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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL AROUND THE CAMPS: NEW YORK METS

Port St. Lucie Fla.--Get out the book of adjectives because some glowing references are going to be needed to help describe the awesome collection of dominant and young arms the New York Mets are set to unleash against all of baseball in 2016.  The 2015 World Series runner-ups are looking like quite an impressive bunch heading into the new season and most of the optimism centers on a ridiculous set of arms led by Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom and supported by Noah Syndegaard, Steven Matz, and later Zach Wheeler.  The Mets have it all when it comes to pitching, right on down to a stud closer as well in Jeurys Familia.  So with all that said, let's take a look at some of the main themes emanating around this team for 2016. 

1.  Should I just draft all New York Mets pitchers this season and be done with it?  In actuality if you drafted Harvey, DeGrom, Syndegaard, Matz, and then stuck Wheeler in your DL slot, you would arguably have one of the best rotation of arms in your fantasy baseball league.  The ability of all these guys is extreme as all five can rack up a ton of strikeouts, while also keeping hits to a minimum.  They are led of course by Harvey who answered all the post-Tommy John surgery questions in a major way by pitching like an ace all season and showing no signs of wear and tear.  DeGrom meanwhile even bettered his 2014 breakout by putting up Cy Young-worth numbers.  Syndegaard came up in May and instantly evoked memories of a righthanded Randy Johnson with his extreme strikeout rate and flowing hair, while Matz battled some injuries but put up an ERA under 3.00 in the heat of a pennant race.  You simply can't go wrong with any of these guys and Wheeler is the bonus that will be unveiled in July when he returns from his own Tommy John surgery. 

2.  Is this the year Travis D'Arnaud becomes a top five fantasy baseball catcher?  My colleagues at The Fantasy Sports Boss have already typed out a ton of glowing lines on D'Arnaud over the last few weeks and those views are right on par as the guy has some major ability that is just bubbling up to the surface.  With an OPS that was the best in baseball among catchers not named Buster Posey last season, D'Arnaud could easily swat 20 home runs and collect 70 RBI if his always awful health finally cooperates.  The fact D'Arnaud has not exploded yet with his numbers means you can still get him at an affordable rate and that makes him one of the best sleepers for 2016 regardless of the position he operates at. 

3.  What can Yoenis Cespedes do for an encore?  Truth be told, there is almost no way Cespedes can duplicate his crazy production with the Mets the last two months of 2015 after he came over at the July 31 deadline.  Cespedes would smack 17 home runs in those two months and actually elicit talk of being the NL MVP despite only operating in the league for 8 weeks.  It was a career-season for Cespedes in tears of reaching the 30-home run mark for the first time in his career and he also boosted his average back up a bit as well after a few shaky seasons there.  The bottom line is that Cespedes will run very hot and cold at times but by the end of the season he should have around 30 home runs to go along with around 90-100 in both the RBI and runs column.  He makes the grade as a low-end outfielder 1. 

4.  Is David Wright's days of being even a decent fantasy baseball third baseman finished?  We are in some very ugly waters now with the Wright who is approaching his mid-30's and now is dealing with a very serious and chronic case of spinal stenosis that makes him one giant injury risk.  The talk around Mets camp is that Wright may play in as few as 130 games as the Mets liberally give him days off to keep the back healthy but that doesn't include any possible DL time which has been part of the equation for him the last four seasons as well.  While Wright did hit well when he finally returned last September, we are in uncharted waters here with the veteran which makes him a very scary guy to invest in.  The steals are likely done for good, especially with the bad back and there is a major question of how much power he can hit for now.  Ultimately, Wright is as big a potential problem as any other "name" guy out there this season. 

5.  Any help coming from the new middle infield?  The Mets totally remade their middle infield during the winter, pulling off a trade for Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker and signing shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera in free agency.  Both guys are very solid and useful players but they also fall into the category of being very "boring" to draft.  As far as Walker is concerned, he is still capable of putting up double-digits in home runs and a nice RBI total but he is a total zero against lefties and will likely take a seat to backup Wilmer Flores in such a situation this season which will limit his counting statistics.  Meanwhile Cabrera is still helping a bit in all five standard categories but overall he is barely worth of being an everyday guy. 

 

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