Q and A - 2018 Biggest Surprise Players

Mike Friere asks - 

 Which current player will be the biggest surprise in 2018?

MetsMusings Mack says –

Brandon Nimmo will be the surprise player, if gets in.  He will prove that he is indeed, an everyday player

Mike Friere says – 

Defining what a "surprise" consists of is tricky, but necessary to properly answer this question.  Is it a veteran no one thought much of who puts together a career year?  Or, is it a young player who finally blossoms once they have regular playing time.  It could also be a player like Daniel Murphy (ouch), who suddenly finds another "gear" and turns into the second coming of Ty Cobb....yes, I am still upset over that whole debacle.  In short, it could be any of the above, as a "surprise" is simply unexpected production and in this case, positive production.

My initial vote was going to be Todd Frazier, since his numbers the past couple of years were suppressed by a low BABIP (due for a rebound) and he is returning to the National League where he has so much success with the Reds.  I think he will be in the conversation, but my final and likely very popular answer is Brandon Nimmo.  All of this obviously hinges on getting him enough playing time to make a difference, which I think will happen as our primary "fourth outfielder" who can spell any of our starters as needed.

IF Brandon can get at least 400 at bats, he will produce across the board with his ability to get on base and his sneaky power stroke from the lead off spot.  His production will allow the Mets to seek a trade for Juan Lagares and I predict he will push for a starting role in the not so distant future.  Granted, you can argue whether Sandy should have picked him as early as he did, but I think we will be happy to have him moving forward.

Mack says – 

I think Robert Gsellman will take over the closer role from a sliding Jeurys Familia, by the all-start break.

A bigger surprise could be RP Drew Smith, who could be fast tracked at the same time.

Michael Maar says – 

I don't think Gsellman and Lugo can be considered surprises anymore, so I'll go out on a limb and say Tomas Nido will get his feet under him once he gets some playing time and will be a pleasant surprise.

Reese Kaplan says – 

Considering I was one of many questioning the value of adding Adrian Gonzalez to the roster after his miserable 2017 campaign, I thought it was just another one of those dumpster-diving maneuvers at which the Mets seem to specialize.  He was only going to be paid major league minimum with the Braves on the hook for the rest of his salary.  They felt they received value from Jose Reyes in a similar situation, so why not have a Dom Smith insurance policy?

It became clear (even before the oversleeping incident and the subequent injury) that Smith would have an uphill battle to supplant the former five-time All Star.  When Gonzalez looked positively lost at the plate all Spring and showed no power, whispers about him being done turned into shouts and people openly speculated if he would last only long enough for Michael Conforto to return to the roster.  

Surprisingly, he's off to a solid start with a home run and 9 RBIs through the first two weeks of the season, resting against lefties to give way to Wilmer Flores.  He's saved a great many errors with his skill around the 1st base bag and people have openly talked about his positive presence in the clubhouse.  While he may not approach the MVP ballot numbers of the past, this stronger-than-expected start probably means he's here for the remainder of the season.  That, in and of itself, is a huge surprise


Tom Brennan said...

I think Nimmo, because he has added a lot, and Frazier, ditto.

Not surprising to me is Nido and Lobaton going 2 for 19 so far - Johhny Monell is 5 for 12 in his return to baseball with Vegas - he even threw out 1 of 3 runners - he might be a weak short term alternative if Nido and Lobaton continue to hit like Matt Harvey does in a typical year, not the Harvey who is 2 for 6 this year.

Can Matt Harvey catch?

Reese Kaplan said...

Do STDs count in Harvey's case? :)

Tom Brennan said...

For Harvey, everything counts. He probably needed Tommy John Surgery after a Playboy Playmate twisted his arm.

Mike Freire said...


What is sad to me, is Matt's attitude after his poor start to 2018. Instead of a team first mentality, he is all about himself. His pending free agency is the reason he is upset over his performance and the possible demotion to the bullpen, not that he is letting the team down.

I think the Mets will be better off without him, to be honest.

Tom Brennan said...

He ain't Verlander

Robb said...

Id still get rid of AGon and bring up smith. today.

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