New York Mets 2011 Season Preview/ Offseason

The 2010-2011 offseason was another disappointing one for the Mets, and will most likely follow with a mediocre at best 2011 regular season with no postseason appearance. The Mets have plenty of uncertainty revolving around star players.

The Mets have an intimidating and diverse lineup when they are healthy. They have a nice balance of speed, power and average.

The middle of the Mets lineup consists of one of the top 3B in the league in David Wright. The only negative aspect of Wright’s game is his struggle with striking out. Other than that, Wright is a scary good hitter. In 2010,  Wright saw a huge power increase from 2009, going from 10 homers to 29 last year. He drove in 103 runs and swiped 19 bags. D-Wright saw his normal .300 BA drop to a still good, but not David Wright good, .283. He is a major contributor to the New York Mets when they win as his offensive WAR, was 8th in the NL. Wright may be on highlight reels but did rank 3rd oyut of all NL 3B in errors, with 20.  David Wright is in the prime of his career and if healthy, will continue to put up numbers that are up there with the best 3B in baseball. A prediction for Wright, is to see his average rise because he will see better pitches, assuming that the other sluggers stay healthy and provide protection and run production for the Mets. Wright will be 27 when the 2011 season starts

Carlos Beltran has seen his best, and he will not return to his Kansas City form or his brief Houston glory. He has suffered from many knee problems in the past. From 2006 to 2008, Beltran was terrific posting homer totals of 41, 33 and 37 respectively. In the last two years, he has continued to find himself on the DL and putting up hideous stats in his limited time in 2010. He will be playing right field, which will take off some of the wear and tear on his knees that center field demanded. Carlos expects to be ready for opening day this year, but will continue to see his numbers decline. If healthy, Beltran should be around .260 with 15 homers and 75 RBI. Not the old Carlos. Not to mention he is one of the most overpaid players in baseball (7 year, $119MM through 2011). It is his contract year and the profit motive may be the only thing saving Carlos from a completely uninspiring season.

The other middle of the line up slugger in Queens in young first  baseman and fan favorite Ike Davis. Ike Davis burst onto the scene last season by rewarding the Mets fans with power, clutch hitting and terrific defense at 1B. In his rookie campaign, he hit 19 homers in a pitcher friendly park and hit .264, which should improve as he gets used to MLB pitching. Davis’ defense will keep him in the Majors for years to come as he ranked 5th in Total Zone Runs/1B and 3rd in Range Factor/9 innings as 1B.

Jason Bay left Beantown to head to Queens. Bay is one of the few 5 tool players in baseball, but had an abismal first year with the Mets. He played in 95 games, due to injury, hit .260, only knocked 6 homers and struck out 91 times. Bay needs to stay healthy for the Mets to have even a remote chance of getting a glimpse of the postseason.

The sluggers in the middle will see their RBI numbers rise is the key to the Mets success at the top of the lineup stays healthy. The key, Jose Reyes. Reyes has shown signs of brilliance in the past, with his jaw-dropping arm from SS and his pure base stealing ability that drives pitchers and catchers nuts.  In 2010, the switch hitting Reyes was relatively healthy playing in 13o games. He hit 11 homers, hit .282 and knocked 10 triples. His OBP of .321 should be higher. He will score and score a lot, for he is very capable of stealing his way into scoring position and setting the table for the middle of the order.

The Mets pitching still remains a question. Their ace, Johan Santana, will have another terrific year with an ERA hovering around 3.oo in a powerful NL East. He has shown no signs of aging and should continue to perplex lefties and dilute the mainly left handed power of the Phillies. Johan was 3rd in the NL in Complete games and second in shutouts. In 2010, he also ranked 10th in the NL in Base-Out Runs Saved.

Behind the proven Johan, there are no promises in the Mets rotation. R.A Dickey had an unreal 2010 season, as he made hitters look like little leaguers with crazy movement on his knuckle balls.  Before coming to the NL, he was a below average pitcher with the Mariners and the Twins. The Mets gave him a chance and he delivered with a career year. Dickey had a 2.84 ERA in 175 IP. It is rare for a knuckleballer to have control, but Dickey was 8th in the NL in BB/9 IP. Ok so where are the question marks? Well, 2010 was the only respectable year in his career. There is no reason to suggest he will have a similar season as he did last year but he could just as easily return to his horrific and inconsisten AL form. Interesting pitcher to keep an eye on.

Mike Pelfrey is Mr. Consistency and is always under a 4.00 ERA. He is a terrific number 3 and is the least of the Mets problems.  Last year, Pelfrey hurled 204.0 IP, posted a 3.66 ERA and won 15 games. Expect, another solid year for Pelfrey.

The Mets compare to their division rival Florida Marlins beside their payroll, but the Fish are better. Rule them out of contention because there are so many questions surrounding this team than their rivals the Braves and Philles. The Mets will finish in 4th place in the NL East, only in front of the young Washington Nationals.

The Mets made no considerable off-season moves, therefore expect another average year at best out of the Mets. Their off season grade from BASEBALL PLAYGROUND is a C-.

Information Courtesy of: Baseball-Reference

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