Q and A - Which current player will be the biggest "bust" in 2018?


Mike Friere asks -
Which current player will be the biggest "bust" in 2018?

Michael Maar says –

I can't claim to have a crystal ball on this one, but Harvey aside I'd say the biggest potential bust based on performance so far is Michael Conforto.  I'm actually getting pretty concerned about him, as he seems to fall into these very deep funks where. He looks slow and lost at the plate.  As other teams like Atlanta and Philly roll out a bunch of young players, Conforto is supposed to be front and center in answer to that.  The Mets can't go anywhere without him.

Eddie Corona says:

The Obvious one has already left the team (Matt Harvey) and to say Reyes is really a stretch since he is the 25th man on the team
However I believe the Biggest Bust will be Steven Matz. When speaking of whom could take the ball behind Degrom and Thor, most pointed to Matz as the man who had the most talent and highest probability to perform as long as he remained healthy.  However so far he had been as inconsistent and remain fragile as ever.

The Long Island product does not seem to be able to harness his live arm to extend beyond 5 innings. Looking back we will regret not including Matz in the trade for Cespedes instead of Fulmer several years ago. However, hindsight is 20-20...

Mike Friere says –

            A few things have changed since I submitted this question, namely Matt  Harvey is no longer a member of the organization so I can no longer use his name as the "biggest bust" of 2018. 

Ignoring that "low hanging fruit", there are several other candidates that would be deserving of such an "honor".  Some are based upon injuries that are out of the player's control (Anthony Swarzak), while others are just recovering slower then anticipated from off season surgery (Michael Conforto).  In order to be a "bust" in my opinion, the player's performance needs to be significantly below expectations and it cannot be based on factors outside of the player's control.

With that said, the biggest "bust" of 2018 has to be Zack Wheeler.  Yes, he has had injury issues and surgical limitation in the past, but he is supposedly healthy and ready to show everyone his first round talent.  Zack was a founding member of our supposed "Super Rotation" and he was also the centerpiece of the Carlos Beltran trade with the Giants (yeah, that was a while ago).  With the normal development arc for a pitcher, Zack was supposed to be "ace worthy", but that has failed to materialize.  Instead, he teases you with the occasional "good start", followed up by erratic performance punctuated by a lack of control (4 inning outings that require 100 pitches) and additional stress on the bullpen.

As sad as it is to say, we need to adjust our expectations for him and realize that he is no more then a back of the rotation arm and not an ace.

Mack says –

            I have no crystal ball here, but my guess is that we will never see the best of Michael Conforto again. The injury he suffered from is a career buster and no one knows this more than Michael. Look at him in the box. He swings at around 80% now. And look into his eyes. He’s lost.
            The surprising thing is that the Mets coaches don’t see this and send him back to Vegas to see if he can iron out his problems. Even better, DL him, send him to Florida, and let him heal properly.

            All debatable points, but my vote is that Brandon Nimmo will be solidly entrenched into center by the all-star break.


Reese Kaplan says:

            That's an interesting question in that several people who are doing poorly -- Jose Reyes, Hansel Robles and the catchers -- were not expected to do well, so that would rule them out.  While a lot of the counting numbers are not there for Yoenis Cespedes, Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce, they're likely to bust out of it.  Asdrubal Cabrera is arguably the only one doing well on the offensive side who plays regularly, so that leaves him out as well.  

So on offense that leaves us Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario.  I'll throw in Wilmer Flores despite a nice night on Tuesday because current manager Mickey Callaway seems even more averse to using him than the deposed white haired Skipper.

On the pitching side for obvious reasons you leave out Matt Harvey.  For quality you leave out Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.  That still leaves three starting pitchers.

In the bullpen one would assume Jeurys Familia and Jerry Blevins will be fine.  After that it's a bit of a crap shoot.

Personally, I thought Jason Vargas was a huge mistake but the penny pinching club went for innings over quality innings due to the price tag.  So I can't say he's disappointing as I had expected very little.  Ditto Zack Wheeler -- he is what he is -- an inconsistent pitcher who walks way too many. 

No, the starting pitcher candidate with the most potential to fall from grace is Steven Matz who has dominated the rare times he's been healthy.  Thus far he has had one good start. 

