Old Folks’ Home The Mets gave 1,357 plate appearances last season to the uninspiring Jose Bautista, Asdrubal Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Austin Jackson and Jose Reyes — all of whom were off the 40-man roster by November. The presence of so many over-30 stopgaps was a clear indictment of the Mets’ farm system, which lacked viable options when injuries struck. Second baseman Jeff McNeil was an encouraging exception, but the Mets missed a chance to learn about internal options by giving so much playing time to placeholders with no future on the team.


Amazin’ Again This June, the Mets will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1969 championship team, known for all time as the Miracle Mets, who rose from ignoble expansion beginnings — seven consecutive losing seasons — to a rousing World Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles. In a weekend series against Atlanta from June 28-30, the Mets will have 1969 jersey, pennant and ring giveaways, with a pregame ceremony honoring the team on Saturday afternoon. 


Required Reading Whatever happens on the field, the Mets boast one of the finest broadcast teams around, with Gary Cohen on play-by-play and 1986 champions Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling giving color commentary, mixing sharp observations with amusing asides. The former players are also compelling writers. Last spring Hernandez published a well-received memoir, I’m Keith Hernandez, and Darling follows this spring with his third book with Daniel Paisner, 108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game. The always-insightful Darling weaves together poignant — and sometimes pointed — anecdotes culled from nearly 40 eventful years in professional baseball.


Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

LF  Brandon Nimmo (L)
2B  Robinson Cano (L) 
RF  Michael Conforto (L) 
C   Wilson Ramos (R)
1B  Todd Frazier (R)
CF  Keon Broxton (R)
3B  Jed Lowrie (S)
SS  Amed Rosario (R)

 

BENCH

C    Travis d’Arnaud (R) 
OF  Juan Lagares (R)
INF  Dominic Smith (L) 
INF  T.J. Rivera (R)
INF  Luis Guillorme (L)

 

ROTATION

RHP  Jacob deGrom 
RHP  Noah Syndergaard 
RHP  Zack Wheeler
LHP  Steven Matz
LHP  Jason Vargas

 

BULLPEN

RHP  Edwin Diaz 
RHP  Jeurys Familia
RHP  Robert Gsellman
RHP  Seth Lugo 
RHP  Paul Sewald
LHP  Daniel Zamora 
RHP  Drew Smith

 

2019 PREDICTION

3rd NL East 

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