Baseball

The Best Is yet to Come for the Mets

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The New York Mets sure showed their promise for the future last season. With a record sitting at 86-76, the Mets finished third in the NL East behind the regular season dominant Atlanta Braves and champion Washington Nationals. The NL East is arguably the toughest division in all of baseball as of today and it consists of the Mets. Doubt started to creep in whether or not New York would be able to compete at the top. That was erased last season when they finished above .500 after going back to back seasons under that mark.

Players emerged as potential franchise players. We already knew the dominance that star pitcher and 2019 NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom possessed. However, we were all shocked at the amazing season that Pete Alonso produced as he went on to win the NL Rookie of the Year. Along with these two powerhouses for the franchise, New York also added Marcus Stroman who recently was a star pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. The stars are evident in the Big Apple, and now it’s time to raise the bar.

What could’ve been?

Many in the Mets’ organization believed that they could’ve taken the same path the Nationals did to champions last season. Nonetheless, New York fell short of the playoffs and missed out on the October experience for 2019. This marks the third straight year the Mets haven’t seen the afterlife of the regular season. But enough reminiscing on what is already set in stone, it’s now time for them to establish themselves as contenders instead of pretenders this upcoming year.

Mets Pete Alonzo is now a cornerstone for the New York ball club
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Stars of the Big Apple- Pete Alonso

Pete Alonso is now looking for an encore to his impressive 2019 campaign, which included him hitting 53 home runs to steal the record for most hit by a rookie. He also won a highly competitive home run derby contest in the 2019 All Star game. The power is certainly present in the just 25 year old, but what must he do to provide consistency. 

Present in most power hitters today, is the large strikeout number at the end of the season. Alonso finished with 183 strikeouts on the year while carrying a batting average of .260. Something every power hitter can improve on is the number of strikeouts surrendered on a year to year basis. And frankly for Pete, that is the case for him as well. But have no fear, as mentioned before, Alonso is extremely young and just kick started his MLB career last year. Consistency is key if you eye the championship at the end. Pete has said he is focused more on the team goals in year two which is very reassuring to hear. 

Jacob DeGrom

A man who needs no introduction, Jacob DeGrom should now have the NL Cy Young award named after himself. He is now a two-time consecutive winner of the award as he continues to dominate after his comeback. DeGrom led the league in strikeouts this year with a total of 255 K’s tallied. The much self evident ace of the franchise must continue this display if the Mets want a chance at the title this year. 

Being the veteran he is on the Mets ball club, DeGrom must provide his leadership to younger guys such as newly added Stroman and Syndergaard. The Mets have an amazing collection of starters which is very necessary for a title run. This is where the Mets are most in common with the defending champ Nationals. Their season rests in the hands of their starters to hold the games close for the offense to seize the opportunity for the win. And as of right now, those are pretty good hands, all starting with DeGrom.

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A Fresh New Face in New York

This offseason, the Mets did away with Mickey Callaway after leading the team to below average records for a couple of years. You could definitely say that a change was necessary to make, thus New York hired Luis Rojas. Luis was a guy who got passed over a season ago while the Mets searched. Now Rojas is embracing his chance and leading this talented team straight on in from a tough division. 

After the resignation of Carlos Beltran, the original Mets manager named for 2020, Rojas has gotten right to work. Luis has stated that he plans to run the team based on communication and wants to be feared by the competition. Such as going two bags and scoring with runners effectively. Changes are going to be heavily influenced by players in the starting lineup. With this new communication setup, Rojas allows players to present their own way of doing things. That for sure can cut down on the tension of any MLB team. A lot of questions must be answered by Rojas, however, he has the makings of a solid manager for the job.

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Edwin Diaz: Can he Replicate 2018?

The infusion of talent amongst the Mets is certainly very special. As Washington showcased last year, a breakout season from a player may be all that is holding New York back. Take a look at Juan Soto as a prime example of this happening. Just imagine how the Nats would’ve faired if Soto didn’t produce as he did. Now who could do the same for the Mets?

Edwin Diaz started his career with the Seattle Mariners. He stayed there three years with one of those being an all star year. During that time he pitched an ERA of 1.96 with 57 saves to add. Last season was Edwin’s first with the Mets, and to say it wasn’t pretty is an understatement. Diaz’s ERA inflated to 5.59 in what was by far his worst season to date of his career. Bullpen pitchers go through rough patches and always seem to have a bad year. The talent level is still present in Diaz and there is no doubt that he is wanting to instill his role as the top option in the Mets pen. Another all star season is potentially on the way for this only 25 year old. 

Michael Conforto

Michael Conforto has been rock steady in his MLB career thus far. As Conforto is without a doubt consistent, fans are wanting him to produce more this season. A breakout season has always been a possibility with this healthy outfielder. He has seen an uptick in home runs last season with the finishing number reaching 33. There is also another way of looking at it that doesn’t include patience. The Mets took Conforto with a first round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft (10th overall). Another outfielder could be on the verge of pushing the Mets over the hump along with the already dominant pitching staff.

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