When I sat down to write this piece on the New York Mets, I actually considered going the Taylor Buchholz route, and claiming I was too depressed to perform. The Mets are in the biggest market that exists in the baseball world, and even if they are “little brother,” they should still be able to produce not only one of the league’s highest payrolls, but presumably spend that money on players who are not horrible. Unfortunately for Mets faithful, none of that seems to be the case.
So, what is the case you ask? The case is that the three highest paid Met outfielders in 2012 are as follows: Jason Bay ($16 million), Andres Torres ($2.75 million) and … wait for it … Bobby Bonilla ($1.19 million). Thanks to Brian Costa for that tweet. The worst part? I’m not convinced either of the first two will produce that much more than Bonilla. These are tough days for Mets fans, who are a tortured group as is. At any rate, here’s a look at the 2012 New York Mets.
In “30 Teams in 30 Days,” the Fantasy Baseball Cafe will preview each team in Major League Baseball on a daily basis. In addition to projecting starting lineups, rotations and closing situations, the Cafe will identify potential targets for 2012 fantasy baseball drafts.
|C Josh Thole||.268||.345||.344||22||3||40||0||340|
|1B Ike Davis||.302||.383||.543||20||7||25||0||129|
|2B Daniel Murphy||.320||.362||.448||49||6||49||5||391|
|SS Ruben Tejada||.284||.360||.335||31||0||36||5||328|
|3B David Wright||.255||.345||.427||60||14||61||13||389|
|LF Jason Bay||.246||.329||.374||59||12||57||11||444|
|CF Andres Torres||.221||.312||.330||50||4||19||19||348||w/SF|
|RF Lucas Duda||.292||.370||.482||38||10||50||1||301|
Unsettled: Second Base. Daniel Murphy may be penciled in to start at second base for the Mets, but he’s an absolute butcher in the field, so expect Justin Turner to get his share of at bats there as well (he played 78 games there in 2011). Luckily for Murphy, he’ll likely serve as the primary backup at both corner infield spots, where he’s more comfortable in the field, but you still shouldn’t expect Murphy to play every single day with regularity.
Target: David Wright. Wright’s 2011 was an absolute abomination, and there’s a much greater likelihood that he performs more on par with career norms in 2012. Citi Field has moved the fences in and shortened them, which will hopefully help Wright rebound from the .239, five-HR performance he posted at home a season ago. Wright is currently being drafted in the mid-third round and should put together a top-five season at a very sparse 3B position.
|Johan Santana (L)||11-9||2.98||1.18||144||55||199.0||in 2010|
|Mike Pelfrey (R)||7-13||4.74||1.47||105||65||193.2|
|Jon Niese (L)||11-11||4.40||1.41||138||44||157.1|
|R.A. Dickey (R)||8-13||3.28||1.23||134||54||208.2|
|Dillon Gee (R)||13-6||4.43||1.38||114||71||160.2|
Unsettled: The ballpark. In recent years, the home/road splits among Mets starters has been severe, and savvy owners could platoon or spot start Met pitchers at Citi Field with varying levels of success (see Pelfrey, Mike, 2010). However, with the fences being moved in and shortened, there’s no telling how it will effect a group of pitchers that really aren’t turning any heads from a fantasy standpoint. The entire staff has a giant question mark looming over it, and the possibility exists that not a single one of them ends up standard league fantasy relevant.
Target: Johan Santana. “Remember me?” Mets manager Terry Collins says he expects to get 25 starts out of Santana, who is currently being drafted in Round 20 or later and is now a year and a half removed from shoulder surgery. It seems like eons ago that Santana was the best pitcher in baseball, and while he’s certainly not the pitcher he once was, he is certainly worth a late-round flier, having more upside than most being taken in that range. If he’s able to regain any semblance of his former self and avoid an extended trip to the DL, he should provide great value.
The 8th and 9th Innings
|Frank Francisco (R)||17||3.55||1.32||53||18||50.2||in TOR|
|Jon Rauch (R)||11||4.85||1.35||36||14||52.0||in TOR|
Chasing Saves: Although Francisco is listed as the closer for the Mets, it’s really anybody’s guess on who will lead the team in saves for 2012. With the way almost every single arm who occupies their bullpen has lacked any semblance of consistency, it will ultimately be whoever manages to not fall apart the longest. It might be Francisco, it might be Rauch. It may be Ramon Ramirez. Maybe Bobby Parnell finally learns to harness his heat, or Pedro Beato eases into the role. Bad teams have shown us that they can be a haven for save opportunities — unfortunately for the Mets, it’s not entirely clear who the beneficiary could be in 2012.
Writing this makes me want to slip into a Zyprexa-induced coma for the next three years, with hope that when I come to the Mets have worked out their finances, dumped their bad contracts, and taken strides down the road of not being a total laughing stock in both the real and fantasy baseball worlds.
Check back tomorrow for our look at the Philadelphia Phillies.
Brendan Horton is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Brendan in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bigh0rt.
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