Which Mets Player Has the Most to Prove This Season?

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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About Joe D 7835 Articles
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, '00 and '15, 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.
  • StrawberryPiazzaWright

    Ike Davis. Good hands, good range, prodigious power; but has only been able to show his offensive abilities in spurts. Defense and power are there. So have the seemingly endless opportunities the Mets have given him. And he is 27. Travis d’Arnaud, being the second one on my list, but he only has 99 at bats under his belt, so I am not too concerned yet.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    I think Ike has the most to prove – this is prob his last chance with the mets. If he can live up to what we all thought he can do (265 ,30 HR) he can be a long time 1B for us. If not – it dosnt look good for him staying here.

    Going with an unconventional answer….Id say mejia. The kids got great stuff, but always gets hurt, hes got an opportunity to become a full time starter, and a good one at that. If he can stay healthy, hes got the chance of being a real sleeper for us, if not, he may be destined to be labeled damaged goods.

  • Metro12

    I think Ike. If he doesn’t bump up his performance this year, then his career could totally go into the dumps and it may never recover again. This year has big career implications for Ike. OTOH, if d’Arnaud has a poor year, he will get a mulligan. You can’t write off such a highly ranked prospect after just his first full year, no matter how poorly he does. Wright and Granderson have too much of a positive track record for either of them to be on the hot seat.

  • Anthony

    I would say Travis d. A lot of hype we need to see signs from him to help carry this line up

  • Mazz

    All good choices but for me the three players that have not been discussed that have most to prove are Mejia, Familia, and Parnell. Parnell and Mejia if prove healthy have significant impact on rotation and pen. Parnell as closer and Mejia has stuff to be right there with Harvey, Wheeler, and Syndergaard. Familia seems to have figured things out after struggling first two appearances in winterball and has the biggest arm and potential of any pitcher slated for a shot at making the bullpen. Mejia potentially a 1 or 2 ace if can stay healthy and he is just as young as Harvey and Wheeler so he’s my choice. Imagine how much the Mets could improve position players if Harvey, Wheeler, Mejia, Syndergaard, and Montero all live up to hype and then they potentially would have Niese, Colon, and Gee to trade for bats. The next couple of years should be exciting.

  • Dark HelMet

    David Wright? Last great season 6 years ago? Hahahaha.

  • Benny

    Who has the most to prove? It would be easier to ask who has the least to prove.

    Ike, Tejada, d’Arnaud, Lagares, Flores, Duda, C. Young, and all the young pitchers have a lot to prove.

  • Metstheory22

    I think it’s Ike Davis. He is either going to finally show he is our power hitter for years or not.

  • metFAN660

    Ike Davis

  • elcorazon86

    ike Davis. His make or break year.

  • Hotstreak

    He makes the most money and he finally has protection. The computer picked him in the high .270 BA and 19 Hrs, with less than 80 RBI’s. Either the computer crashed or DW which one.

  • mad met

    Ike/Chris young seem to have the most but there are many questions about most of them

  • Jamie

    Not a peep about Chris Young? The dude hit 30 home runs in a season before. He’s still young and should give us 20-25 pop if he stays healthy and has 500 at bats while playing impeccable defense. He’s had a couple injury filled years. I think he has a ton to prove especially getting 7 million to come here.

  • Jamie

    How about Steven Matz? If he puts together another healthy season, he will be on EVERYONES lists this time next year and will be the next Thor.

  • Dark HelMet

    His projections from last year were off, too. He’s a star and one of the best players in baseball. Period.

  • Biggle Boy

    I’d say it’s Davis. He’s missed 180 games over the past 3 seasons. Can he prove that Valley Fever is not affecting him? Will his offense finally bounce back?. Can his defense return? Is his demeanor still one of defeat?

  • Dark HelMet

    Matz definitely isn’t the met with the MOST to prove, but he’s gotta move things along quicker than others, which he’s been doing.

  • Jamie

    Or how about Colon, Neise, Gee, Wheeler, Mejia, Torres, German, Familia, Rice, Edgin, Black, Parnell, Wright, Murphy, Tejada, Davis, Darnaud, Duda, Satin, Granderson, Lagares, Chris Young, EYJ. The funny thing is you really could make a case for any.

  • Hotstreak

    So he will prove me and the computer wrong. I hope he does. I am a Met fan and a DW critic as I expect a lot from him.

  • Jamie

    Maybe not on the big club but organizationally I think he does. He shoots into everyones top 100 if he just stays healthy this year.

  • Mike Lloyd

    Chris Young and John Niese. If CY’s as awful as he’s been for 2 years running, and can’t justify taking at bats away from a kid like Lagares, people will point their collective finger s at the man making the player procurement decisions, especially if his free agent cohorts don’t play well. Niese in a tie with CY…he was a building block he got a nice contract. His expectations and ours were to see him develop into a top rotation starter and anchor until the youngsters arrived. The youngsters are coming fast and all we see are inconsistent flashes. He was hurt, I understand, but…it’s getting late early for him. If the team is struggling and he is too…he will be moved for nowhere near his “potential or past value

  • oleosmirf

    Well I think Murphy can be taken off that list. I think he’s proven to be very consistent.

  • oleosmirf

    And he has more to prove than Ike Davis? Come on dude

    If you want to talk prospects then Nimmo, Puello are far more important

  • Jamie

    How funny is that? So maybe one player off the 25 man roster you can take off? lol. Even at that I think he could still improve defensively and hit a little more. He’s no all-star yet.

