Last week Joe took his shot at who would be the top 10 Mets for next year who are on a Mets roster today.
Today I’ll take my shot at the same set of ranks, starting with 10 and moving down to the top 2014 Met.
10- Marlon Byrd. He’s the second best player on the Mets roster right now, and that says a lot about Byrd’s season and too much about the Mets right now. Without David Wright, the Mets either have developing players or are mostly punchless without Byrd. However, I’ve placed Byrd so low because I think he’ll go the way of Scott Hairston. He’ll use a season he isn’t likely to repeat to get more than he’s worth next year. Sandy Alderson has a track record of paying that kind of player what he’s worth an no more. So I doubt Byrd will be back.
9- Eric Young, Jr. EY came in and was the lead off hitter we needed. Nowadays, not so much. He’s fast and a threat to steal bases or take an extra when he’s on, but all if late he’s reverted to form and been on base less than when he first put on the orange and blue. I’ve never liked his outfield defense, which relies too much on speed and not enough on good placement and routes. However, it is better than using Lucas Duda. I think Young’s time as a starter will be over next season, as the two best free agent outfielders are lead off types.
8- Ike Davis. I like Ike. But he’s been mostly bad over the last few seasons. The Mets will not tolerate a slow start next season, and if he doesn’t start hitting the long ball, you may see Lucas Duda or Josh Satin here instead.
7- Juan Lagares. It’s all part of the plan. This was the 1a for one of the outfield spots when Alderson made his roster, but it was still part of the plan. As you may have recalled from my posts on the issue at the beginning of the season, I thought Alderson was looking for 2-3 players for two of the outfield slots to come out of a group of six people auditioning in Spring Training. Then he’d hope he could land a good free agent or that they could hold pat until the farm could help. And the farm gave us Lagares, who has hit decently and played pretty good defense. He’s the outfielder least in need of upgrade.
6-Bobby Parnell. Joe put the whole bullpen, but, while it’s working well now, I don’t see many of the current names coming back. The guy we can count on coming back is Parnell. We can also now count on him to get big outs late in the game. The Mets intend to contend in 2014, and for that we need a guy who can get those outs.
5- Travis d’Arnaud. Fresh off his first major league home run today, the future looks bright for the Mets catcher. However, the future is still a bit further out there. d’Awesome still needs time to get used to major league pitcher both at the plate and behind before he can be truly successful. Had he not gotten injured, he could be at that spot and at least a spot above in this ranking.
4- Daniel Murphy. The Mets’ unsung hero. Murph has played slightly above average defense at second and hit slightly better than the average second baseman. He’s the kind of guy that needs to be in a line up to score the runs, and he has some line drive power to score them as well. Having him slot in behind a Jacoby Elsbury or a Shin Shoo Choo could be a potent 1-2 combo for the 2014 Mets.
3- Zach Wheeler. You need two aces to be a playoff team, let alone a playoff series winner. From what we’ve seen so far, Wheeler should have much of a sophomore slump, if he even has one. He may not make it to ace status next year, but he will be one of the best number two starters in the game next season.
2- David Wright. Over the last two seasons, David Wright has had MVP calibre first halves, followed by disappointing, injury shortened second halves. With more offensive weapons around him, I’d be happy if he split the difference. What we should take away is that the Captain will be an impact bat for at least a few more years.
1- Matt Harvey. It has to be Harvey. Each start is a marketing point. “It’s Harvey Day!” And for good reason, he’s been as good as anyone this season. He’s a certified ace in his second year of pitching and shows no signs of stopping. As opening day starter next season, I can think of no one better to head a list of Top 2014 New York Mets.