2019 was another typical New York Mets year. They had some interesting storylines, players getting injured, Yoenis Cespedes fighting a wild boar, Jacob deGrom winning another Cy Young and Pete Alonso winning rookie of the year while the team hovered around .500. The trade for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano pretty much depleted an already weak farm system and didn’t turn out at all the way they hoped it would. This offseason they haven’t really done much; their big acquisitions so far are Jake Marisnick and Dellin Betances. They also replaced Zack Wheeler with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, maybe one of them can give them some decent production. Overall, it was another disappointing season for a team that just can’t seem to put it all together.
- 2019 Record: 86-76, 3rd NL East
- Manager: Luis Rojas (a new addition after the Carlos Beltran firing)
- General Manager: Brodie Van Wagenen
- 791 Runs Scored, 737 Runs Allowed
New York Mets Depth Chart: Infield
- 1B: Pete Alonso
- 2B: Robinson Cano
- SS: Amed Rosario
- 3B: Jeff McNeil
- INF: Jed Lowrie
- INF: Dominic Smith
- INF: Luis Guillorme
Alonso is obviously the household name here after his ROY 2019 campaign. He launched 53 home runs last year and cemented himself as a power hitter up there with the best of them. McNeil also had a great year in his second MLB season, hitting .318 with a .916 OPS. Rosario also has a decent bat, but Cano is past his prime and none of the bench options are particularly great. Lowrie was injured most of 2019, but he could take over at 2nd if he returns to form: a .270ish hitter with decent power that hits the gaps well. If they all have good years, maybe the Mets can get 15 WAR from the infield, but 10 WAR is probably a reasonable expectation.
New York Mets Depth Chart: Outfield
- LF: Yoenis Cespedes
- LF: J.D. Davis
- CF: Brandon Nimmo
- CF: Jake Marisnick
- RF: Michael Conforto
- OF: Ryan Cordell
Nobody really knows what Cespedes will do in 2020. Is he even healthy at this point? I don’t want to speak in absolutes, but his health could be the hinge for the Mets being a playoff contender or not. Davis had a breakout 2019, hitting over .300 with 22 home runs. Nimmo battled injury and was only slightly above average when on the field. Marisnick is likely a bench piece, as he has been about a 1 WAR player in his career. Conforto had a 3rd straight season 3 WAR, but has yet to replicate his breakout 2017 season. This is a decent outfield group, but they don’t overly excite me. Cespedes is the player to watch here.
New York Mets Depth Chart: Catchers
Ramos played an astonishing 141 games last season. He has below average defense, but his bat was strong with a .288 average, 14 home runs and 73 RBIs. The rest of this platoon isn’t much to worry about. Sanchez has never reached the majors, but has put up decent numbers throughout the minors. Nido is simply below average; he had a .547 OPS in 50 games last season. However, he is only 25 and has room to improve.
New York Mets Depth Chart: Starting Pitchers
The lifeblood of the Mets, their starting rotation. DeGrom has now won back-to-back Cy Young awards, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be a top arm again. “Thor” had an up and down 2019, but he remains one of the leagues best starters when he can stay away from injury. Stroman was acquired at the deadline for pennies on the dollar with 2020 being his walk year. He will essentially replace Wheeler in the rotation. Matz had a solid season and really seemed a lot better than his numbers would show, he’s a great option for the Mets 4th starter. Porcello and Wacha will fight for the 5th rotation spot with the loser likely headed to the bullpen as a long reliever. Porcello is pretty far removed from his 22-4 2016 season and Wacha has had injury issues, only throwing over 140 innings twice in his 7 year career.
New York Mets Depth Chart: Bullpen
- RHP Edwin Diaz
- RHP Dellin Betances
- RHP Seth Lugo
- RHP Jeurys Familia
- RHP Brad Brach
- LHP Justin Wilson
- RHP Robert Gsellman
- RHP Wacha/Porcello
A bullpen the Mets thought they fixed last offseason was a dumpster fire in 2019. Like much of the NL East, this team couldn’t find outs after their stellar starters left the game. Diaz was the biggest disappointment, only 26/33 in save opportunities with a 5.59 ERA. Lugo was the only arm I would have trusted coming into a close game last season, but the Mets are hoping for a 180-spin with the addition of Betances and a new year for Diaz, Familia and Brach. This could be a very good bullpen in 2020, or it could go up in flames yet again.
New York Mets Prediction
I’ll peg the New York Mets at 85 wins for this season. The story of the Mets last season seemed to be that they destroyed the bad teams, but couldn’t beat the playoff contenders. That’s why they hovered around .500 and couldn’t finish off a late playoff push. This team is pretty similar in my eyes, with the one difference being nobody is injured yet and the question mark that is Yoenis Cespedes. I think the Marlins will improve and shave a few wins off all the NL East competitors, and then the Phillies and Nationals will counteract each other moving in opposite directions. The Mets success will likely be determined by their rotations health and their bullpen not being terrible again. Expect them to be wildcard contenders, but without a serious deadline addition (that they probably can’t make happen with their current farm system) I see them falling short once again.
Thanks for reading our 2020 NL East Preview of the New York Mets. If you enjoyed this, check out all of our excellent coverage of the offseason here.
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