It seems like every year I begin the Mets report card with some variation of, “Well, another disappointing Mets season has come and gone…” Well, despite winning 79 games, their most since 2010, and a deceptive second place finish, this year is no exception. The Mets had a losing record for the sixth consecutive season. And while there were some bright spots, there certainly were not enough of them. As usual, I gave out 25 grades, so there was no room for the likes of Dilson Herrera and Daisuke Matsuzaka. So here it is, your 2014 final Mets report card.
Jacob deGrom: A
9-6, 2.69 ERA, 144 Ks
Key Stat: 1.70 (ERA at Citi Field)
A year ago, we hardly knew his name. Now he ranks just behind Matt Harvey as the young Mets pitcher with the most promise. He was sensational and could win Rookie of the Year (which I wrote about before most others, just for the record!).
Juan Lagares: A
.281, 4 HRs, 47 RBIs
Key stat: 1st (of many Gold Gloves, probably)
We all knew Lagares could field. But he made huge advances as a hitter this season. He really was the Mets only reliable hitter early on. Towards the end of the season he was told to steal bases, and in 2015 he could be the answer at leadoff.
Jeurys Familia: A-
2-5, 2.21 ERA, 73 Ks, 5 Saves
Key Stat: 76 (appearances, third in NL)
Familia was moved to the bullpen and he showed what made him such a hot prospect a few years ago. Imagine Familia, Mejia and a healthy Parnell in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, respectively. That will be tough to beat.
Daniel Murphy: A-
.289, 9 HRs, 57 RBIs
Key Stat: 172 (hits)
Murphy can just hit; there are no two ways about it. He was on pace for 200 hits until he missed a couple of weeks with injury late in the season. The only question is whether he has become too expensive for the Mets.
Lucas Duda: B+
.253, 30 HRs, 92 RBIs
Key Stat: 30 (homers)
After the Mets made the commitment to him and traded Ike Davis, Duda finally showed the power the Mets have been waiting for. Even his defense at first got better. Duda slumped late in the season; which Duda will be see in 2015?
Jenrry Mejia B+
6-6, 3.65 ERA, 98 Ks, 28 Saves
Key Stat: 28 (saves)
When Bobby Parnell went down, Terry Collins tried almost everyone at closer before settling on Mejia. He responded by finally showing his potential. With Parnell due back in 2015, the Mets could have one of the top bullpens in baseball.
Zack Wheeler: B+
11-11, 3.54 ERA, 187 Ks
Key Stat: 79 (walks, 3rd most in NL)
Wheeler made tremendous strides in 2014, at times looking like the ace that he is supposed to be. He still walks far too many batters, resulting in high pitch counts and shortened outings. Still though, he is a keeper.
Vic Black: B
2-3, 2.60 ERA, 32 Ks
Key Stat: .206 (BA against)
Black flamed out in Spring Training and started the season in the minors. But then he came back with a vengeance, becoming a key cog in the bullpen. The trade for him and Dilson Herrera is looking like a major heist for Sandy Alderson.
Eric Campbell: B
.263, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs
Key Stat: .296(BA as pinch hitter)
Had anyone even heard of Eric Campbell before he had an excellent Spring Training? He came up to the Mets in May and seemed to be in the middle of every rally. He plays almost every position so he should be a valuable utility guy in 2015.
Buddy Carlyle: B
1-1, 1.45 ERA, 28 Ks
Key Stat: 36 (years old)
Carlyle hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 when Alderson took a chance on him. After a couple of short stints he stuck with the Mets for good in July. He was solid, proving to be a pleasant surprise for the Mets.
Josh Edgin: B
1-0, 1.32 ERA, 28 Ks
Key Stat: .185 (BA against lefties)
Much like Black, Edgin flopped in Spring Training and started the season in Las Vegas. He has been lights out since his recall in mid-May and should be part of the young Mets bullpen that could be a strength in 2015.
Dana Eveland: B
1-1, 2.63 ERA, 27 Ks, 1 Save
Key Stat: .216 (BA against righties)
Eveland was called up in June, coming out of nowhere to become an effective lefty specialist out of the pen. Interestingly, though, lefties hit .241 against him while righties hit. 216. In 27.1 innings he had 27 strikeouts and just six walks.
Bartolo Colon: B-
15-13, 4.09 ERA, 151 Ks
Key Stat: 1.57/7.04(ERAs in wins/losses)
Colon had a strange season. He was so good in some games, so bad in others. He did lead the Mets in wins, so that’s got to count for something. He and his $11 million salary are really not needed next season, but he will be hard to trade.
