The start of spring training has fantasy baseball enthusiasts pouring over magazines and scouring the internet for the latest baseball data to help make winning draft selections. Today, I made my first reading of the Sporting News BASEBALL Fantasy Source.
Just for fun, I decided to dedicate my first reading to the Mets. Were there any tidbits I could glean about the Metropolitans and how did the blue and orange fare in the Sporting News projections?
Met second baseman, Daniel Murphy drew the most speculation. In a segment on offensive splits Murphy was cited for his elevated batting average when playing in day games. Since 2011, Murphy has maintained an incredible .340 batting average when playing day games. Murphy had the second highest value, $20, behind Matt Carpenter’s, $23, for National League second baseman.
And, Murphy was the focus of a Bust or Trust segment where Sporting News highlighted one player at each position who enjoyed a banner season in 2013, then predicted whether fantasy owners expectinging a repeat performance would realize Bust or Trust. Murphy’s record setting year and his .307 batting average after the All-Star break were listed as positives. The fact the Met second baseman plays in a light hitting park (Citi Field was rated #26 in terms of hitting friendliness) where he hit only .263 last year was considered a negative. The prediction was that Murphy will continue to hit for average this year but his power numbers and stolen base production are unlikely to repeat themselves thus earning a BUST rating.
Travis d’Arnaud was listed as one of baseball’s Top Spring Arrival’s for the upcoming season. D’Arnaud’s slow start with the Mets last fall did not discourage the Sporting News oracles who summarized the young Met catcher has the tools and bat speed to be an above average hitter with 20+ home run power in the major leagues. Improving pitch selection and staying healthy were cited as d’Arnaud’s biggest challenges.
Met pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is included in a list of minor league stars who should contribute next season. Sporting News likes Syndergaard’s dominant fastball and feel the effectiveness of his off speed pitches will determine how soon he makes an impact in the majors.
A section on homerun frequency per number of at bats for players who did not play every day included Lucas Duda. HR frequency is cited as an important stat for fantasy owners making late round selections still on the lookout for power production. Fantasy owners were advised to pay attention to the individual situations of the guys on the list. The reasoning was should their at bats increase, which could be the case for Duda if he becomes the Met’s starting first baseman, their power numbers could increase, also. Duda hit a home run in every 21.2 at bats last season.
As is his habit, David Wright was the highest valued third baseman in the National League with a $32 price tag. Wright was projected to hit .295 with 20 HR’s and 92 RBI’s this summer including 90 runs and 15 stolen bases.
Curtis Granderson ($26) missed the National League’s top ten outfield list placed one slot behind at number 11. Sporting News projects 34 HR’s and 92 RBI’s for the Grandy Man.
Sporting News puts Eric Young Jr. in centerfield at Citi Field this summer and has him leading off in the Met lineup. EYJ has an $18 value and is predicted to pilfer 52 stolen bases. Juan Lagares was never mentioned and Chris Young is found at the bottom of the NL outfield list with a $3 dollar value.
Met closer Bobby Parnell earns the biggest money value of Met pitchers at $8. Met starters Jon Niese ($6) and Bartolo Colon ($3) are positioned near and at the bottom of the NL starting pitching list. Colon is considered the Mets #5 starter behind, Niese, Wheeler, Gee, and Mejia. Vic Black and Gonzalez German were tabbed as the Met set-up men.