  • oleosmirf

    Sure everyone can improve, but that’s not the question presented. Murphy has nothing left to prove. We know exactly what he is

  • Jamie

    Fair enough but you get my point. Almost every single player on our 25 man roster you could make a case for except maybe Murphy. Thats crazy.

  • oleosmirf

    If he stayed healthy, he was on pace for 300/400 with 25 HR and 20 SB. That’s fantastic production especially given the situation he’s in.

  • He’ll likely never be an all star. He was never even a top prospect. He has actually exceeded most people’s expectations. Most to prove is for players who have yet to meet expectations – in this case for 2014. Murphy is not in that group. Murphy finished second in the National League in hits last year. Nobody could have predicted that.

  • Hotstreak

    Yes. I concede esp. at Citi Field. Will it be 25 ? That is what he has to prove.

  • oleosmirf

    Which is why the Mets are still incredibly far from contending. The amount of things that need to break right is almost unrealistic to expect.

    That’s why 2015 is the year we will probably see our next winning season and I’m ok with that

  • Jamie

    I agree with all that but you honestly think Murphy has nothing to prove?? He has constant trade rumors circling him at all times. If Flores proves he can handle 2nd he will be breathing right down his neck. Murphy is not viewed as a top 2nd baseman in MLB eyes yet. He needs to keep improving his defense and put up another solid year or two before he starts getting recognized.

  • Jamie

    I wouldn’t go that far. Sure almost everybody has a lot to prove but there is a ton of talent here. We are a very young team. Its about building a perennial winner in 2015 when Harvey comes back. This is the final dress rehearsal and I think there is a lot to look forward to this year.

  • oleosmirf

    Agree 100%. We need our core to develop this season and see what we have and what we don’t

  • mitchpetanick

    On a team full of question marks I would say everyone has a lot to prove – Murphy and Wright are probably exempt – but everyone else has to step up this year if the Mets are going to be competitive.

  • BCleveland3381

    d’Arnaud and Ike. d’Arnaud needs to show he can stay healthy, I think the production will come with that. Ike needs to show the most on the field. At times he’s looked like an All Star, and at times he looks like the worst hitter in the majors. Ike has a lot to prove, because he’s 2 years from free agency and if he ever expects to get paid, he needs to start producing now.

  • oleosmirf

    It’s more than just citi field. The fact that he plays in a bad lineup limits his RBI and doesn’t give him the protection most top players receive

  • This is the beginning of his third season as a second baseman and second one as a full time second baseman. He’s made incremental strides, if that continues again in 2014, he goes from below average to average. We’ll see. I’ll take Murphy over Uggla any day.

  • “Which Mets Player Has the Most to Prove This Season?”
    All the ones with uniforms.

  • Matlack

    David Wright has nothing to prove. He is an established top ten player in MLB. Travis d’Arnaud is the answer to this question. If he is an above-average MLB bat, that, along with good pitch-framing(and overall defense), makes him the catcher this team builds around. Production at catcher has been lacking on this club since LoDuca left.

  • Is it just me? But until TDA I have never ever heard so much made about pitch framing. Is there a list of the top ten active pitch framers and the top ten all time?

  • TexasGusCC

    When MLB Network ran its Top 10 Right now second basemen, Murphy did not crack ANYONE’S list. Even Neil Walker was on one of them. How do you guys feel that kind of player has nothing to prove?

    An offensive second sacker that never passed 12 hr and needed 701 plate appearances to get 192 hits?

  • BCleveland3381

    Niese’s contract is nice….for the Mets. It’s an extremely team friendly contract. The next three years he’s making 5m, 7m, and 9m. Then team options for 10m and 11m in 2017 and 2018 with a 500k buyout in either season. If he played out his entire contract and options he’d be 31 years old. Go look at what a #4 starter costs in free agency. Niese’s contract is great for the Mets.

  • Jamie

    So would I but to say Murphy has nothing left to prove is inaccurate In my opinion. Thats all.

  • TexasGusCC

    I remember hearing it when Henry Blanco came, but it is being taught more in the minors now.

    Blanco got alot of accolades for stealing strike calls with that.

  • oleosmirf

    Because he’s not a top 10 2B and never will be. He’s always going to be a high average, low walk rate, low power hitter with below average defense.

    There’s nothing wrong with that and he should make some team happy at the deadline as a complimentary piece to their playoff push

  • DrDooby

    Wright has been a Top 10 player in the NL if you’re going with WAR over the past couple of years. He as nothing to prove – other than being healthy like in 2012 and his hamstring is sound.

    D’ Arnaud easily is the most important question mark, followed by the plethora of 1bmen (can one hit ?), Granderson (will he be healthy and can he hit outsode Yankee stadium), Lagares (will he hit) and a lesser degree Tejada (is he a decent MLB starting SS ?). Chris Young is just a 1-year stopgap, so while he has nice upside and a lot to prove after his down 2013 season, it’s not that important in the grander scheme of Mets things as he probably won’t be on the 2015 Mets…

  • Anthony

    Agreed other than staying healthy

  • TexasGusCC

    You just contradicted yourself. If you were a 28 year second baseman, would you want to be labeled as “a complimentary piece”?

  • oleosmirf

    Absolutely. Also should add our young pitching to the mix as well.

