At 37-45, the Mets are just over halfway through the 2014 season. So far this season, we’ve seen an exciting month of April, a dreadful May, and an only slightly better month of June. We’ve seen certain players play unexpectedly well and others not live up to expectations. From the players to the manager to the general manager, let’s dive into and evaluate the performance of each through the first half of the season.
Travis d’Arnaud D: The top catching prospect hit .180/.271/.273 with three homers and only six total extra base-hits through 39 games certainly not what Mets fans expected from a prospect so highly touted. There really weren’t any positive signs for d’Arnaud on offense before his demotion. However, since his demotion, he has hit well in Triple-A and come back up to hit 7-for-19 through his first four games. d’Arnaud said it was all mental. Let’s hope he was right.
Lucas Duda A: As someone who has vouched for Lucas Duda since the beginning, part of me just wants to yell out “I told you so,” but I won’t. I don’t need to. The 28 year-old has exceeded expectations this year, batting .255/.347/.477 with 12 home runs, 17 doubles, and a 132 OPS+. Yes, he’s hitting 30 percent better than league average. Duda has proven he can be a top ten offensive first baseman, and has proven to be a great value at $1.64 million. Although it still makes more sense to sit him against left-handed starters, you could not have asked for much more from Lucas Duda.
Daniel Murphy A: Murphy is having his best year since 2011, and at just the right time. With a year and a half left under Met control, he’s hitting peak value right at the point where trading him makes sense. Even if the team doesn’t decide to trade the 29 year-old, he has proven to be a reliable fixture at the top of the lineup, batting .301/.351/.417 with six homers, 19 doubles, and 11 stolen bases, making him an ideal leadoff or number two hitter on any team. Now that he is a tolerable defender, Murphy has elevated his overall value tremendously, and is currently sixth in the majors in fWAR among second basemen, ahead of names like Dustin Pedroia, Robinson Cano, and Ben Zobrist.
Ruben Tejada D: Tejada gets on base, but has done nothing else this season. He hasn’t hit a lick this season, batting .240/.354/.304, about an “empty” a batting line as you can find from a player with a .350 OBP. While he has been swinging the bat well the past few weeks, he hasn’t proven that he’s the shortstop of the future. He may still be just 24 years old, but it makes more sense to have Wilmer Flores out there. Tejada has had his chance.
David Wright D+: David Wright has been a huge disappointment this year. There is no denying that. The 31 year-old is hitting .277/.333/.396 on the year with just six home runs. Although he probably isn’t old enough for this to really be his final decline, this first half has been very concerning. The good news for Wright though is his injury won’t keep him out for an extended period of time and since the middle of June (June 15), Wright his hitting .357/.378/.643 with two home runs and six doubles.
Curtis Granderson B: Every week has brought relief over the Curtis Granderson signing. April had Mets fans feeling like they had just signed Jason Bay 2.0, but Granderson has eased those fears with a productive May and an outstanding June. Overall, since April ended, Granderson is hitting .270/.389/.476 with nine home runs, nine doubles, and a triple. Because Granderson’s April numbers were so bad, it may be a while before his season totals are respectable again, but Granderson has clearly turned it around in a big way.
Juan Lagares A: Lagares is not going to be punished because of the injuries because he has hit so well when healthy. The big question coming into this season was “can this guy hit?” So far, he has given the Mets no reason to believe otherwise. Lagares is batting .290/.330/.414 on the season with two home runs, 11 doubles, and two triples. Those aren’t fantastic power numbers, but Lagares is also a center fielder, so that isn’t really expected. If Lagares can continue to post an OPS+ of 113 and play the fantastic defense he is capable of playing, the Mets have a center fielder for the next ten years.
Chris Young F: As someone who supported the Chris Young signing, I have been rooting hard for him from the beginning, but there is no denying how awful he has been. He is posting very similar numbers to those from last year, not the kind of production the Mets gave him $7.5 million for. I would give him three more weeks of playing every day to prove himself, and then release him if he keeps hitting like this. With an already weak offense, the Mets can’t afford to sit around and wait for Chris Young to come around.
Eric Young Jr. C: The SNY broadcast can post the Mets record when Young plays as much as they want, but he is still a fourth outfielder. Young has stolen 21 bases in 23 attempts this season, but hasn’t done much else. His 87 OPS+ leaves much to be desired on offense. Unlike Chris Young, Eric Young can provide speed in the field and basepaths when needed, meaning he still has a place on this team, just not as an everyday player.
Eric Campbell B: The Mets finally gave a real chance to one of their Triple-A on base machines, and it has worked out beautifully thus far. Campbell is batting .316/.349/.443 (126 OPS+) in 33 games with the Mets this season. Just as valuable, however, has been Campbell’s ability to play multiple positions, acting as both a backup outfielder and infielder. Campbell is definitely a piece the Mets should hold on to.
