The 2018 season was rather disappointing for the New York Mets. Midseason, the injury bug struck again and the offense was rather lackluster. However, the Mets showed some real positives after calling up some young prospects in the second half of the season. Mets fans don’t like to get too excited, as they are just expecting to be let down again. Here is why those fans should be cautiously optimistic about the 2019 New York Mets.
Fans Should Be Cautiously Optimistic About 2019 New York Mets
Development of the Young Core
You may find this hard to believe, but the Mets have an extremely solid young core. Two-thirds of the current Mets outfield is manned by a duo of Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. Nimmo developed into a star during the 2018 season, doing just about everything for the Mets. He plays the game the right way and is pretty dang good at it. Nimmo will be a force atop the Mets lineup for a long time. Conforto was rushed back from injury and as a result got off to a slow start. The sweet-swinging lefty found his stride in the second half and finished strong, smacking a career-high 28 home runs.
The Mets also have a strong middle infield duo in Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil. Rosario made some major strides in 2018. In the second half, he showed just why he was regarded as one of the top prospects in the game. McNeil was a star in the minors, and he carried that right over to the big leagues. He hit .329 over 63 games, easily winning the 2019 starting second base job.
At first base, the Mets will hopefully go with either Dominic Smith or Peter Alonso to start 2019. Smith played well in September and showed some major potential both at the plate and in the field. Alonso is still buried in the minors, but with his incredible power, he could be a major piece if this team hopes to contend in 2019.
Strong Starting Pitching
I know we’ve heard this multiple times before, but the Mets starting rotation has the potential to be one of the very best units in the league. Jacob deGrom is a tank and is coming off one of the best seasons in MLB history. Zack Wheeler is also coming off a very strong 2018 season. Wheeler was finally able to stay healthy for a full season, and put together a phenomenal breakout season. Noah Syndergaard had a bit of a rough season but ended up recording a total of thirteen wins. That trio has the potential to be one of the best three-headed monsters in baseball.
Outside of the big three, the Mets are looking pretty solid. Lefties Jason Vargas and Steven Matz had their fair share of rough patches but finished the 2018 season very strong. Hopefully the Vargas the Mets saw in the second half will show up for all of 2019. Rookie right-hander Corey Oswalt also showed that he could be a valuable piece going forward. He put together a handful of solid starts down the stretch. Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland also have the option of brining in either Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo to the rotation, though that would take away two big guns in the bullpen.
There’s no doubt this Mets team is built around their starting pitching. The depth is solid behind the big three of deGrom, Wheeler, and Syndergaard. It’s about time the Mets spend some money and build a legit offense around this rotation.
New General Manager
There’s certainly one thing for Mets fans to look forward to towards next year. The Mets are definitely not going into next season with the trio of John Ricco, J.P. Riccardi, and Omar Minaya as their general managers. Starting this week, the Mets will be conducting interviews for their opening at general manager. Kim Ng, Gary LaRocque, Doug Melvin, and DeJohn Watson are all currently being viewed as possibilities amongst others.
This will be a huge off-season for the Mets. They need to decide right now if they are going to tear it all down and sell their premier starting pitching, or spend some money and build a contender. We’ve seen the Mets lack of desire to spend on large contracts in past offseasons. Hopefully, a new mind at the helm will be able to get the Mets ownership to open their wallets in a solid free agent class.
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