  • Matlack

    Good question. I’d hazard a guess that the answer is no, since the analytics seem to be proprietary. Tampa has been in the vanguard, I believe. I also think I’ve read that Yadi’s pitch framing is the gold standard.

  • There are a number of players but if you’re asking who has the most to prove this season then I am going to say Travis d’ Arnaud.

  • oleosmirf

    But that’s what he is. He’s pretty much maxed out. I’m sure he can improve a tad, but he’s not all of a sudden going to transform himself into a power hitter or a high OBP guy.

    He just doesn’t have the tools to be any better than he is now, which is why he’ll be shipped off once Flores proves he can be a competent 2B

  • Matlack

    Mostly agree. Still, he is an intelligent hitter, so I’d say if he can bump up his walk rate, he may have room for improvement as a player. I wish he could play at regular depth defensively. Still believe he’s not long for this club.

  • skyking26

    Our entire starting line up.

  • BehindTheBag

    Pretty simple. It’s a toss-up between Ike, Tejada, and d’Arnaud. The tiebreaker is their ages. If Ike stinks again, in his age 27/5th big league season, that seals the deal for him. Tejada is still young and TdA is only in his rookie season. No contest.

  • TexasGusCC

    Oleo, I put Murphy as my breakout player two months ago because I said he needs to pull the ball more and hit 20 hrs. If his ceiling is just a complimentary piece, and I am not disagreeing just taking a step further, then he isn’t going to ever get that recognition he has strived for. Although it is a MLB career, he can either blowup and “arrive”, or stay where he’s at and be a complimentary piece.

    Wouldn’t that put him in the lots to prove category?

  • Mets in Stitches

    Time for Jon Niese to stop hovering around what his potential could be. With Harvey out, this is Niese’s pitching staff. Time for him to finish games and the season.

  • Captain America

    Kendrys Morales once signed. Prove he can play first base regularly and mash to solidify the lineup. And earn his next contract.

  • PeteyPete

    I can’t honestly agree with you guys that said D’Arnaud. You raise a lot of excellent points, like it’s time for him to match his hype, but I have to give him a mulligan in this because of one thing: he is a rookie. To me that cuts him enough slack to push him down the “something to prove list.”

    As for Tejada, he doesn’t desrve the top spot either because he is simply a “default player” a simple seat-warmer for when we get a real “big league” shortstop.

    Colon I can push well down the list because he is over 40 years old. He has nothing more to prove in the bigs really. Sandy took a huge leap of faith to sign him to a two-year gig and anything we get from him will be a plus.

    David Wright should not be the guy either because he is getting up there in years and despite his elite contract status, at his age no one can be expected to regain their youth again. It can happen, without PED’s too, but it is a rarity.

    Granderson is a shrewd pick because he is certainly getting paid a ton, has amazing talent and HR ability, and is healthy again. BUT, all Met free agent signings disappoint in the first year of their contracts. Understanding that is part of being a Met fan. I think Granderson will be a good sign if he stays healthy. But I am expecting a slow start between the rust from his injury last year to the change of leagues, and to adjusting to hitting in a home ballpark the size of the Grand Canyon.

    To me the main man on this list has got to be Uncle Ike. I mean the guy’s got 40-homer potential in a perfect universe. CitiField is a sand-box for Ike, and no outfield grandstand in the league is safe from his bombs, when he is going good. The Mets tried their hardest to dump him this winter, both publicly and behind closed doors. They failed, and now we are stuck with him. But are we really? If this guy comes back from oblivion and is once again healthy, and at his age we have every right to expect it, he could be the lynch-pin that the Mets’ fortunes turn on.

  • tomwatson

    1. David Wright is the leading uniformed apologist for the regime.
    2. He makes roughly 20% of the payroll on a team with a declining budget that is a de facto small market franchise in the capital of the world.
    3. He is (pathetically and embarrassingly) the “face of the franchise.”
    4. His production numbers have declined dramatically.
    5. His playing time has declined a bit – ie he’s aging now.
    6. He’s the “captain.”
    7. He endorses the mythical “Plan” in public – proving he’s either in on the swindle, or not that bright. It can only be one or the other.
    8. He is also the most talented everyday player the Mets have – by far.

    He has – easily – the most to prove in 2014. Not even close.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think that d’Arnaud has the most to prove this year. We have to see if he can hit like he’s been projected to.

  • BarnRat

    In terms of where can we least afford someone not stepping up, I’d say catcher and SS because there’s no Plan B at those positions (absent Drew). If nothing else, the car wreck at 1B includes a lot of bodies.

  • Mike Lloyd

    I didn’t say he got a ridiculous contract. I said he got a nice one. Any measure of security for a player of his age is usually team friendly. It’s more about expectations and performance with Niese.

  • Peter S

    Well said @tomwatson…David wright supposedly hasn’t produce because he doesn’t have enough protection. Well, now he does. If he gives the mets another mediocre season, I think it would be fair to label him as overrated. With that being said, I see Wright putting up huge numbers this year. A line of .300/25/100 would satisfy me.

  • Rocky Thompson

    There are a lot of good choices. How about Wilmer Flores proving that his new body has increase his range allowing him to play SS? If he can, the Mets offense is drastically improved.

  • SRT

    Ike is right up there, only I’m not even sure Ike will be here come OD.

