Mets' fans remain optimistic for season preview

By Ryan MacNaughton
On February 26, 2018

Photo courtesy of Bubba Fan, Wikipedia

It may seem like the 2015 run at a World Series was a distant dream that never actually happened, but the optimistic Mets fans will never give up hope. It’s not to say that there should be expectations of a ring this season, but there is a lot to look forward to in New York this summer.

Let’s take a look at what’s under the hood. First things first, there’s a nice looking infield with a few new additions. Starting at the corners, the Mets signed New Jersey’s very own Todd Frazier to play third base. Frazier brings big power potential, last year hitting 27 long balls. They also signed veteran first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a five time all-star, may have had a down year last season, but is expected to bounce back and play a large role in holding down first base and helping groom Mets prospect Dominic Smith. As always, Wilmer Flores will be seeing some playing time at the corners and can produce at the plate amongst the best of them. There’s high hope for a 20-home run year out of him this season

Now, to the middle infield: Amed Rosario will lock down shortstop. Rosario is a sure fire star. He reminds fans of a young Jose Reyes, who is also still hanging around. The sky is the limit for the 22-year-old shortstop. There’s a lot of excitement to follow him this season. For second base, there’s trusty Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes. Wilmer may be getting some time here and there but for the time being, second will be a platooned position.

The outfield is where things start to get really exciting. There’s the prolific power that is looming in left field with Yoenis Cespedes. A healthy year out of him and he can easily add 30 long balls, but that’s the thing, he needs to stay healthy. Make sure to keep an eye on Cespedes this season.

Center field is interesting because of Michael Conforto’s injury at the end of last season. He is expected to miss the beginning of this year, which is bad news for Mets fans everywhere, but fortunately there is a silver lining. Juan Lagares will be holding down the fort until Conforto is healthy enough to take over and in case you forgot, he is quite the center fielder. After bursting on the scene and winning a Gold Glove in 2014 his offensive production was the only thing holding him back.

The good news is he took this offseason tailoring his swing to hit more fly balls and hopefully more homeruns. If he can pair some offensive production with his defensive genius, center field is in good hands. As for right field, there’s the fan favorite Jay Bruce.

This three-time all-star has the power potential to keep up with the big boys. He very well could put up another 30-home run season if he’s up for the task. With that being said, the Mets can put up a quick productive lineup this season.

Finally, the bread and butter of the team; the pitching staff. Led by the lone superstar survivor of last season, Noah Syndergaard. Behind Syndergaard, there’s Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Jason Vargas, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. First year manager and pitching connoisseur Mickey Callaway has a lot to work with.

Now there’s no telling what these guys can do, because they've yet to play a regular season game together. However, if the Mets can put the pieces together, this season may be better than even the most optimistic of fans have ever imagined.

 

rmacnaugh@ramapo.edu

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