1. Back in the New York Groove
This one is pretty obvious. The man in that picture is pretty freaking good, and he’s going to be a Met for the next four years. Since becoming a Met, Yoenis Cespedes has been an offensive juggernaut, and now with the incentives in his contract, we might not have to deal with his lackadaisical antics. With the Mets Cespedes has a career .903 OPS compared to a .790 OPS before coming to New York.
Those incentives include $50k for an All Star selection, $50k for Silver Slugger, $100k for Gold Glove, $125k for NL MVP, $50k for NLCS MVP, and $100k for World Series MVP. It is exciting in itself to see those playoff incentives which say a lot about the team’s goals.
2. All Together Now
Going into 2017, all of the Mets’ “Fab Five” will be healthy. A rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler may finally be coming to fruition. It remains to be seen how Harvey and Wheeler will come back from their surgeries, but Thor, deGrom, and Matz will have a totally normal spring training.
While it is unrealistic to expect them all to make 30 starts, having the rotation intact at the beginning of the season is nothing to scoff at. If they are all healthy and pitch close to their potential, they would be the best rotation in the Majors.
Syndergaard is coming off a Cy Young caliber season and is still just 24 years old as he’s primed to be the Mets ace for the foreseeable future. DeGrom is coming off a “down” year in which he still posted a 3.02 ERA and 3.7 bWAR. We’ve all seen what the trio of Harvey (career 2.79 FIP), Matz (3.16 ERA) and Wheeler (9.1 K/9 in 2014) are capable of when healthy.
3. I’ll Be There
If a member of the Fab Five does get injured, though, the Mets have an insurance plan. Last year saw the emergence of pitchers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Both pitched extremely well down the stretch and earned spots on the 2017 roster as far as I’m concerned. Unless the Mets go to a six man rotation at various points during the season, these guys will probably be in the bullpen for the majority of the season where they performed well last season.
Lugo and Gsellman were both welcome recipients of the Dan Warthen boost in velocity once they hit the big leagues which will help them whether they’re in the rotation or in the bullpen. Both pitchers maxed out at 97 MPH with their fastballs in the big leagues and 91 MPH on their sliders.
4. Take A Chance On Me
This upcoming season may also see the permanent emergence of Michael Conforto. We all know how abysmal he was during the 2016 season, but the silver lining is his .422/.483/.727 slash line with nine home runs in 33 Minor League games. He is certainly capable of putting up monster numbers, as we saw in 2015 and April of 2016, so hopefully we will see him put it all together in 2017.
It’s easy to forget, that overall as a big leaguer, Conforto has still been an above average major leaguer with a 105 OPS+ and has been a plus defender as well with 10 defensive runs saved in only 137 games.
5. The Prodigal Son
The Mets will have Jose Reyes for an entire season, and that is certainly something to be excited about. The spark he provides at the top of the lineup completely changes the team and he will almost certainly be worth more than his league minimum salary. It remains to be seen how much playing time he will get, which will be directly proportionate to David Wright‘s health. When he does play, though, he will be a difference maker.
What are you most excited about this upcoming season? Comment below!