    I’ll go with TdA. Traded along with Thor for RA Dickey, he was touted as one of the highest catching prospects about to make his debut.

    No pressure, Travis. 🙂

  • tierlifer

    Not only all what you mentioned about TDA, but never got a full ST to get in a groove. To me that was the biggest factor of his less than stellar call up. Let’s see what he does with a full board, healthy ST under his belt along with his cup of coffee he got last Sept.

  • Peter S

    His numbers have plummeted since the Minaya years. Time for him to become that player again. I would go as far as to say he could be on the trading block if Wilmer Flores shows enough bat.

  • SRT

    Pathetically and embarrassingly??

    Uh, no.

  • SRT

    Wright can only be traded if he wants to be traded.

  • Peter S

    Assuming they don’t sign Drew.

  • Peter S

    True…and he would he not of the mets are losing again?

  • SRT

    Not so sure about that. There’s a reason he signed that contract extension, knowing he could have made more money on the FA market this off season.

  • tomwatson

    Agreed. This is a must year for Wright, who is no longer young. His contract is not that bad and Mets could probably find a deal for him. That said, he’s clearly on the downside – I do partially blame all the marketing they make him do, that phony-baloney “face of the franchise” stuff to suck in the rubes to buy gear and tickets while the actual team goes south.

  • tomwatson

    I think it’s fair to put the highest expectations on the highest paid player, the acknowledged team leader, and the marketing “face” being used for sales purposes. Especially for a small market team.

  • SRT

    Here’s an interesting article on pitch framing over on Fangraphs in May of last year:

    On Framing and Pitching in the Zone

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/on-framing-and-pitching-in-the-zone/

  • agetting

    he had a good year last year though…He used to play in Shea Stadium with all stars on base in front of him. Now he plays in Citi with no one on base. Not sure why you would compare the 2 era’s in terms of production and say he’s not as good as he was

  • Matlack

    1. I won’t address this.
    2. Wright’s contract is below market. Care to guess what he’d get right now in FA?
    3. I won’t address this.
    4. 8th in MLB in WRC+ in 2013, plus defense at third is a dramatic decline? Sign me up for more decline.
    5. Agreed.
    6. Immaterial to the discussion.
    7. I won’t address this.
    8. Agreed.

  • SRT

    And another in July:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/all-star-break-pitch-framing-update/

    John Buck and the Mets didn’t fare too well in this article.

  • tomwatson

    I think he had a very good year – but not a David Wright face of franchise, long-term deal year – 18 HR and 58 RBI will not get you greatness. He’s got to step it up.

  • SRT

    Here’s a reason to be excited about TdA. AA did an analysis of his pitch framing back in Nov ’13, with pictures and all.

    http://www.amazinavenue.com/2013/11/8/5071580/new-york-mets-travis-darnaud-pitch-blocking-framing-defense

  • agetting

    well he was hurt, only played 112 games…if you average it out for a full season its a typical year for him

  • metsman

    I can’t stand it when people hate on Wright on a PR level, it just sounds like petty resentment which makes no sense because he plays for your team. Of all the problems with this team he is in no way shape or form part of it and all he has to do is keep doing what he does, that hardly fits the profile of proving anything.

    Davis’s year to prove something was last year, and what he proved wasn’t good but apparently nobody was watching. Young and Grandy’s numbers last season were both defended on the basis that recent injuries hampered their performances which seems like a fair argument and that will be put to the test.

    It’s almost impossible to argue that it’s not d’Arnaud, the hype zeigeist surrounding his prospect status has been matched by only Strasburg or Harper in recent years, I can honestly say that I understand why he was pressing last year if he had even the slightest clue what’s expected of him. That’s not going to change so I hope he gets over it.

  • DrDooby

    Wright has been one of the Top 3 3bmen in the majors in 2012 and 2013 and has produced right around his career numbers. If you’d rank players on the OD roster in terms of having something to prove and d’ Arnaud ranks # 1, Wright ranks # 25.

    Blaming Wright is about as smart as blaming Carlos Beltran for Mets failures between 2005 and 2011…

  • tomwatson

    Off 18 HR and 58 RBI – probably about the same $$ deal but fewer years.

    I think DW is a heckuva player and great Met, but he’s also the one with the most to prove in 2014. You may ignore the hype side, but he’s the guy out there shilling for “the plan.”

  • SRT

    Sorry, that AA one was the wrong link. This one above discussing his passed ball problems. This one here discusses his pitch framing:

    http://www.amazinavenue.com/2013/9/30/4782518/mets-pitch-framing-travis-darnaud-john-buck

  • tomwatson

    I didn’t see the word “blame” there – just that among all uniformed Mets, he has the most to prove in 2014.

  • agetting

    I would give Ike 5-10 games to prove something. If he’s on the interstate 10 games into the season I would just cut him

  • SRT
  • tomwatson

    Depends on what era of David Wright you’re talking about – there are two.
    1. The perennial MVP candidate era, which ended in 2008.
    2. The top 3B, mostly an All Star, sometimes hurt, still a very fine player but not great era – which is now.

  • oleosmirf

    .307/.390/.514/.904 with 18 HR in 430 AB. That’s 26 HR over a full season.

    That’s top 10 production right there and if you can’t see that, well that’s your lack of baseball knowledge in the way of reason

  • SRT

    I really like this one above as Wheeler, Gee and Harvey have high praise for TdA’s ability to be able to ‘steal’ a few Ks for them.