Wilmer Flores D: Flores hasn’t been given a fair shot at all this season, so it is probably also unfair to grade him, but I will nonetheless. Flores is hitting just .225/.253/.300 on the season, not the kind of production you would expect from your number two hitting prospect. That being said, he still deserves a two or three month trial as the regular shortstop before any concrete conclusions can be made.
Bobby Abreu B: Who would’ve thought that it would be Bobby Abreu who would be arguably the most productive bench player on the Mets? With an excellent feeling for the strike zone, Abreu has still been able to play quite well, even at 40 years old. After temporarily stepping away from the game to pursue business ventures (with the intention of playing this year), Abreu has batted .280/.361/.409 for the Mets. He isn’t a 20 home run hitter anymore, but he is a good pinch hitting option for the rest of this season.
Zack Wheeler C+: This year, we have seen the best and the worst of Zack Wheeler. At some points, he is on top of his breaking pitches and dominating, and at others, he can’t seem to find the strike zone. The occasional dominance, something we didn’t see much, if at all last season, has me hopeful that Wheeler can turn it around and become the mid-rotation starter he was pegged to be.
Bartolo Colon B+: After three rough early starts, people were eager to jump on Bartolo Colon, but he has proven to be the dominant force he was last season. The 41 year-old
is hitting has a 2.20 ERA in his last eight starts, going more than seven innings in five of them. He is going to get roughed up once in a while, but only because he doesn’t have overpowering stuff any more. At least for this year, the Mets have a top-of-the-rotation starter to replace Matt Harvey.
Jon Niese A: Niese has been the most consistent Mets starter this year, not allowing more than three earned runs all season. After yesterday’s start, he has a 2.88 ERA in 103 innings pitched. He isn’t a strikeout machine, but he is pitching as well as ever.
Dillon Gee B+: Gee has continued to be a very good mid-rotation starter, when healthy. He has improved on his already impressive season in 2013, bringing his ERA down to 2.73, his best since his rookie season.
Jacob deGrom B: deGrom has certainly been a pleasant surprise this year. Although he was not one of the highly-rated, hyped-up pitching prospects, he has performed better than Zack Wheeler and Rafael Montero. On the season, he has a 3.62 ERA in nine starts, which isn’t fantastic, but is more than what most people expected from him this year.
Jeurys Familia A: Familia has finally come into his own out of the bullpen. Although he was once a top 100 prospect as a starter, he was always really destined for the bullpen, where he has been extremely effective this season. Through 41.1 innings, he has a 2.18 ERA, giving up only 6.5 hits per nine innings, and bringing his walk rate down to a more-than-manageable 3.3. Famiia looks like he will be a fixture in the Met bullpen for the next few years.
Carlos Torres B: Torres was a really good find for the Mets. He pitched very well last season, working as a long man and sometimes as a middle reliever. This year, he has taken on a very similar role, going ias long as four innings in a single game. Torres has bested his solid 3.44 ERA from last year with a 3.21 mark this year.
Josh Edgin A: Edgin has had his ups and downs in a Mets uniform, but this year can definitely be considered an “up.” The 27 year-old has been dominant in his somewhat limited time with the team, posting a 1.50 ERA in 20 appearances. He fits in nicely to the lefty specialist role vacated by Scott Rice.
Vic Black C+: There is no doubt Black is getting good results on the mound. His 1.76 ERA this season will tell you that. However, his high walk rate (5.9 BB/9) is very concerning. He can’t go on like this, even if he continues to strike out 10.6 batters per nine. He needs to correct his control issues before we can be truly satisfied with his results.
Jenrry Mejia B: Mejia’s overall numbers might not be fantastic, but he has found his place in the bullpen. He definitely has nasty stuff, but he probably wasn’t going to be a great starting pitcher.m He does, however, have the tools to be a very good option in the bullpen. Since moving to the bullpen, he has a 2.57 ERA, holding opposing hitters to a .235 batting average. As with Familia, Mejia looks like a pitcher who could be around for a while.
Daisuke Matsuzaka– B: Dice-K has been a dependable innings-eater and swingman. You can’t expect too much from someone in his role but he has exceeded expectations. He has had a few tough starts, but you can’t complain when one of your long men has a 3.23 ERA.
Terry Collins– D: Collins has made some horrendous blunders this season, from the benching of Juan Lagares to the mishandling of Wilmer Flores (which goes for both Collins and Alderson). His in-game managing skills are lacking. The only thing he has to hold onto right now is the fact that the players like him, and that should not be enough to warrant him keeping his job.
Sandy Alderson- C: Alderson has made some shaky moves and has mishandled the roster all season. He swung and missed with the bullpen in April, made a huge mistake with Chris Young. He, along with Collins, have set Wilmer Flores up for failure as well. He has had what appear to be solid signings (so far) in Colon and Granderson and the farm system is producing some promising prospects. While the overall direction of the franchise is moving forward in a positive way, Alderson has done a relatively mediocre job this season. He doesn’t deserve to be fired like Collins does, but this season sure isn’t helping his case.