I asked my writers who they thought was the biggest surprise for the Mets in the first half, and one of the benefits of having 25-35 active writers is that it gives me a good well-rounded sense of where the Mets fan base is on these roundtable questions I like to do.
As expected there were some varied answers, and few added comments as well. Here is what we came up with.
Daniel – The biggest surprise to me has been the play of Marlon Byrd. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard his name and “scrap heap” used in the same sentence this season, but that’s where he seemed to emerge from. His offense and defense have stabilized at least one spot in the outfield and his veteran presence in the locker room for this young team has been invaluable. (Shout out to Bobby Parnell this year too.)
Joe S. – Biggest surprise is definitely the play of Marlon Byrd.
Gerry - Marlon Byrd
Satish - Jeremy Hefner
Andre - Jeremy Hefner and Marlon Byrd tied here.
Barry - Jeremy Hefner. Okay, Harvey is much better than anyone could have hoped for and Byrd has done way more than anyone had a right to expect, but I thought Hefner would be on the minor league scrap heap by now.
Eric - The stellar defense and more-than-passable bat of Omar Quintanilla in Tejada’s absence
Matthew - Marlon Byrd
Gregg - Tied between Josh Satin and Marlon Byrd
Jessep - Marlon Byrd
Connor – Matt Harvey
Tommy - On the positive side, I’ll take Matt Harvey. He has developed more quickly than anybody could have possibly hoped for. On the negative side, I’ll go with Ike Davis. He showed so much promise in the 2nd half last year, only to regress and perform at a dreadful level in the 1st half of 2013. You have to start to wonder if his head is on straight.
David - Marlon Byrd’s Breakout Season
Joe D. – Can’t choose Jeremy Hefner as my biggest surprise because I predicted a breakout season for him in 2013 and that’s exactly what he’s delivered. My biggest surprise goes to Bobby Parnell, who after given many opportunities before to close, he had very little success and I questioned whether he had the stomach to be a closer. Guess what? I was wrong, he can close and is doing a great and very underrated job for the Mets this season.
It looks like the consensus choice ended up being the Byrd-Man…
Who was your breakout player for the Mets in the first half of the 2013 season?