The 2019 Mets Are For Real


Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets celebrate in the handshake line after a 2-0 Opening Day win over the Nationals.

By Jack Woodard, Sports Editor

Optimism is high once again this year around the New York Mets organization but we all remember what happened last year.  The Mets started 11-1 and then epically collapsed throughout the month of June to finish with a 77-85 record. This team seems different already though, from stellar pitching, to young hitter, to new acquisitions from the offseason, the article will give you everything you need to know about the 2019 New York Mets.

Let’s start with the team’s most obvious strength, the pitching rotation.  At the beginning of it all in the 1 spot, is Jacob deGrom. deGrom is the best pitcher in all of baseball, hands down, no questions asked.  He won the Cy Young Award last year with a 1.70 E.R.A and was nearly impossible to hit off of. Hopefully this year the Mets can give him more run support but deGrom is the face of the franchise as of right now and he looked amazing in the season opener (going 6 innings and giving up no runs).  deGrom and the Mets are also on better terms as the two worked out a new deal for the star pitcher before the season started. The number 2 pitcher and also one of the best in the game for the Mets is Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard battled through injuries last year but finished with a 13-4 record and a 3.03 E.R.A.  In 2016 and 2017 he had sub 3 E.R.A’s and this guy’s stuff is nasty. Syndergaard is the second hardest throwing pitcher in the league and he can hit 97-99 on nearly every fastball. When Syndergaard has his command down he is very hard to hit off of. At number 3 is Zack Wheeler who had an amazing second half of last year finishing with a sub 2 E.R.A. in that stretch.  Wheeler could very well make his mark on the league this year and make the Mets think about his contract negotiations (as he is a free agent after this year). Wheeler has battled injuries (a trend for nearly every Met) throughout his career and if he can stay healthy, could be a top 10 pitcher this year. Steven Matz is in the Mets 4 spot and he has been very inconsistent throughout his career.  Matz always seems to be hurt and when he is it is noticeable. Matz went 5-11 with a 3.97 E.R.A. last year and will hope to rebound this year. If Matz can live up to his potential, the Met clearly have the best 4 man rotation in the league. At the 5 spot is Jason Vargas who was acquired by the Mets last year after an All-Star season and he severely disappointed. He had a 5.77 E.R.A last year and was very shaky.  Vargas needs to respond this year. The Mets have one of the best rotations in the league, if they can stay healthy.

The Mets also have a very solid bullpen this year and will look to shut down teams when the starters come out.  Luis Avilan was signed by the Mets this year after a solid year last year. Justin Wilson and Tim Peterson will also be called on out of the bullpen.  Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, the starter turned bullpen players are loved by the fans. The two are the most reliable in the bullpen and have the ability to get through multiple innings at a time.  These two will be very important as the season goes on. Jeurys Familia was also brought back to the team this year. Familia was loved by the fans when he set the franchise single season save record with 51 in 2016.  Familia will not be the closer this year and will be called upon as the 8th inning man. That brings us to Edwin Diaz who was signed by the Mets to be the closer for the year. Diaz was an All-Star last year and finished with 57 saves and a 1.96 E.R.A.  Diaz was a very important signing for the Mets and will be very valuable to the team this year.

The Mets have options at the catching position as they brought in Wilson Ramos to be the starter in the offseason and also have multiple backup options.  Ramos the two time All-Star batted .306 last year and will add to the Mets power at the plate. The Mets also have Travis d’Arnaud who is currently rehabbing in the minors and Tomas Nido, a very good defensive catcher is also an option.  If all went wrong, the Mets could call up Rene Rivera, another good defensive catcher, from the minors.

The Mets infield is very young this year with some new faces.  Pete Alonso, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite, is anchoring the first base spot and this kid has power. Alonso hit 36 home runs in the minors last year and batted .368 in spring training.  Alonso has power and has shown himself to be a capable defender. This guy is one of the young players who are going to have this team good for awhile. Dominic Smith is Alonso’s backup at first and he is another young prospect the organization is excited about.  Smith struggled last year but will look to bounce back this year. The Mets brought in Robinson Cano in the offseason and he is already making a mark. Cano hit a homerun in his first at-bat as a Met and will be a star this year as he has been his whole career. Jeff McNeil is another young guy the Mets are excited about and there certainly is reason to be.  McNeil can play 2nd, 3rd, and left and is a great hitter. McNeil batted .329 with the club last year and is already lighting it up this year. McNeil went 4-5 the other day in a win against the Nationals. McNeil and Alonso are two players this team is very happy about. Amed Rosario showed signs of his potential last year and is the clear starter at short for the Mets.  Rosario has been inconsistent but is still very young and great things are expected out of him this year. J.D. Davis was brought in this season to backup McNeil at third and is a good fielder with a strong arm. Luis Guillorme was brought up from the minors after a strong spring training and will be a solid backup. Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie start the year on the D.L.

With Yoenis Cespedes likely out all year, again, the Mets brought in Keon Broxton to backup in center with Juan Lagares, a Gold Glove award winner, getting the starts.  Lagares is an amazing fielder and provides solid batting as well. Brandon Nimmo will play left with Conforto in right and these two have shown their potential. Conforto was an All-Star in 2017 and Nimmo showed how dangerous he could be last year.

All in all this Mets team could be very good this year.  The Mets have a great rotation, hitting, and depth.

“I’m very excited about this year because I know if we stay healthy we will make the playoffs.  I’m super excited about Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil and I think these guys are future All-Stars.  Our pitching is the key and we need our rotation to stay healthy,” said junior Mets fan Aaron Khodarkovsky.

Baseball is a long season and Mets fans know more than any others not to get too excited in April.  This team, however, does feel different than in years’ past and this season could be a very exciting one.