  • tomwatson

    Ah, the old “I’ll insult my way out of this argument I don’t like” tactic. Well done. And so clever too. You ought be in newspapers.

    But seriously, I’m not saying DW is bad – he’s terrific. I’m saying that given the makeup of this team, given how it’s sold as entertainment to its fan base, he has the most to prove – by far – in 2014.

  • DrDooby

    Wright 2012: 7.4 fWAR, .306 BA, .391 OBP, .483 SLG
    Wright 2013: 6.0 fWAR, .307 BA, .390 OBP! .514 SLG
    Wright career: .301 BA, .382 OBP, .506 SLG

    WHERE IS THE DECLINE ???????????????????????

    Are you expecting a .380 BA, .550 OBP and .740 SLG with 12.6 fWAR ?

    Wright has about as much to prove in 2014 as Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre Migue Cabrera, Troy Tulowitzki and Amdrew McCutchen.

  • tomwatson

    You may want to look back a bit at his production as young perennial MVP candidate. My argument is not that he’s not good – just not great, and may have the most to prove (given the investment in his production of 18 HR, 58 RBI) of any player wearing a Mets uniform in 2014.

  • DrDooby

    No, he has nothing to prover, well other than his hamstring being100 %…

  • metsman

    Yeah, he should take to discussion boards and rant about owner refinancing. He’s an athlete who’s trying to promote the team he has agreed to play for his entire career, excuse him for trying to see the glass half full. He is part of the solution, not the problem, and he wants people to come out and support him and his teammates. Your comments about Wright are patented misdirected hostility.

  • SRT

    There were numerous discussions coming into this off season – both online and on MLB – on what Wright could have got in the FA market this off season.
    All had him getting an average of 180M for the same number of years – or one year more.

    Not sure how you come up with your figures.

  • tomwatson

    No hostility at all. DW is a fine Met. Merely that he’s in the position of having to prove the most – because of contract, declining production, and his marketing placement – of any Mets player in 2014.

  • Eyeball

    Wright has nothing to prove except that he can stay on the field. He hit .307 with an OPS of .904 and was on pace for 25HR/25SB. The only ‘bad’ year he’s had was 2011, and I’m pretty sure that was after the beaning.

    IMHO, it’s Granderson, who has to justify the big (by Mets standards) contract.

  • SRT

    Of all the problems the NY Mets currently have – DW is not one of them.

  • tomwatson

    I assume the Mets paid close to market for him. I’m not a believer in unicorns.

  • SRT

    I’m talking about THIS off season and the market.
    You’re referencing Last off season and the market.

    Apples and oranges.

  • Metro12

    It’s fair to say that the most is expected of Wright due to his salary and his history as one of the top producers in the NL. I think even he’ll say he has a huge responsibility to this team. And he knew that would come with the territory when he signed his big extension. Wright is not one to shuck his responsibility. But in terms of needing to “prove” himself? Nah. He has nothing to prove in terms of his status as a top NL player. He’s pretty much done it year after year. The proof is on the back of his baseball card.

    This is a semantical difference, but I think it’s important given the phrasing of the original question.

  • tomwatson

    And yet he was last year – funny how that goes. I wouldn’t say he’s a “problem” (unless hurt) – just that given the investment of a small market club not managed particularly well, he easily has the most on his shoulders.

  • DrDooby

    The lack of RBI is directly related to not having any sort of lineup protection. Why would a pitcher in his right mind throw Wright anything to hit with lightweights like John Buck, Ike Davis or Lucas Duda behind hin with a runner on base ?

  • tomwatson

    So you think he’d get more off 58 RBI and a bad hamstring? I don’t. Certainly not in years.

  • SRT

    All I can say is you appear to be smarter than the baseball analysts who do this for a living.
    Kudos to you, Sir.

  • tomwatson

    It’s two reasons – he missed a third of the season with a serious injury, and he didn’t hit with as much power as he used to. I thin the park and the lineup are part of a third reason, but not primary. DW is slowing down.

  • Eyeball

    Cesar Puello

  • DrDooby

    Wright could have hit .330 with 30 HR and 100 RBI in 2013 and the Mets would still have finished well below .500. Matt Harvey had the greatest season for a Mets SP in 20 years and had 9 wins to show for it in 26 GS.
    Wright -like Harvey last year or Dickey in 2012 – is among the least of Mets problems.

    The rest of the team needs to improve. Not Wright.

  • SRT

    He was beaned late 2009.
    2011 was the year he had the ‘broken’ back.

  • tomwatson

    That’s a fair reply – I took the question and looked at it as a % of responsibility for the team – salary, leadership, marketing. Then I figured with the franchise basically in the basement, who has the heaviest load on this shoulders and came up with DW.

  • tomwatson

    Different question – we were asked to ID one player with most to prove. Obviously the whole team is rather poor, and DW is the best everyday player. He’s been hurt and his production has declined since his prime pre-2009 era. So I picked him, was obvious me and no real knock on David (except for his role in trying to sell fans on the plan nonsense).

  • metsman

    “Shill” isn’t exactly a term of endearment. Alderson told him he has a plan to make the team better and Wright takes him at face value. Perhaps he is somewhat convinced, as some of us are, that regardless of what ownership does to screw up their finances, Alderson is adept at building a competitive team with a lower payroll…who knows, it could be happening in front of our eyes these next few years.

