Coming off an injury-riddled season where the Mets stumbled to a 70-92 record, there are a lot of players seeking redemption.
Several of them sustained major injuries that forced them to miss a majority of the season, making them prime Comeback Player of the Year candidates.
The Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by Major League Baseball (MLB) to the player who is judged to have “re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season.”
It was presented in 2005 and since 2007, has been chosen by a panel of MLB beat reporters. A player is selected from each league, with the most recent recipients being Mike Moustakas and Greg Holland.
Let’s start with the first on the list.
Matt Harvey, RHP
Matt Harvey was actually a recipient of the award in 2015 after he missed the entirety of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery.
Upon his return in the Mets’ World Series year, Harvey went 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 1.019 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 over 189.1 innings pitched.
In the postseason that year, he went 2-0 with a 3.04 ERA over four starts.
Harvey is entering his walk year as a Metropolitan and has a lot to prove, coming off back-to-back seasons where he labored through Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
He underwent surgery to relieve the symptoms over the summer and worked hard this winter to get his game back to where it once was.
His results this spring were promising as he ended the preseason on a high note, so hopefully, for the artist formerly known as the Dark Knight, he can become the first player to ever earn the Comeback Player honors twice.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP
Unlike Harvey, Noah Syndergaard‘s future seems a lot more clear.
For one, he is coming of an injury far less serious than Thoracic Outlet syndrome and two, he came back late last season and looked good in a small sample size.
Yes, he tore his lat around a year ago and missed most of the 2017 season, but he hasn’t missed a beat, fanning 10 hitters in his Opening Day start.
However, Syndergaard’s loss was a huge one for the Mets and if he can rebound to be the pitcher he was in the 2015 and 2016 postseason and New York thrives, it’s hard to pass him up as a strong candidate for Comeback Player.
For Thor, the sky is the limit and if he pitches a full season atop the Mets rotation, he is just as good of a candidate as any for the award.
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Last but not least, we have the Mets closer who notched a franchise record 51 saves in 2016 before having a messy 2017.
Jeurys Familia missed the beginning of the season due to domestic abuse, followed by surgery not far after to relieve a blood clot in his shoulder.
His absence in the bullpen was softened by Addison Reed, but after he was traded, there was a huge hole to fill.
New manager Mickey Callaway has said he will likely use a closer by committee, but in the opening weekend, he turned to Familia for a four-out save.
When healthy, he is one of the best closers in the game. If he can rebound from his injury and be close to what he was in 2016, he is just as much in the conversation for the award as Syndergaard and Harvey.
Who do you think has the best chance of capturing the award for the Amazins’ this season?