Believe it or not, the Mets were actually relevant in 2012.
They were actually competing more with Lin-sanity in town, than they were the Yankees, for the local hype.
As the season progressed, they had their own headliner in R.A. Dickey.
The first knuckler to win a CY Young.
Dickey, 37-years old at the time, was on no one’s pre-season radar to be a 20-game winner.
The more amazing stat was the fact that he struck out 100 extra batters in 2012, in comparison to his career-high of 134.
Call it a PR move, but Dickey was well deserving of the honors.
The Mets thought so highly of his accomplishments, that they felt it was prime time to cash in their prized pitcher.
No team was more active in the trade market this offseason than the Toronto Blue Jays.
They surprised everyone by trading a package of players to acquire the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
Like almost every Mets offseason, they acquired pieces to compete in the future.
The constant rebuilding cycle is frustrating from a fan perspective, but they do have one piece that could take over Dickey’s spotlight in New York.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been around the block so to speak, being part of two major trades already in his young major league career.
He was the key piece that sent Roy Halladay to Philly, now he’s the key piece that sent Dickey to Toronto.
d’Arnaud ranks as the number six overall prospect in baseball, as the top catcher.
He could’ve made an impact with the Jays last season, if it were not for a series of lingering injuries.
The new Mets catcher has the potential to be one of the elite players at his position in the majors.
He brings a lot of power to the plate and enough discipline to be a consistent threat.
Time will tell whether or not d’Arnaud is ready to make an impact in 2013, but his only real competition to make the Opening Day roster is the underwhelming John Buck.
When you look at the rest of the Mets roster, the first thing that jumps out at you is the fact that David Wright was able to actually play a full season for the first time in two seasons.
Injuries-prone players always make fantasy owners skeptical, but risk is part of the game.
Beyond Wright and d’Arnaud, there’s not an overwhelmingly amount of “big name” talent on the roster.
Johan Santana is doing what he does best by having injury scares at the start of the season, they’re still looking for a viable closer, Matt Harvey isn’t ready to be an ace, and there are consistency questions about the majority of the remaining players.
The Mets were hot for the early part of 2012, but slowly came back to reality.
They’re not exactly the no-name underdogs of the NL East, but they do offer quiet value this season.
Let’s take a look at the Mets players that can impact your fantasy team this season…
METS PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Ruben Tejada SS You’re not getting much more than a .280 hitter that doesn’t hit home runs, and can barely generate 50 runs or rbi’s. Don’t bother considering his name.
2. Daniel Murphy 2B Hits for a great AVG, but doesn’t bring a ton of power. He’s a third tier option to own, as his runs/rbi’s rate in the 60s.
3. David Wright 3B You hope that he’s not on a injured one year, healthy the next pattern, because that would mean that 2013 is the injury year. He’ll always have the injury-prone tag on him, but he worth being one of the first 5 3rd basemen drafted.
4. Ike Davis 1B He hit 32 home runs in 2012…but he also had a .227 average. He’s always been a swing for the fences type of hitter, but his average is less desirable. Davis is a sneaky value late in drafts that can be a solid contributor as a utility player. Keep in mind that he’s a Jose Bautista-type that you’ll only benefit from his power every-other day.
5. Lucas Duda LF Has yet to play a full season, average fantasy numbers, not exactly someone that you have to have on your team.
6. Mike Baxter RF A candidate to leadoff, but first has to prove that he can play a full season. Still a developing player, after coming over from San Diego, so stay away from him on draft day.
7. Travis d’Arnaud C John Buck is his only competition this spring. If he wins the starting job, he could be a top 10 catcher in 2013, but a potential top 5 option in the future. He brings a lot of power, could win a batting title one day, and will come at a cheap price in drafts this season.
8. Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF Another leadoff candidate that makes more impressive defensive plays, than offensive. He’s a developing player that should be left alone in drafts.
1. Johan Santana He threw a no-hitter in 2012, and that was all she wrote. He hasn’t pitched in 30+ games in 5 seasons. Santana is one of the more injury-prone pitching options in fantasy, leaving him as just a post-draf watchlist candidate.
2. Jonathan Niese Coming off of career highs in every category, but doesn’t exhibit overpowering stuff. He’s a late round-post draft option.
3. Shaun Marcum He’s coming off of a shoulder injury, can be a decent option when healthy. Typically sports a 3+ ERA. Could be a valuable option late in drafts.
4. Matt Harvey He is the best pitcher on this staff that you’ll want to own this year. He had a 10.6K/9 innings ration in 2012, including a 2.73 ERA. He’s a sleeper that will fall to the late rounds because your peers haven’t learned his name.
5. Dillon Gee Had a big drop-off from his 13-6 mark in 2011, primarily due to nagging injuries. He’s a post-draft watchlist option.
Believe it or not, Johan Santana isn’t the Mets pitcher that you want to draft this season, it’s Matt Harvey. Anytime you can sport an ERA under three and strike out 10.6 pitchers per nine innings, that’ll get fantasy owners interested. He’s not a household name yet, which is why you will be able to get him at a bargain in the late rounds this year. Harvey has the total package that you would look for in a fantasy pitcher: sports a low ERA, high strikeout ratio, and pitches late in the rotation. The only factors against him is that he sometimes gets a little too aggressive and the Mets don’t generate consistent run support. When you’re looking for value late in your draft, Harvey’s one of the best options.
Travis d’Arnaud is the future at the catcher position. The problem is, there’s a handful of young catchers that are set to make a fantasy impact. He was the prize piece of the Roy Halladay trade with the Phillies, and recently the deal that sent R.A. Rickey to Toronto. Now that he seems to of found a stable home, it’s time for him to show off. His only competition for an Opening Day job is John Buck. What that basically means is that all he has to do is stay healthy and showcase some power. He’s a late round option that can hit for average and power. When all of the big name catcher options are off the board, take a look at d’Arnaud.