An MMO Fan Shot by Marc M.
For most Mets fans, the past several years have been extremely frustrating and understandably so, having registered five consecutive losing seasons coming into 2014, following back-to-back epic collapses by the team in 2007 and 2008.
The prospect of a sixth consecutive losing season has been a subject that has stirred much debate on this site and others among Mets fans. After so many frustrating years, and with the same ownership in place that many have had issues with for years, it’s been argued that “our franchise cannot endure a sixth consecutive losing season.”
I disagree with that premise for two simple reasons.
First, while I remain hopeful that the Mets can turn the corner this year, it is just as likely (maybe more so) that we WILL have another losing season this year. And guess what, the team will still be here (and will still be primed for a serious run of success – but more on that later). Second, there are some things that just cannot be rushed. Rarely does anything in life go exactly according to plan, on a precise timetable. There are just too many variables in play. So, the notion that 2014 was the year that the Mets should return to a winning record is fool’s gold.
In baseball, there are so many things that you cannot neatly drop into a firm time table. For instance, (1) the rate at which prospects develop, (2) the availability of the right players at the right contracts in the free agency market in any given year (3) the availability of the right players in the trade market in any given year, and the Mets’ ability to match up with those trade partners. Timetables are useful tools for setting goals, but, to me, it is meaningless to treat them as anything more than loose estimates – it makes little sense to set some arbitrary date by which everything should occur to propel the Mets back into a winning team.
To me, I am concerned only with whether the Mets are heading in the right direction for BOTH short term and long term success. And I think we are, with the definition of “short term” being intentionally vague as it is simply unknown. Will it be this year? Possibly, but if it’s not, does that change the fact that we have some seriously talented players making their way onto our big league club?
The answer is obviously “no.”
Our greatest risk is that all these promising young players fail miserably. While possible, the odds are strongly in our favor that not all will fail, and we will have the nucleus of a strong, young team upon which to compete for years to come. Some of these promising layers will certainly fail to live up to expectations. We just don’t know who. But between Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom as starters, you have to feel good that at least two (and very possibly three) will be stalwarts of our rotation for years to come.
The degree of their success is unknown. We could be sitting on three aces, or three mid-rotation starters, or some combination. But when you add in Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Jenrry Mejia, that is one heckuva nucleus of starting pitchers, with the “spare” parts serving either as trade chips or bullpen pieces (deGrom and possibly Mejia, though I really like Mejia as a starter). And this ignores Steven Matz and Michael Fulmer, either one or both of whom could be our next “breakout” pitchers literally following in the footsteps of Harvey, Wheeler and Syndergaard/Montero.
We have a boatload of young arms who can finally make our bullpen a strength. It may take a couple of years before some sort out their issues, but we have enough that you have to feel good about them too – guys like Jeurys Familia, Vic Black, Gonzalez German, Josh Edgin, Jack Leathersich, Jeff Walters, Adam Kolarek (and some more exciting arms behind them like (Rainy Lara, Gabriel Ynoa, Luis Mateo, Domingo Tapia, Luis Cessa, Hansel Robles, Matt Koch, Beck Wheeler, Bret Mitchell and Akeel Morris).
We also have some decent positional prospects close to MLB ready (Cesar Puello, Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki) and a few others behind them to really be excited about (Brandon Nimmo, Dom Smith and Amed Rosario) who can fill gaps as well. Presumably, we will be able to trade from our SP strength to fill in any other gaps we may have.
Bottom Line: It is impossible to put a precise timetable on things, but it is hard to argue that things are really looking up for our future – near term and long term. It will not necessarily be linear growth; in fact, it is more likely that we take a sudden leap forward as several players take that next step and begin to put it together. Perhaps this year; more likely next year.
So, be frustrated at the past, and maybe even a little bit at the present (because Alderson has not been perfect with all his moves by any stretch), but be excited about our future.
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This Fan Shot was contributed by Marc M. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.