2020 NL East Team Previews: New York Mets

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

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

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

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.

Long Live Braves Journal

Author: Matt P

Hello, I’m Matt Pocza! I am a 3rd year finance student at the University of Florida and I love the Atlanta Braves. I’ve played baseball my entire life, and I am a submarine pitcher for the club team at Florida. I also enjoy scuba diving, football and business. Follow me on twitter @braves_rumors!

33 thoughts on “2020 NL East Team Previews: New York Mets”

  1. It’s now become easier to support Braves Journal via Patreon as we’ve created a $3/month tier. My goal as head honcho here is to be able to pay the guys that give up their time to put out daily content here, or at least have a Braves game that we all meet up and is paid by the $ coming into the blog. Please consider supporting.

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  2. Who would have thought that Nick Markakis had the hardest thought to date.

  3. MLB is in a crisis right now. If they punish the pitcher who throws at an Astros player more than those players received for cheating (which was zero), they are going to continue to bleed fans and increase resentment. Nick freaking Markakis said this, and he never even comes to ChopFest. This is a guy who isn’t even on social media. This speaks volumes. Rob Manfred needs to either take appropriate action or step down.

  4. I agree that this has been completely botched. I hate to have a mob mentality, but I think Manfred should resign.

  5. It would be pretty cool to see Manfred forced to resign and the commissioner’s position have an extreme change similar to the Braves in 2018.

  6. Manfred has made a lot of changes that aren’t good for baseball. The 3-batter minimum is my least favorite rule, completely changes baseball. As a pitcher I know what it’s like coming into a game and just not having it that day.

  7. What we need is for the President to weigh in, maybe a few pointed tweets at Little Rob Manfred or the Lyin’ Astros.

  8. I just did some digging and it looks like we’ve been averaging 2500 appearances a year where the pitcher faced only one or two batters. This is slightly above once every other game per team. While it may not completely effect teams, that’s still 83 times per year a team may be hurt by having to leave a guy in when they just “don’t have it” or they have a bad match up, say with a pinch hitter.

  9. I’ve seen enough LaRussa ball (multiple pitching changes in an inning) to actually be in favor of the rule. I even proposed something similar on this blog. My proposal was even more extreme, no mid inning pitching changes except to relieve the starter, or for injury, though I admit you’d have to have some carve out for a pitcher that is getting shelled (maybe a 5 or 6 batter minimum).

    So I may be in the minority but I welcome the change.

    Now when Minter comes in and walks the first two guys he faces and has to stay in for a third batter I may change my tune…

  10. Who will be the next Brave to win Rookie of the Year?

    Which Brave is the most likely to win the Cy Young award at some point in their career?

  11. @13, not sure if you did this, but you have to narrow this down to only those 1 or 2 batter appearances that did not end an inning to get the true impact.

  12. Good old Nick…beloved by few here he nails it. Class, class, class.

    Prediction…there may be enough slack left in this rope for whoever is commissioner to take that WS title away. It is building rapidly. Nick’s remark will carry weight.

  13. The issue is that they can’t suspend the players, given the deal they signed with the MLBPA to secure their cooperation.

    What they can do is strip the World Series title, and they should definitely do it. That would at least show they’re paying attention to the severe backlash.

  14. @22, there are a whole lot of different ways of punishing. The team can be punished through the draft, or even by losing its playoff eligibility. Players, even ones who are immune from punishment through their testimony, can be named and shamed. If MLB regrets offering immunity, that’s on them – blaming the union is asinine.

  15. Just read the last thread. I think Camargo opens as the 3rd baseman and Riley as the 3b at Gwinnett. Culberson makes the team with Kakes, Duvall, Flowers, and Hech making up the rest of the bench.

    And based on the statements from King Felix that he has made no adjustments, I don’t think he makes the team. I think Newcomb and Bryse Wilson make the rotation.

    I think Tomlin and Minter take the 2 open spots in the bullpen. Dayton gets DFA’ed and everyone else is optioned to Gwinnett.

  16. Disagree with stripping the title, terrible precedent to set. Sometimes you have to leave the wrong un-righted. I don’t equate advocating beatings with class, either. Neck might be ramping up on the goofballs a tad early.

  17. You can’t really strip a title. Baseball doesn’t have ties – someone won. And Ford Frick’s asterisk on Roger Maria’s record was immediately ignored. You can’t punish the past. But the league’s ability to punish the future is almost unlimited.

  18. IMO, Manfred should * the Astros title, and based on MLB’s investigation, any player who wore a device as its been rumored that Altuve did under their jersey, should get a minimum of 50 games.

  19. @26, at least into the late 1970s, the Sporting News record books listed two separate single-season HR records, most HR in a 154-game season and most in a 162-game season. I always assumed that was what the “asterisk” wound up being, and it seemed reasonable to me, since Ruth hit more per team game.

  20. As someone whose other emotional connection sports-wise (after the Braves) is Univ. of Louisville basketball, I can say from experience (and, admittedly, bias) that stripping a title does nothing but create a goofy rhetorical alternate-existence where from henceforth, everyone has to pretend that something that happened didn’t happen. W/r/t college basketball, you’ll see the 2013 champion ignored on stat blurbs; broadcasters will tiptoe around talking about that year so they don’t have to say who actually won; etc. To echo AAR’s point, I’m all for punishing the team going forward (esp. w/more harshness than we’ve seen thusfar), but you can’t make something un-happen.

  21. I actually think they should have given Houston a 1 or 2 year postseason ban and hit their international pool for a couple of years to coincide with the draft penalties.

  22. imho, baseball needs to find some sort of evidence that the players interviewed under the immunity deal lied (hello buzzer?), then take back the immunity and suspend those players (hello Altuve?) for the season or a significant portion thereof. Let the union fight it if they want, the union will have their own internal struggle before joining that fight.

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