Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The State of the New York Mets - In Depth Look at Their Future

Laughed at for a decade, even by me (a true die hard fan), the Mets and their front office led by former Moneyballer Sandy Alderson, are quietly building a formidable franchise.  Grounded in thrifty spending, role players, and building their pitcher-centered farm system, Mets fans have something to get excited about....

The state of the Mets begins with payroll.  Over the last few years, overpriced contracts have expired and free agent signings have been below the radar, high upside-little risk moves (in terms of salary).   Ranked towards the bottom of MLB payrolls, the Mets roster looks like this for 2014:

Player Salaries

1 15,000,000
2 10,192,071
3 8,700,000
4 3,125,000
5 3,050,000
6 3,000,000
7 2,925,000
8 1,700,000
9 535,000
10 527,375
11 519,240
12 514,701
13 498,750
14 498,124
15 494,925
16 492,000
17 491,750
18 490,840

Team Salaries

1 220,395,196
2 203,445,586
3 170,760,689
4 148,414,500
5 140,657,500
6 136,042,112
7 127,896,250
8 119,573,277
9 117,035,100
10 114,194,270
11 112,939,500
12 109,401,962
13 107,646,476
14 102,790,110
15 90,993,333
16 89,986,525
17 89,798,667
18 88,837,366
19 79,562,000
20 79,491,725
21 75,802,500
22 73,996,639
23 73,724,300
24 73,499,643
25 71,434,071
26 66,022,900
27 60,372,500
28 57,505,272
29 35,720,400
30 21,133,500

The next piece of the puzzle is putting together a team of role players.  What I mean by this is, even though a player is not a marquee name, they have a logical place on the roster.


In the OF, Granderson (the highest paid Met) is an elite, proven asset, who has been lauded for his handling of the New York spotlight, and provides 4 tools, mainly power.  In LF, Chris Young is a good gamble who has had a nice Spring.  A former All Star who was purchased on the cheap due to his .200 season last year, can provide pop and enough speed to hit in the middle or top of an order, despite his low OBP.  Rounding out the OF is CF, which is technically a position battle, but in my eyes will most definitely go to Juan Lagares.  An elite glove (future Gold Glover) who can patrol the spacious outfield of Citi Field, and whose bat is slowly continuing to develop.  There's also Eric Young, Jr. fighting for the CF spot. How often do you see the previous year's SB champ have to fight to start?  And then there's former steroid-abusing, Cesar Puello. This guy is a freakish five tool athlete who could one day be what Raul Mondesi was supposed to be.  If they can squeeze all the talent juice from him, he has legit All Star potential.
Cesar Puello Ebay Listings


At Catcher, top catching prospect, Travis D'Arnaud, who can handle his own behind the plate, can provide plus hit and power tools down the road.  However, D'Arnaud should NOT be comfortable as Kevin Plawecki is a huge story in the Mets camp.  I've hyped him for a while and he is showing that he can flat out rake.  I rate him as a rare BUY, despite his being a catcher.


Third base is the face of baseball, David Wright, the epitome of a leader.

Second base is breakout player Daniel Murphy who can handle the bat and steal a bag (.300-20-20 is a slight possibility one day which would put him in the elite 2B category).

Then there are positional question marks at SS and 1B.  Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are battling for 1B, and both are injured.  Ike has plus power but was lost last season.  Duda has light tower power, but no glove.  Best case scenario is one of them wins out eventually and the other gets traded.  But hold on.. we have first round pick Dominic Smith in the farm (a gold glove caliber, .300-20, potential player) rising through the farm.
I Agree With This and Don't Think Ike is Here Much Longer
At SS, Ruben Tejada has grossly underperformed, been criticized about his shape, but has shown up to camp looking the part.  Unfortunately, he's sucking this Spring. But not to worry - Wilmer Flores is now being given the chance to win out the SS job.  Flores has a plus bat for an infielder with pop, but people doubt his arm at shortstop (which has been his natural position throughout his career).


The rotation is best left to a discussion of the farm system, which is juicy for prospectors like us...

The Mets currently boast 3 (and possibly 4) FRONT OF THE ROTATION starters in the near future: Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, and Rafael Montero.

Harvey is out for 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, but is the best pitcher in baseball, when healthy.

Zack Wheeler was more highly touted than Harvey as a prospect.

Noah Syndergaard is the talk of the Mets camp this Spring, nicknamed Thor, and a prototypical power pitcher.

Rafael Montero is the most polished of the prospect pitchers with a perfect delivery and easy gas.

The future rotation can be rounded out by Dillon Gee or Jon Niese, both of whom are incredibly underrated.  Quick: what was Dillon Gee's ERA over the last three months of 2013?  If you said 2.79, you need to get out more, but you are correct.

What does this mean for prospectors?

A lot. The Mets have a very loyal fan base that is already paying top dollar for their prospects. If the Mets prospects develop as expected, and the Mets contend, we are looking at a legitimate crop of 5 or 6 prospects who could skyrocket (Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero, Flores, D'Arnaud, Dominic Smith and possibly Puello, Nimmo). It's an exciting time for us, Mets fans. Time to see this glass of a franchise as half full... Let's just hope that glass doesn't shatter, as we are used to it doing.


  1. Very impressive post. Far better than any of the crap on mainstream websites. Thanks.