Well, another disappointing Mets season has come and gone and it is time to hand out the final Mets report card for 2013. I did not grade any players who are long gone (Marlon Byrd, John Buck, Shaun Marcum) or those who only had a handful of appearances (Daisuke Matsuzaka), even if they might be part of the team in 2014 (Wilmer Flores, Vic Black).
Matt Harvey: A+
9-5, 2.27 ERA, 191 Ks
Key Stat: 12 (no decisions)
Harvey was in the midst of the most dominant season by a Mets pitcher since the days of Dwight Gooden when he was taken down by that elbow injury. That was the only thing that could have possibly stopped Harvey — he was virtually unhittable all season long. Let’s hope rehab actually works.
LaTroy Hawkins: A
3-2, 2.93 ERA, 55 Ks, 13 saves
Key Stat: 40 (years old)
You could make an argument that Hawkins was the MVP of this team. The Mets did not have an apparent closer after Bobby Parnell went down, but Hawkins stepped seamlessly into the role even though he was not the first choice. To do what he did at his age is nothing short of remarkable.
David Wright: A
.307, 18 HRs, 58 RBIs
Key stat: 7 (weeks on DL)
Wright was on his way to one of the best seasons of his career when a hamstring injury sidelined him. He came back to play the final handful of games and looked like he didn’t miss a step. Wright is the only threat in the lineup — imagine what he could do with any protection behind him.
Dillon Gee: A-
12-11, 3.62 ERA, 142 Ks
Key Stat: 199 (innings)
Coming back from that blood clot surgery, Gee was the most durable Mets starter. In fact, he was the only one to pitch a complete season. He struggled out of the gate and was in danger of losing his job when he turned things around in June. He should be a major part of the rotation in 2014.
Daniel Murphy: A-
.286, 13 HRs, 78 RBIs
Key Stat: 2nd (in hits in NL)
Murphy had the best season of his career, finishing in the top 10 in the league in at bats, runs, hits (188) and doubles. He had career highs in home runs and RBIs, and even stole 23 bases. He carried the Mets while David Wright was out. His defense, while better, is still a bit shaky.
Bobby Parnell: A-
5-5, 2.16 ERA, 44 Ks, 22 saves
Key Stat: .211 (BA against righties & lefties)
Parnell was finally seizing control of the closer job when a disc problem in his neck that required surgery cost him the last two months of the season. He should be ready for Spring Training. By the way, how often does a pitcher have the exact same batting average against both righties and lefties?
Juan Lagares: B+
.242, 4 HRs, 34 RBIs
Key stat: 14 (outfield assists)
Lagares pretty much came out of nowhere to take over center field. While there is plenty of room for improvement at the plate, he is probably already one of the top defensive outfielders in the game. Thirteen of his assists were in center field; that led all of baseball at that position.
Jonathon Niese: B+
8-8, 3.71 ERA, 105 Ks
Key Stat: 1.93 (August ERA)
When Niese went down with a partial rotator cuff tear in mid-June, we feared the worst. Yet not only did he come back in August, he came back even stronger, twice striking out nine, tying his career high. The Mets will need Niese to be ace-like if Harvey misses 2014. Niese has shown signs that he’s ready to do just that.
Eric Young: B+
.251, 1 HR, 26 RBIs (with Mets)
Key Stat: 38 (stolen bases with Mets)
Young has been the leadoff hitter the Mets have lacked since Jose Reyes left town. He can steal bases (his overall total of 46 led the league). Some may quibble with his somewhat low on-base percentage (.318 with Mets), but the guy always seems to be in the middle of rallies. Good defensive outfielder, too.
Scott Rice: B
4-5, 3.71 ERA, 41 Ks
Key Stat: 14 (minor league seasons before MLB debut)
Rice waited patiently for his chance, and when he finally got it, he took full advantage. Rice was overused early in the season, but he was in no position to complain. Instead, he flourished. A sports hernia ended his season in early September, but he has earned a spot in the 2014 bullpen.
Carlos Torres: B
4-6, 3.44 ERA, 75 Ks
Key Stat: 1.47 (ERA as reliever)
Torres basically forced his way into the Mets roster in June, and he went on to be a solid piece of the pitching staff. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen (and very well at that) but he was also called upon to make nine spot starts as starter after starter went down. Torres will likely be in the pen in 2014.
Zack Wheeler: B
7-5, 3.42 ERA, 84 Ks
Key Stat: 4.73 (home ERA)
Wheeler’s rookie season certainly wasn’t perfect, but it has to be considered a success. He walked too many batters on occasion (four starts with five or more free passes), but he definitely showed that he is worthy of the hype. He needs to figure out how to pitch better at Citi Field, though.
Jeremy Hefner: B-
4-8, 4.34 ERA, 99 Ks
Key Stat: 1.80 (June ERA)
Hefner was the best pitcher in all of baseball in the six weeks leading up to the All-Star break. Afterwards, Hefner came down to earth and also came down with a ligament tear in his elbow that required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Considering he wasn’t supposed to be part of the rotation at all, Hefner had a decent season.
Scott Atchison: C+
3-3, 4.37 ERA, 28 Ks
Key Stat: .237 (opponents BA at Citi Field)
Atchison is one of those solid if not spectacular relievers that every bullpen needs. He missed two months with arm and groin injuries, which is something to think about when considering whether the Mets should bring the 37-year-old back for another season. He pitched better at home than on the road for whatever it’s worth.
