Ever since the New York Mets lost to the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 MLB season, the Mets have been slowly declining. The team went from winning the pennant going 90-72, then falling slightly to 87-75 in 2016, until having their disappointing season going 70-92 in 2017.
The whole team could be in a state of despair as many fans and analysts saw the Mets doing big things in 2017, but instead, they had a dud season as shown above.
The Mets front office did not take the bad season lightly as they shook up the coaching staff and brought in new players.
This is true as the Mets will be going into the 2018 season with a new coach as former manager Terry Collins resigned in 2017 to join the Mets front office. To fill the vacant spot, the Mets brought in Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
The Mets great pitching will also have to get used to a new pitching coach, as the team parted ways with longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen, and hired Dave Eiland to fill the role. The Mets also promoted former assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler to hitting coach. It is apparent that the Mets are set out to win in 2018 and have no problems changing the coaching staff if it means success.
The Mets brought in various new players, including Todd Frazier, who they signed for 17 million dollars over 2 years. This move added more talent to the third base position that formerly belonged to David Wright. Frazier will be coming into 2018 after hitting 26 home runs, having 77 RBI, and hitting just .213 in 2017. It should be interesting to see if Frazier will have a rebound season for his new team.
Along with Frazier, the Mets signed Jay Bruce to a three-year deal for 39 million dollars. In my opinion, this signing was not a good one. As the Mets are paying Bruce 13 million dollars a year despite the fact that he has never batted above .290 and is now in his 30’s.
The final significant signing the Mets had was that of starting pitcher Jason Vargas. This move bolsters an already solid Mets rotation, and Vargas should be a reliable four or five pitcher in the rotation.
The Mets rotation as a whole may be one of the best in the entire MLB featuring the likes of aces Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard, with Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Jason Vargas. DeGrom and Syndergaard will continue to thrive in 2018 and help the pitching centered Mets achieve success.
Mets fans still get to look forward to watching Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera go out and do their thing. Cespedes is coming off a year in 2017 where he hit 17 home runs and batted .292, despite in only playing in half of his team’s games. While on the other hand Cabrera has hit .280 in 2016 and 2017 and is a consistently good hitter and fielder. Both players should go out in 2018 and perform well.
Michael Conforto who had a breakout season for the Mets in 2017 most likely will be out until May but will still try to make a splash. Whether Conforto has another good season like last year is still unknown but probable.
Despite all of these reliable and new veterans, the Mets still have a relatively new and young team. Leading this young surge will be shortstop Amed Rosario, who is just 22 years old. Rosario was already called up to the majors in 2017, as well as tore it up at the plate in the minors in 2016. Look for Rosario to improve greatly in 2018 and use his great speed to steal bases.
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However, Rosario isn’t the only promising young player set to play for the Mets in 2018, as 22 years old first baseman Dominic Smith should also be a bright spot for the Mets. Smith is a good hitter who has a tendency to strike out but also hit a home run if opposing pitchers are not careful. Despite the acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, this is still Smith’s job.
Mets fans will also have to keep an eye on Gavin Cecchini. The uprising 24-year-old second baseman has played well in spring training while also showing versatility in the field. Out of all the Mets prospects, Cecchini is the most likely one to have a huge breakout season.
The Possible Downfall Of A Great?
Another focal point of the Mets 2018 season will be 35-year-old third baseman David Wright. Wright had shoulder surgery in September and back surgery in October. Wright himself has commented saying that he doesn’t know when he will be able to play. Wright was once the best player on the Mets, but in recent years has become a shell of himself. With Wright’s health declining as well as his on-field success his retirement may be coming soon.
Here is a look at the projected Mets 2018 opening day lineup according to Mets.com
- Amed Rosario, SS
- Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Dominic Smith, 1B
- Brandon Nimmo, RF
- Juan Lagares, CF
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
- Gavin Cecchini, 2B
The Mets added a couple good players to their roster, but will essentially have the same roster as in 2017. Also, the Mets success is held on the backs of many players who have barely any MLB experience so this dependence is a little shaky. The Mets also have basically a brand new coaching staff, so the effect of this is unknown yet.
I see this year as a step in the right direction for the Mets for the future. But for now, I see the Mets with not enough proven quality position players so they will most likely fall to second or third place in the N.L East.
Team Record Prediction: 88-74
Cy Young: Noah Syndergaard
Any baseball fan knows that Noah Syndergaard is just a plain beast on the mound. Over three years pitching in the major league his career ERA is just 2.89. Syndergaard should thrive in 2018 and could even be a candidate to win CY Young for the entire N.L despite the other aces in the league.
MVP: Yoenis Cespedes
This is another obvious one as Cespedes is plainly just the Mets best position player. He should have another good year and will not have too much competition earning him the title as the Mets MVP.
(Photo Credit: ArenaDigest)