Which Mets Player Has the Most to Prove This Season?

An article by posted on February 8, 2014

Washington Nationals v New York Mets

Over the next two weeks, we will be rolling out a series of ten MMO Roundtable posts that will tackle some of the questions and expectations for the upcoming Mets season. Let’s get started…

Which Mets player has the most to prove this season?

Mike SimonTravis d’Arnaud. It seems like d’Arnaud has been around for years despite having only turned in 99 underwhelming Major League at-bats, all of which came during last year’s rookie season. The oft-injured catcher has been touted for years as a top prospect, was twice traded for Cy Young award winners, and has been continuously praised by Mets pitchers for his defensive skills. He is still just 25 years old, but it’s time for him to shed the injury prone label and start living up to the hype in the batters box.

David Conde – In my mind Travis d’Arnaud has to prove that he is the catcher that everyone has been raving about. I was not that impressed last season, but I know he was hurt, was quickly promoted, and probably pressed too much just to try and impress. So a big year from him, is not only important for his career, but also very important for the organization. After all that has been said about him, I really hope he lives up to the hype.

John Ginder – It is between Ruben Tejada and Ike Davis. They have been given another opportunity to show they deserve to be a part of what the Mets are trying to build.

XtreemIcon – Ruben Tejada, obviously. I think only me and his mom support him at this point.

Joe Spector – The easy answer is Ike Davis of course, but I would put Travis d’Arnaud in there as well. He needs to play up to the hype. He’s not a kid anymore and at this point, considering the position he plays, he has what, 10 years in him? Not exactly something you build a Hall of Fame career out of. ___ or get of the pot, Travis. And don’t walk under any open ladders and try avoiding black cats. You never know.

Kirk Cahill – I think it’s obvious that Ike Davis has the most to prove. He was a first round pick and a highly regarded prospect who has shown major potential in spurts. This is definitely a make or break season for him.

Big Mets Fan – Ruben Tejada. This will be his last chance to prove he is a starter. If he doesn’t make it, he’ll be relegated to a career utility player or go back to the minors.

Tom WatsonDavid Wright. His last truly great year is six years in the past. He’s injury prone. He’s a step slower. And he eats up a giant percentage of the Mets small market payroll. Yet he’s put his stamp of approval all over Alderson’s mythical “plan” and helped run interference against a disgruntled and legitimately upset fan base. Time for David to step up, move out of the protection of this whole ridiculous “face of the franchise” marketing malarkey, and prove it on the field. He’s aging – let’s hope his mid-30s are productive.

Zack Drisko – You could make other arguments, but for me it’s Curtis Granderson. It’s probably not fair considering that he just got here, but fans wanted the team to improve, and he is the biggest offseason addition. If he doesn’t drive in runs and put 25-30 balls over the fence, people will start having Jason Bay flashbacks. I believe he’ll get it done, but I’m going to have to see it happen for a month or so before I’m not worrying about it.

Mike Branda – I want to say Ike Davis, or Ruben Tejada, but I’m going with the unconventional answer and choosing David Wright. To me, Wright’s critics often look for reasons to criticize. The clutch conversation is a joke, fabricated by memory rather than fact. But, the truth is – he needs to have the type of MVP caliber season that we all expect from somebody of his talent. He doesn’t have to be a 35/100 hitter, but he has to make an impact on the lineup every day. You never have to wonder if top guys from other teams are going to have a big year. Every year you know what to expect from the guys like McCutchen & Votto for example. I want to see Wright take his solid 2013 campaign and build on it – not take a step back from it. You can hit 20 HR, and be an MVP in the league, McCutchen did it last year – it’s all about having an overall solid year not focusing on a single stat such as HR or RBI.

DrDooby – I actually believe that Travis d´Arnaud´s performance will be a big key. If he can realize his potential and turn into an above average overall catcher, that´d be a tremendous asset to build around for future Mets teams. It´s of far bigger importance than one of the many first base candidates stepping up or Ruben Tejada bouncing back. D’Arnaud could be a future core piece to build around. And it´ll be up to him to fulfill some of that promise that has been projected for him.

Robert Walsh – Colon and Granderson. Probably Colon’s last contract and even when motivated he doesn’t seem to have much of a work ethic. Does he mail it in, especially if the Mets struggle, and it seems likely they will? For Granderson, he’s coming off a down year — mainly due to injuries. How will he handle the larger dimensions of Citi, especially without the short porch in Yankee Stadium staring him in the face. Yes, he hits balls far, but so did David Wright for a number of seasons at Shea, and his home run total has greatly suffered, and he’s in his prime.

Dylan White – Ruben Tejada has the most to prove this season. Tejada has been the subject of discipline and has been made an example of countless times. This has been done by Alderson, Collins, the media and the fans. Due to an absolute vacancy of the shortstop position, Tejada finds himself in a unique position to redeem himself again and be the starter. Tejada is only 24 years old and has a chance to rectify his career. A solid performance this season would spare the Mets a huge headache in the coming years. To make everybody happy, Tejada would not have to do much at all. The Mets were perfectly happy when Tejada was hitting .280 and fielding adequately. Tejada is working to get back in shape and we can only hope that he bounces back.

Peter Anselmo – Ruben Tejada, easily. A lot of people are probably going to pick Ike Davis. He does have a lot to prove but he works his tail off so at least you know he wants to be better. Tejada has to prove that he has the motivation and mindset of a big league player.

Joe D. – I’ve got to lean toward Travis d’Arnaud, although Curtis Granderson was a close second. I’m going to hold my breath and hope that Grandy comes close to being the player the Yankees had in 2011 and 2012. D’Arnaud has a lot riding on him. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned with what I saw offensively at the plate last season from him, and I was also worried at how baserunners ran at will against him. I’ve told myself he was simply rusty or tired or getting swallowed up alive in pressure and that all those things will have evaporated by the time 2014 rolled around. Guess what, Travis, it’s time to deliver on all that so-called promise. Anything less than .265 – 18 – 65 would be a disappointment for me.

Now we want to hear from you! Which player has the most to prove this season?

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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