The two Mets I am most curious about this season.

No doubt there are a myriad of questions and curiosities about the 2012 Mets, but two I am wondering about most are Lucas Duda and Mike Pelfrey.

DUDA: Can he be the real deal?

I’m skipping the obvious choices, David Wright, Johan Santana and Jason Bay. With Wright, either they’ll trade him or they won’t. With Santana, he’s either healthy or he’s not. And Bay? Based on his first two years with the Mets, I have no expectations.

Duda and Pelfrey are different to me because their performances can dictate a lot about the future.

Duda combines loads of power potential with limited defensive capabilities. He’ll be in right field, a position where power is a necessity. We can’t project Duda for 30 homers because he’s never done it. For that matter, he hasn’t hit more than 10, and that was last season in a short window.

That short window production is what has us salivating. There’s no doubting his strength, and the shorter fences should help, but there are other factors. How will he adjust to National League pitchers and how will they adjust to him? Will he produce over the long haul and with the pressures of starting?

Duda is still a babe in the woods, but that potential has me thinking that if he can handle right field, this could be a player with a bright future.

We’ve been saying “bright future” about Pelfrey for years. He seemingly had a breakthrough 2010, but regressed greatly last season. Well, which is it? Pelfrey is still young enough where he can have a good career. He’s also not commanding the big dollars.

However, he’s an enigma and what he does this season could determine whether the Mets cut ties with him or make a commitment. Pelfrey’s performance could also dictate the future of pitching coach Dan Warthen.

If Pelfrey pitches as he did in 2010 and several of the other Mets’ questions are answered in the positive, the Mets could be competitive and entertaining this summer. If not, the projected long summer will be upon us.

8 thoughts on “The two Mets I am most curious about this season.

  1. If Duda can hit he doesn’t have to field. All he has to do is keep the K reasonable, have a good avg and smash HR.

    As for Pelfrey, if they want him to have a good season they need a catcher who knows how to dictate, who knows the hitters and who BigPelf can be comfortable with. Thole does not cut it. Thole has less experience than he.

  2. dave (2): You’re cutting Pelfrey a lot of slack in laying his problems on his catcher. Thole has a lot to learn, but so does Pelfrey. And, I’m not absolving Warthen, either. Right now, Pelfrey is a mess for a lot of reasons.-JD

  3. John(3)

    I am not cutting him any slack. My comment is based on his performance and comments. It seems to me that when he did well he had a catcher who took control and that he trusted. Since the Mets do not have that Pelfrey will perform as a #5 this year.

    It is as simple as that. Pelfrey has talent but he has no clue.

  4. This is certainly a make or break year for Pelfrey. I’m not saying I have “No-doubt” faith in him, but I do think he can (and will) be better than he was in 2011. He’s shown some serious chops and flashes of brilliance in the past. He’s still young. I seriously think he could be a solid enough middle of the rotation guy. It’s really not out of the question.

    The two guys I really want to see what they do this year is Gee and Niese. I envision both being solid rotation guys for years to come. A rotation of Wheeler, Harvey, Mejia, Niese and Gee in 2014 sounds kind of heavenly at the moment.

  5. Good point Dave. Here’s hoping ALL of them are good and the mets suddenly have a surplus and maybe can trade one of the arms for a bat or maybe even develop a closer.

    God I hope this isn’t “Generation K: The Sequel”