  • SRT

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Not only do I not see Wright as a ‘problem’, I don’t see this team as small market either. They’re a big market team stuck with owners who don’t have a spare penny to spend on the team.

  • tomwatson

    Who knows, indeed. The magical 2013-14 offseason has now mostly passed and not much has changed. Perhaps that’s why “shill” snuck in there.

  • Fast Eddie

    I can’t argue with the choices of D’Arnaud, Tejada, Davis or Granderson, but I’d like to throw the two Youngs into the mix. For $7.5M I expect Chris Y. to show me something I can smile about. A replication of Marlon Byrd’s 2013 season would be nice. EY2’s task is simpler: look like a legitimate leadoff hitter, for Pete’s sake! Eric needs to learn the strike zone, take a few walks, bunt occasionally for a hit. The old adage still applies: you can’t steal first base.

  • SRT

    I’ll take 3 more IFs with DWs numbers – SS, 2nd and 1st.
    IF problem solved.

  • DrDooby

    His 2013 production was nearly identical to his 2006 production – if you project his stats till the injury over a full season.

    And the lower RBI total might be related to having Collin Cowgill, Ruben Tejada, Eric Young and Daniel Murphy hitting ahead of him instead of Jose Reyes, Paul Loduca, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado among others.

  • Matlack

    The problem with your argument is that Wright’s production has not declined as you say it has. Leaving defense aside, here is Wright’s year by year WRC+, which is considered the best pure measure of offensive production by most front offices(ie the guys who get paid the big bucks to analyze this for a living):
    2004 120
    2005 142
    2006 132
    2007 151
    2008 143
    2009 125
    2010 129
    2011 116
    2012 141
    2013 155

    Contrary to your point, Wright has actually had a renaissance.

  • Metro12

    But in terms of having to “prove” himself as a top NL player, he doesn’t need to do that anymore. He’s already achieved that. It’s part of his history/legacy by now.

    Most years, It’s fair to expect the most production from the highest paid player on ANY team — whether that’s Braun with the Brewers, Pujols with the Angels, Teixeira with the Yankees, or Cano with Seattle. Wright is no different.

  • metsman

    Without a better payroll things will have to change a bit more organically. This leads me back to the misdirected hostility point. When the season starts I believe the last thing you or I will worry about is Mr.Wright, sometimes he is just too good and we take him for granted. The guy on two separate occasions comes back from an injury and socks a homer in his first at bats, it really says it all. We cynical Met fans need some kind of beacon of hope, some kind tried and true constant, and he fits perfectly; I don’t see any malarkey in that.

  • Ike has nothing to prove because his window to prove that he has the ability to play on the ML level has closed.

    dArno is the one who needs to show he can get off these top prospects lists by staying healthy and being productive.

  • SRT

    This ^
    Numbers, in this case, don’t lie.

    Referencing a decline in RBIs only tells half the story. In this case, mainly the fact that the line-up in general stunk – especially for the first half of the season.

  • DrDooby

    He’d get Cano money – a player of similar age & value – maybe minus 10 % for the hamstring issues.
    So, I’d guess a 9-year, 198 million $ contract – probably with the Dodgers or Yankees who’d love to have him.

  • igotadose

    Granderson – will be something like Beltran, hurt but producing when healthy, or George Foster – never really into it except the first year sorta, and then a bust and isolated and hostile…

  • SRT

    I’ll add sitting for just 2 days with a broken pinkie – refusing to go on the DL – and smacking a HR against the Phils in his first at bat back in the line-up.

  • DrDooby

    According to your logic, Matt Harvey had a rather ordinary season.
    I guess, the Mets can be happy to have upgraded from a 9-game winner to an 18-game winner at the front of their staff in 2014..,.

  • Matlack

    Sounds about right. Phils would be all over him, too.

  • For me in regards to d’ Arnaud it comes down to finally starting to prove why he was thought as highly as he was and proving that he can be an everyday MLB Catcher.

  • coyote521

    Good cases have been made here for several players; d’arnaud, granderson, tejada, davis, and even wright,
    So my vote goes for a non player, a guy whose neck really is (and should be) on the block here:
    Sandy alderson.
    He’s been given the time he said he needed, and some bread, he’s cleaned out the players he didnt like or want, brought in the kind of player he thinks helps win games.
    No more excuses, no more people under the bus,
    This is your team.

  • sperry

    I’d say TDA only because people actually expect something from him. Interesting that nobody said Lagares, considering he basically has to put up MVP numbers or Terry is going to sit him because EYJ runs fast.

  • Bail4Nails

    Chris Young

  • Gland1

    That doesn’t make sense to me. If players like T ejada and Davis don’t succeed they may be out of the league. If Sandy doesn’t succeed then what? He steps down to become commissioner? He retires to pursue other projects? It doesn’t matter to him. He has nothing riding on it.

  • d’Arnaud. He has the youth, pedigree, and organizational support to guarantee him everyday at-bats to try and prove that he’s a key cog for this team for the next decade. Most of the guys mentioned will not be here for the next decade…d’Arnaud could be.

  • coyote521

    So, let me get this straight…
    Sandy alderson has nothing riding on 2014 because whether or not he is seen as having been successful as mets gm is of no importance to him.
    Well, that would at least explain why he’s such a jackass in interviews and press conferences.
    But it doesnt really explain his throwing players under the bus, and his nasty demeanor.
    Nor does it really make any sense that he doesn’t care, or that this season isn’t important to him.
    But sandy apologists have to believe that, i guess.