Josh Edgin: C+
1-1, 3.77 ERA, 20 Ks
Key Stat: 9.64 (April ERA)
Edgin had an up and down year — literally. He started the season with the Mets but flopped out of the bullpen and had to be sent down to the minors. He returned and was pitching very well until a rib injury sidelined him for the last two months of the season. He should be part of the bullpen in 2014.
Anthony Recker: C+
.215, 6 HRs, 19 RBIs
Key Stat: .400 (BA with bases loaded)
Recker is one of those typical backup catchers who doesn’t play much, then naturally struggles in his once-a-week appearances. His six home runs shows he might have some pop in his bat, but it is hard to judge him considering he had just 135 at bats all season long.
Josh Satin: C+
.279, 3 HRs, 17 RBIs
Key Stat: 2 (extremely bushy eyebrows)
Satin spent the first couple of months of the season in the minors, but since his recall he has hit reasonably well. Word out of the Mets front office is that they consider Satin as part of a possible solution at first base in 2014, perhaps in a platoon with Duda or Davis. We’ll see how that works out.
Justin Turner: C+
.280, 2 HRs, 16 RBIs
Key Stat: .156 (BA as pinch hitter)
Turner has two DL stints that cost him a total of two months, which explains why he only had 199 at bats this season. Still though, as a bench player, he’s got to do better as a pinch hitter. That rookie year when he came up clutch time and time again seems so long ago.
Omar Quintanilla: C+
.222, 2 HRs, 21 RBIs
Key Stat: 8 (errors)
Considering he wasn’t even supposed to be in the team, Quintanilla did as well as could be expected. He stepped in as the starting shortstop when Tejada was injured and kept the job when Tejada stayed in Vegas. He probably won’t be back next season, but we said the same thing last year.
Andrew Brown: C
.227, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs
Key Stat: 2 (pinch homers)
Brown hit his seven home runs in just 150 at bats, showing that he has some pop in his bat. He came up clutch in many situations and could compete for a job in 2014. He should not be the starter, but he would be perfectly adequate as a backup outfielder for the Mets.
Travis d’Arnaud: C
.202, 1 HR, 5 RBIs
Key Stat: 1.000 (with bases loaded; just one at bat!)
D’Arnaud obviously has a way to go at the plate, but he looks like he knows what he is doing behind the plate. What should have been a full season was hampered by a broken foot he suffered in April. It raises the question of whether he can stay healthy. If he can, the Mets might have something here.
Gonzalez Germen: C
1-2, 3.93 ERA, 33 Ks, 1 save
Key Stat: 2.89 (July ERA)
Germen came up from the minors in July and got off to a really good start. He struggled a bit in the final two months of the season, but overall he was perfect for the mop-up duty for which he was assigned. He should compete for a job in the bullpen next season.
David Aardsma: D+
2-2, 4.31 ERA, 36 Ks
Key Stat: 1 (day as closer)
Aarsdma got off to a hot start when he joined the team in June and was anointed the closer when Parnell went down. That lasted all of one game as he blew his only save opportunity and was replaced by a 40-year-old. Aardsma just got worse as the season wore on. We’ll never see him again.
Greg Burke: D-
0-3, 5.68 ERA, 28 Ks
Key Stat: .312 (opponents BA)
Burke will go down in the annals of Mets history alongside the likes of Rich Rodriguez and Scott Schoeneweis as the worst relievers ever to don the orange and blue. After actually making the team out of Spring Training, he was simply awful. The Mets only recalled him from the minors because there was no one else.
Ike Davis: F
.205, 9 HRs, 33 RBIs
Key Stat: 23 (days in minors)
Just like in 2012, Davis got off to an extremely poor start in 2013. But unlike last season, he could not work out his problems in the majors and had to be sent down. Also unlike last season, he did not have a power surge in the second half of the season. What to do with Davis will be a big question this winter.
Lucas Duda: F
.223, 15 HRs, 33 RBIs
Key Stat: 102/318 (strikeouts/at bats)
How is it possible to have 33 RBIs when you have 15 home runs? It is easy when you are Lucas Duda and have no idea how to hit. He was so bad, the Mets kept him in the minors after a rehab assignment was done, and he couldn’t even hit a home run in the rarefied air of Las Vegas. And he could be back for 2014. Just Insane.
Ruben Tejada: F
.202, 0 HR, 10 RBIs
Key Stat: 4 (errors in first five games of season)
The season started out poorly for Tejada and things only got worse. After missing June with a quad injury, the Mets left Tejada in the minors until early September amid whispers that his work ethic and attitude were not up to snuff. When he did come back he played a handful or games before breaking his leg. A waste of a season.
Terry Collins: B-
Key Stat: 3rd (place in NL East)
It’s the same old story for Collins — he is doing as well as he can considering the quality (or lack thereof) of the players the front office has given him. Collins will never be a great strategic manager, but he has somehow motivated these guys to play hard for him. He’s earned another season.
Sandy Alderson: D
Key Stat: 3 (consecutive losing seasons)
Ah, Sandy Alderson. He did a good job digging up Marlon Byrd (and then trading him and John Buck for a couple of possible pieces for the future) and a few decent bullpen arms. But let’s face it, the Mets are a terrible team and Alderson has got to take the blame for that. This should be his final off-season to redeem himself.
Mug Shots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database, http://ultimatemets.com/mugshots.php