Good afternoon folks. I hope you made it through the blizzard and safe today. I’m looking at almost two feet of snow. There’ve been power outages in the area and some places have nearly three feet.
I’m back on-line and looking at the Mets’ roster trying to think who might be the most important, or indispensable, players on the team.
When considering this, I do with the idea the Mets will not be a contender, but with a look into the future. I am looking at a starting pitcher and offensive player.
By process of elimination, I can’t choose anybody in the outfield because it is speculation as to who will be there. The names Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter are unproven so they can’t realistically be thought of as indispensible. My guess is we’ll see a lot of guys out there.
Although he’s considered the face of the Mets and by the time spring training is over could be named captain, I am also excluding David Wright. I believe Wright has already hit his ceiling, meaning he won’t eclipse his career highs in average (.325 in 2007), homers (33 in 2008), RBI (124 in 2008), on-base percentage (.416 in 2008) and OPS (.963 in 2007).
Wright will remain an important player for the duration of his contract, so I am looking for another bat and going with Ike Davis.
The Mets hit with sparse power in 2012, with Davis leading with 32 homers after a strong second half. Should Davis put two strong halves together, 40 homers with 110 RBI could be within reach. Should that happen, Davis plus Wright would form a powerful middle-of-the-order, and the first baseman might be rewarded with a multi-year deal leading to more financial stability.
Financial certainty is key to any rebuilding program and is what the Mets started to do with the multi-year signings of Wright and Jon Niese, the latter whom is my pitcher.
Johan Santana is gone after this year so there won’t be a long-term impact from him. As for Matt Harvey, after a good first impression forged from ten starts, it is realistic to anticipate opposing line-ups figuring him out leading to a step back.
Niese has already had some success and is in line to assume the No. 1 role to be vacated by Santana. The Mets have eschewed trade overtures based on Niese’s potential, which prompted his contract.
Harvey and Zack Wheeler represent the future, as does Niese. But, Niese also personifies what the Mets need to accomplish this year. He’s won in the past, but the Mets are counting on him to surpass 13 career victories.
That is why 2013 will be his next step.