  • Jamie

    I think Matz turns himself into a bigger prospect than Nimmo or Puello ever could with a good season. Lefty starters that throw 95 are the rarest commodity in baseball. Hell, he’s hit 98. He could be a top 10 overall prospect next year with a big year.

  • Gland1

    You honestly think he cares that much? And you think 2014 is more important to Sandy Alderson than it is to Ike Davis in terms of what happens to them going forward?

  • oleosmirf

    I think you’re getting ahead of yourself here with the top 10. You don’t go from a barely top 10 team prospect to better than syndergaard in one season. But I understand the sentiment.

    The thing is the Meta desperately need bats while the pitching is in great shape

  • coyote521

    Ike davis wants to do well, absolutely. Its a big year for him. But if he continues to struggle, the worst that happens is that he gets a shot somewhere else, which may be for the best for him in the long run.

    Alderson came to ny as the man to turn around a troubled franchise. So far, he might have rebuilt the farm system, but attendance is dropping, ratings are plummeting, longtime employees have been treated shabbily, others have jumped ship. The mets “brand” has rarely been worse.
    This winter, alderson finally had the ways and means to build “his” team. He signed guys who hit hrs and strike out a ton, he signed a two year deal with a guy who is fat and forty, he failed to trade a guy the world knew he wanted to get rid of and he didnt find a new ss after he bad mouthed the current one.
    Yeah, this is a big year for him.
    And yeah, he cares about his reputation.

  • Joshua Ryan

    It is amazing how Tom Watson can be fairly reasonable on most things, but how off base he is when it comes to matters of baseball.

    David Wright is far and away the best player/hitter on the Mets by any objective measure. and Watson didn’t bring up a single reasonable counter-point

    1. He just turned 31. That’s not Trout young, but it’s certainly not old. In fact, he’s only four months older than Miguel Cabrera, who I doubt Mr. Watson would say is aging. Wright likely has several great years ahead of him.

    2. Whatever percentage of payroll he ties up is not relevant to him. Contracts are rising every year for elite players, and Wright is elite. His contract at worst is market rate for an elite player, and really, given the Cano and Freeman contracts, it’s a bargain. He lost at least $50 million by not waiting until free agency.
    3. Following up that second point, it is not Wright’s fault that their owners are so incompetent that they had to take out a loan that literally restricted them from adding payroll.
    4. I don’t know what your criteria for “great” years is, but 2007 was certainly not the last time Wright had one. 2008, 2012, and 2013 were absolutely top tier. Since 2008, here are the slashlines for the “average” third baseman.

    2008: .264/.333/.416
    2009: .262/.333/.418
    2010: .257/.325/.403
    2011: .255/.321/.399
    2012: .255/.319/.405
    2013: .253/.318/.396

    Even at Wright’s very worst, in 2011 when he dealt with a broken back, he was still quite a bit better than league average.

    “Elite” is not putting up some meaningless goal post like 100 RBIs, it is being better than virtually everyone else at what you do, and for third baseman, I don’t think you can argue that distinction.

    5. What exactly do you want from Wright? He likes Sandy Alderson and his plan. I’m not exactly a huge fan of Alderson at this point, but it’s not unreasonable or insane for people to trust in his plan.

    6. The “face of the franchise” is a pretty meaningless distinction. Wright happens to be the public face of the team, but that doesn’t mean he has to be the “rah rah” guy or that he has to speak for every angry and dissenting Mets fan.

    What does Wright have left to prove?

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    5. Tejada (if Drew signs, Flores)
    4. Lagares
    3. Granderson
    2. d’Arnaud
    1. Davis

    Honorable mention: Wheeler. Will he be ready to right the ship in that rotation in Harvey’s absence?

  • BCleveland3381

    What does Wright have to prove? This isn’t the NBA. A great player can’t turn you into a playoff team. Put LeBron James on any roster in the NBA, and they’re instantly a playoff team. Put Mike Trout on the Astros, and they’re still the crappy Astros. Im not sure what you want Wright to “prove”?

  • Metropolitan

    TdA has to prove he is not a bust because as far as I am concerned he is until he proves other wise he was godawful batting and did not seem like anything special behind the plate

  • Taskmaster4450

    A very interesting selection. I am not sure that I would say he has the most to prove but he can be the biggest surprise. He has a lot more talent that many give him credit for. He could be the surprise player of 2014.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Hard to choose Lagares when people are wondering if he will even be on the major league club come the start of the season.

  • Gland1

    I guess we just disagree. I really think that a bad 2014 would be much more damaging to Ike than it would be to Sandy.

  • Bail4Nails

    I think there’s a lot of Lagares and EY fans out there. Through no fault of his own, Chris Young has a target on him. If he plays well, folks will come around. But with money tight lately, if CY (and his 7 mil) gets off to a slow start, I think it could get ugly.

  • Eyeball

    Right – I had forgotten about that injury. He needs to stay on the field.

  • Kabeetz

    For me it’s Tejada and/or Davis because both will lose their job for sure of they don’t produce. Any of the other players mentioned have MUCH to prove but would *probably* all enter Spring training 2015 with an opportunity to be an every day player.

