Posted by Reese Kaplan at 11:00 AM
I'm probably the King Curmudgeon here at Mack's Mets who is most often critical of things the Mets have done as an organization from business direction, roster composition, on-the-field management and decisions. However, most will acknowledge that perhaps despite some of these issues the club has turned a corner and is finally headed in the right direction. Maybe it's the Chopin dirty martini I had with dinner, but let's take a look at some of what should make us optimistic for the future.
Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Zack Wheeler, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Bartolo Colon and Rafael Montero are the present. Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Matt Bowman are the near future. That's ten quality starting pitchers for five slots on the big league club. Some are courtesy of the Omar Minaya and others came during the Sandy Alderson regime. The fact is the team is flush with perhaps more pitching riches than any other organization.
How many years did Mets fans shake their heads in disgust and wonder aloud when the implosion would happen when the relief pitchers entered the game. Now the team has a pen comprised of Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Bobby Parnell, ``and Josh Edgin, all of whom have had major league success under the age of 30. Carlos Torres is the old man of the group at 31. Several throw impressively hard and can get a key strikeout when one is needed.
Very few people could have predicted the breakout year the big man delivered once Ike Davis was sent packing. Yes, he needs to improve against lefties. Yes, he could be a better fielder. However, he delivered HR and RBI production in the upper eschelon of the league at bottom 10% cost.
One of the joys of the late 1970s Mets team was watching Doug Flynn field at 2B. Then came the acrobatic exploits of Rey Ordonez at SS. Neither hold a candle to the running, diving, jumping and throwing showcase he performs on a nightly basis. Oh yeah...he can hit the ball and run the bases, too.
We've all seen what the man can do when he's healthy and the changes in the ballpark dimensions should help with his right center field power stroke. Hopefully a winter to heal will allow him to return to his All-Star form.
Upon his return to the majors he demonstrated the power everyone had read about in all the scouting reports. He was a solid contributor with a bat in his hands, though his injury probably impacted his throwing. Hopefully, like David Wright, the time off will help immensely.
The longer he played, the more impressive he looked at the plate. By the end of the season he was one of the batters seldom expected to strike out and his power was evident in both HRs and doubles. His fielding will probably always be a work in progress, but everyone should be salivating to see what he could deliver with 550 ABs.
Yes, he started off by looking like a latter day Jason Bay, but he rebounded enough to suggest there were some adjustments to the new league. He's streaky but did represent a power threat. With both closer RF fences and his favorite hitting coach in the fold, a good year from Granderson should be forthcoming.
While everyone was frustrated to see how the Mets handled the July trading deadline, the fact remains that with Chris Young gone, Daniel Murphy and Bartolo Colon likely on their way out the door, and pitchers Dillon Gee and Jon Niese on the hot seat, there's a strong possibility there would be some money available to address other needs such as whichever corner outfield position not played by Curtis Granderson.
While his skills may still be raw, in his short big league trial he showed that his power was very much for real. He'll likely get at least half a season in AAA before making his way to Queens, but it appears that he and Vic Black were quite a coup for less than half year rentals of Marlon Byrd and John Buck.