Most of the news coming out of Queens these days has more to do with the current state of financial woes that owner Fred Wilpon finds himself in than what is happening on the field. Not that there is much to talk about on the field anyway.
That being said, the Mets still field a lineup that is not completely bereft of talent and if this unit can stay relatively healthy, they can surprise some folks. Upside is thy name when talking about the Mets and the effect their players can have in fantasy circles.
Of course there are plenty of questions and concerns surrounding the Mets, but that’s what I’m here to answer, right?
Well, let’s not waste any more time and assess the Mets’ five most pressing questions.
5. Can Johan Santana give fantasy owners anything? If not Santana, is there any Mets’ pitchers worth trusting this year?
So far, so good when it comes to Santana this spring.
Santana has pitched in two games this spring and has lasted four and 2/3 innings and has given up three hits, three walks while allowing only one unearned run. His fastball is topping out at 90 mph, and according to Mets’ coach Terry Collins he is on track to start Opening Day.
Of course there are red flags when it comes to selecting Santana, but his price tag on draft day shouldn’t be all that high in the first place. There is great upside and value to selecting Santana late in drafts as he could bounce back and provide great bang for the buck.
As for other Mets’ pitchers, they are almost a dime a dozen.
R.A. Dickey has proven to be a solid back-end starter with healthy ERA and WHIP numbers. Jon Niese has loads of potential and if he can stay healthy, he can be a legitimate sleeper this year.
Lastly, avoid Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee at all costs.
4. Where should owners select David Wright in drafts?
There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to Wright’s fantasy value this year.
First off, what about his health? Well, now add a lingering oblique injury to his recent rash of injuries (last year he played in only 102 games with a fracture in his back).
Mets’ officials say that Wright should be ready for Opening Day and that they are taking every precaution. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.
The other factor at play when it comes to Wright’s value is what effect the new dimensions at Citi Field will have on his game. After struggling to adjust to the spacious dimensions at Citi Field (only 53 home runs in the last three years) in the three years since it opened, Wright could post respectable numbers if he stays healthy. Be warned though, Wright’s rising strikeout rate is cause for alarm.
While third base is a position lacking in depth, the unknown variables at play make Wright somewhat of a risky pick. Hence, this is why in many mock drafts guys like Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Zimmerman and Brett Lawrie are going ahead of Wright.
Wright shouldn’t slip too far and is a solid selection in round three or four.
3. Can Ike Davis play and flourish with valley fever?
This illness took everybody by surprise, with many (yours truly included) really unaware of what it is. Well, it’s real (a fungal infection of the lungs) and it could be a major detriment to Davis’ value. Or will it?
I know everyone will point to Conor Jackson’s bout with the illness in 2009 (which cut his season short to where he played in only 30 games) and say Davis could be in for a similar fate. However, every case of valley fever is different and Davis does not show the same symptoms that Jackson experienced. Jackson said of his condition (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it was “mono on steroids”.
So far in Spring Training, Davis has had no trouble breathing and is showing no signs of fatigue. While, of course, the illness is a concern, Davis is moving right along and the Mets will take every precaution.
Because of this, Davis will slip in some drafts thus making him a great value pick in the middle to late rounds of drafts. Remember this was the same guy who in 129 at-bats was hitting .302 with seven home runs and 25 RBI’s last year. Now that Davis’ ankle (which had him miss the last 126 games of last season) is presumably healthy, Davis might just pick up where he left off last season.
If anything, I’d be more worried about Davis’ ankle than his valley fever condition. If willing to look past this, Davis will make for an excellent selection and many owners could very well kick themselves for passing on Davis.
2.Can Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy outperform their draft averages?
Duda and Murphy are some of this year’s trendy sleeper picks.
Duda is impressing the Mets with his swing and potential for power (he already has a Grand Slam in Spring Training). Duda is coming off an excellent second half in which he hit .322 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI’s in 205 at-bats. With the fences being moved in, Duda is primed to make the next step.
Currently, Duda has a MDC ranking of 233 and that will only rise when his legend grows this spring.
As for Murphy, the only thing for him is staying healthy.
For the last two years, Murphy has had his season cut short by two devastating knee injuries. Last year was even more upsetting considering he was batting .320 and was in the top ten in batting average in the NL.
Murphy is no natural when it comes to his defense and playing second base has both its pros and its cons.
While Murphy is a better first baseman, he will have eligibility at a position (2B) that is scarcer and thus making him more of an asset to your team. Conversely, playing at such a demanding, physical position will leave Murphy susceptible to injuries.
You have to take the good and the bad with Murphy and you could do a lot worse at the end of your drafts than by taking this emerging hitter.
1. Can Jason Bay’s career be salvaged with the fences being altered at Citi Field?
When do you call a spade a spade?
After signing a lucrative deal with the Mets in 2009 after successful campaigns with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox, Bay has never adjusted to life in New York. Bay’s fragile psyche has been marred by the “Great Wall of Flushing.”
So, you would think with the fences being altered at Citi Field, Bay could have himself a resurgence. It’s possible I guess, especially after Bay hit .283 in his last 188 at-bats with a .476 slugging percentage.
However, Bay should be nothing more than a reserve and should be passed on for players with more upside. Until we get more concrete proof on how the new dimensions at Citi Field will play out, it’s wise to take the skeptical approach with Bay.
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