Decisions, decisions...given Amed Rosario's lack of accomplishments thus far in a big league uniform, I think the greater drop off the cliff is Michael Conforto.  He's looking totally lost at the plate due to being rushed back and he's likely pressing while his mechanics are off.  Given that he's already been an All-Star I think he get's this particular prize as the one with the most potential to disappoint. 


Reese Kaplan said...

Off topic, but I see the Mets are calling up Buddy Baumann and, very oddly, Dominic Smith. Just when Gonzalez is starting to hit you call up a guy who plays the same position and bats from the same side of the plate??? Very weird.

Thomas Brennan said...

I don't think we will have a biggest bust, but rather a series of guys underperforming expectations, making the season a big bust.

What will keep that from happening is only one thing:

Jake, Thor, Matz and Zach all pitching up to their full capabilities. A strong foursome to head the rotation can keep this under-hitting team afloat.

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, I think the Smith call up is a temporary paternity thing - my guess is he will start at least one game. Going 5 for 5 wouldn't hurt his chances to stick around for more than a few days.

Reese Kaplan said...

Yes, obviously it is just for the paternity leave of Jay Bruce, but he does not fill a position of need such as OUTFIELDER with missing Jay Bruce and on-again/off-again injured Yoenis Cespedes and lost Michael Conforto.

Eddie Corona said...

Reese we agree so often... I totally was against the Vargas Deal...
When your penny pinching you wasted 16 million dollars over 2 years...

Save that 16 million, The 18-20 million on Fraizer, the 39 million on Bruce, the 5 on harvey, the 5 on Darnaud and go get me Machado...

even if he get hurt you have the dam Insurance on the contract.. its like I cannot afford a Del frisco Steak deinner but eat at mcdonalds all the time...
Skip the fast food and enjoy a real meal once in a while

Mack Ade said...

Del Frisco... old friend of mine from Dallas. Knew him when he had only one restaurant.

He did well, huh?

Anonymous said...

Very nice win last night. Team needed it.

Here's a few players that have caught me eye lately. I was looking for younger players, and maybe the Mets can take a look at. Who knows.

In my opinion, the Mets need more good lefty pitchers. So...

1. Jose Alvarado (TB Rays) set-up/closer material, 24 years old, 16 K's in 15 innings thus far, .93 WHIP, 2.40 ERA

2. Blake Snell (TB Rays) starter, 22 years old, 50 K's in 48 innings, .95 WHIP, 4-2

3. Bobby Poyner (Red Sox AA) Set-up, age 25, 9 K's in 8 innings, 1.25 WHIP

4. Jalen Beeks (Red Sox AAA) Starter, 24 years old, 1.72 ERA, 52 K's in 31 innings, 2-2 on the season thus far at Pawtucket. This guy could be hard to get away from Boston, especially with David Price carpal tunnel diseased left hand. Carpal tunnel is a bad one.

5. Dedgar Jimenez (Red Sox AAA), 22 years old, 4.35 ERA, 2-2 thus far, 1.09 WHIP

And here's a guy that I am just now starting to watch on AAA Mets Vegas 51's, his name is Patrick Kivlehan, age 28. Patrick is a big LF.

Tim Tebow, three hits yesterday with Binghamton, now hitting... .261 BA. Go Tim!

Tom Brennan, I concur with you regarding Mets hitting thus far. It is a little too streaky by maybe a few too many batters. Players who on average hit say .225 -.255 BA (or about) almost every season.

You can win games when most of these batters are "on and hitting" in any one game. But when all (or most) are off, lookout Jim Hickman!

Anonymous said...

And then this as well...

Tampa Bay? What do they need right now? I really like Tampa Bay, the way they are rebuilding using good drafting and acquisitions of younger players. They put a competitive team on the field with players mostly unheard of to MLB.

They need another good young outfielder and maybe one or two more solid young starters.

And what about Boston, Kreskin?

They have three catchers right now, all three are good defensively, but none are hitting even a .200 BA. The Red Sox are solid at starting pitching (aside from the often injured David Price.) Their MiLB is stacked with arms right now, Groom and others. Kind of makes me wonder if TB Rays knew about this carpal tunnel stuff back then? Who knows.

The Red Sox could maybe use another later inning reliever as well.

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