  • Jake Jones

    He isnt a bust. The guy played like 20 games after a 3-4 month injury. Give the kid a legit chance in a full season

  • Thanks srt, Gus and Matlack.

    srt, I loved the AA article.

    One of the things I love about baseball is that just when you think you know it all, you learn that there’s so much you still don’t know.

    🙂

  • donobrien

    Wright 2013 .253/.318/.396
    Murphy 2013 .286/.319/.415

    I love them both. Can we all say together: ” they were both absolutely top tier.” Don’t choke on that. Murphy will make 5 million and is top tier. Why do some idiots talk about trading him for a prospect?

    The Mets have so many who need to prove themselves. If they all do we’ll have a pretty good team. C Young, Legares, d’Arnaud, Tejada, Davis, Duda, Wheeler, and the rest of the rotation and bull pen. It is the Year of the Question Mark. That will make April an interesting month. Let’s hope the rest of the season remains interesting.

  • Matlack

    You’re so right, Joe….as a guy in his late 40s, I certainly didn’t grow up looking at these stats on the back of a baseball card. It was all about traditional counting stats. The beautiful thing about keeping an open mind and embracing newer ways to analyze baseball is that it’s still the same game. Computing power and increased transparency of data just give us a better way to understand the same game we’ve loved since childhood.

  • Well looks like Watson got exactly what he wanted with his response and let’s leave it at that.

  • Joshua Ryan

    Um, something got lost in translation.

    Those numbers are NOT David Wright’s numbers the last six years. Those are the numbers of the AVERAGE THIRD BASEMAN each year.

    These are Wright’s numbers the last six years.

    2008: .302/.390/.534
    2009: .307/.390/.447
    2010: .283/.354/.503
    2011: .254/.345/.427
    2012: .306/.391/.492
    2013: .307/.390/.514

  • donobrien

    My mistake, I mistook your average 3rd baseman slash line for Wright’s. I retract my first 2 lines, but I do love both David and Daniel. They give it their all every minute on the field. I’d say they are the two position players, plus Granderson who have little to prove.

  • donobrien

    A lefty-righty platoon of Duda and Satin at first base could be productive offensively.

  • donobrien

    Agree completely.

  • diehardmets

    Wright just put up a 6 WAR season in 400 at bats. Easily a star caliber season.

  • LIKayLGM

    Did you see MLB’s Top 9 right now on 3rd Baseman?
    Brian Kenny
    Mike Lowell
    Bill James
    The shredder
    John Hart

    All have him as the top 3 in all of baseball, with Brian Kenny having him as No. 1
    All mentioned that he IS the face of the franchise.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/7417714/v31349719/who-are-the-top-ten-third-basemen-right-now

  • BarnRat

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Lagares won’t be with the MLB team unless they sign Drew (and so have a lead-off and so don’t have to start EYJ.). Nothing against EY, who I think makes a great super-sub, but wow.

  • alan friedman

    They talk about trading Murphy for a prospect because they are idiots! The problem with far too many fans is that they think they know better than everyone else. Wilmer Flores is a guy who has been touted as a very good hitter based upon his minor league stats but he has been below average defensively and not fast/quick afoot. Much like Murphy was Flores has no position as yet. The big issue at this point is that he has not proven himself at the ML level as a hitter yet… whereas Murphy has proved exactly that and has become at least an average defensive player at 2nd base.When a guy like Flores who spent the winter trying to improve his quickness proves his worth as a ML hitter then you can make moves with veteran players being traded for prospects. . . .

    As you stated….the team has many players who need to prove themselves and if they do….we will be a good team and a team that can make the playoffs. If half of these players you mentioned get the job done we will be a .500 plus team for sure

  • nymetswinws

    Is Tom Watson serious? Wright is one of the elite players in the game right now and THE greatest non-pitching Met of all time. He has nothing else to prove.

  • nymetswinws

    RBIs are a big deal for you huh? Wright had a monster season last year, how did he not produce?

  • Matlack

    Respectfully, it’s a stretch to characterize one with a different opinion from yours as an idiot. As for Murphy, he is a slightly above-average hitter shoe-horned into second base, where he is, at best, average defensively. If trading him improves the team elsewhere, it should be done. Following your line of thought, we should turn down Mozeliak if he offers us Oscar Taveras for Murph.

  • 2aSupport

    Chris Young. Show us why you got a 7 Million dollar contract, while having numbers that would make Kirk Newenhius hang his head in shame.

  • 2aSupport

    Nah, Wright, Murphy, Gee, Niese, Granderson, …those are known commodities. We know what they are. The others, yes….many have something to prove. I understand that.

  • 2aSupport

    And he may never be. Not everyone becomes one. Eric Karros hit 30+ HR in a season 5 times in his career, and he was never an all-star.

  • 2aSupport

    Murphy has nothing to prove.

  • 2aSupport

    I’m not understanding what he has to prove still. Trade rumors are not a bad thing, it means the player has value…

  • 2aSupport

    Being a complimentary piece is not a bad thing. It means that you are not a superstar “core player” type. A couple of seasons ago there was a theory that Wright should not be “The Man” for the Mets, that he was more of a Complimentary piece.

  • 2aSupport

    I don’t see 20 HR coming from him, probably ever. He is what he is.

  • Andrew Lavan

    Piazza would beg to differ with that title. But he’s certainly either #2 or #3 and could easily take the top spot by the time he’s done.