Travis d’Arnaud: B-
.242, 13 HR, 41 RBIs
Key Stat: .180 (BA when sent to minors)
D’Arnaud’s grade represents an F for a slow start that sent him to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks and an A for when he came back. He is finally driving the ball, leading NL rookies in home runs. His defense still needs a lot of work, though.
Wilmer Flores: B-
.247, 6 HRs, 29 RBIs
Key Stat: 4 (errors at shortstop)
Flores was brought up to see if he could handle shortstop and he showed that he can. While he did not hit as well as hoped, he did show promise. The main concern was defense, and he wasn’t too bad out there.
Carlos Torres: B-
8-6, 3.06 ERA, 96 Ks, 2 Saves
Key Stat: .205 (BA against with RISP)
Torres is the classic middle reliever whom you forget about, but then look at his stats and say, “Hey, he had a pretty good year.” Torres is the perfect guy yo have in the pen — he can go long, mop up or even start if needed.
Jonathon Niese: C+
9-11, 3.40 ERA, 138 Ks
Key Stat: 2.96/3.95 (ERAs per/post All-Star break)
Niese had a Jekyll and Hyde season. He went down just before the All-Star break with a shoulder strain and he just was not the same when he came back. He did finish strongly, though.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: C+
.259, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs
Key Stat: .286 (BA as pinch hitter)
It seems clear that Nieuwenhuis is just not a starter. But he is a slick fielder and has proven that he can hit off the bench. He could be a backup outfielder for the Mets in 2015.
Anthony Recker: C+
.201, 7 HRs, 27 RBIs
Key Stat: 6 (homers in 29 games started)
When you look at Recker’s stats, you would not be wrong to say he had a crummy year. However, is it just me or did he always come through when he started, each of his home runs important? He is just a solid backup catcher.
Matt den Dekker: C
.250, 0 HRs, 7 RBIs
Key Stat: 0 (homers)
The Mets gave den Dekker a chance to show what he’s got, maybe even a chance to win the starting left field job, but he did not show much, especially in the power department. Fine fielder, though.
Dillon Gee: C
7-8, 4.00 ERA, 94 Ks
Key Stat: 2.56/5.10 (ERAs pre/post All-Star break)
Much like Niese, it was a tale of two seasons for Gee. He was pitching so well until missing two months with a strained lat. When he came back he struggled in the majority of his starts. He is a big question mark heading into 2015.
David Wright: C
.269, 8 HRs, 63 RBIs
Key stat: 134 (games played)
For the third time in four years, Wright failed to play a full season because of injury. For a player with six years left on his contract, this is disconcerting. When he was on the field Wright struggled to the worst numbers of his career.
Eric Young: C
.229, 1 HR, 17 RBIs
Key Stat: 30 (stolen bases, 6th in NL)
Young was basically the forgotten man in the second half of the season, hardly getting any playing time. Early on, though, he was a sparkplug, getting on base and scoring seemingly in the first inning every game.
Curtis Granderson: D
.227, 20 HRs, 66 RBIs
Key Stat: 7 (homers at Citi Field)
No one expected Granderson to hit 40+ home runs at Citi field like he did at Yankee Stadium, but we expected much more from him than we got. We’ve got three more years of him; he’s got to figure this out to avoid the Jason Bay comparisons.
Ruben Tejada: D-
.247, 5 HR, 34 RBIs
Key Stat: .342 (on-base percentage)
Ah, Ruben Tejada. The Mets inexplicably gave him yet another chance to seize the shortstop job and he just couldn’t do it. For a while the Mets justified it by saying Tejada had a relatively high OBP. No one bought it.
Terry Collins: C
Key Stat: 2nd (place in NL East)
Once again, no one is blaming Collins for the team’s performance; no manager could win with this group. However, he continues to make moves that leave fans shaking their heads. We’ll get to see more of them in 2015.
Sandy Alderson: C-
Key Stat: 4 (consecutive losing seasons)
So let’s see — after four years Alderson finally put a proper bullpen together. His trade acquisitions are showing promise. Even Colon, except for the 2015 commitment, was okay. But Chris Young was a bust and Granderson was terrible. Ultimately, though. the Mets record is Alderson’s record. And the Mets record just was not very good.
Mug Shots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database, http://ultimatemets.com/mugshots.php