Perhaps the most disappointing season in Mets history is mercifully over, so it is time to hand out the Mets report card for 2017. You will notice lots of low grades, reflective of the team’s poor play. As usual, players such as Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, who did not finish the season with the team, do not get grades.
Michael Conforto: A
.279, 27 HRs, 68 RBIs
Key Stat: .320 (BA with RISP)
Conforto had his breakout year, which unfortunately ended with shoulder surgery which will likely jeopardize the start of 2018. But Conforto finally delivered as promised and with more power to boot. He made the first of what is sure to be many All-Star appearances. And to think, he was ticketed for the minors when the season started.
Jacob deGrom: A
15-10 3.53 ERA, 239 Ks
Key Stat: 201.1 (innings pitched)
Where would the Mets have been without deGrom? He was their only healthy starter, and he delivered an outstanding season when the team needed it the most. He set career highs in wins and strikeouts (the latter second in the league). It looks like he will be the one who gets a long-term contract first.
Jerry Blevins: B+
6-0, 2.94 ERA, 69 Ks, 1 save
Key Stat: 75 (games pitched)
In a bullpen that was not good (and that is putting it kindly), Blevins was the reliable, steady hand. Sandy Alderson resisted the likely urge to trade him, knowing he has an option for 2018 and if the Mets are going to compete next year, they will need Blevins to pitch like he has shown he can.
Wilmer Flores: B+
.271, 18 HRs, 52 RBIs
Key Stat: 11 (homers versus righties)
What more does Flores have to do to win a starting job on this team? All he does is hit, and hit with power (although his .228 average with runners in scoring position leaves much to be desired). He still is not great in the field, but he is passable. With so many holes on the team, Sandy Alderson would be smart to just plug Flores into second and spend his time filling the rest of them.
Brandon Nimmo: B
.260, 5 HRs, 21 RBIs
Key Stat: .281/.190 (BA versus righties/lefties)
Could Nimmo be part of the outfield solution in 2018? He certainly made his case with a solid September for the depleted team. It all depends on how much money the Mets want to spend. In any case, he should at least be a backup next season.
T.J. Rivera: B
.290, 5 HRs 27 RBIs
Key Stat: .364 (BA with runners on base)
Rivera has proven once again that he can just flat-out hit. Unfortunately, his season was cut short in late July and needed Tommy John surgery and probably won’t be ready for the start of next year. But once he is able, he should be in the mix in the infield, either as a starter or in a super-utility role.
AJ Ramos: B-
0-0, 4.74 ERA, 25 Ks, 7 saves (stats with Mets)
Key Stat: 7.11 (September ERA)
Ramos was a surprise trade deadline acquisition. While the Mets were busy trading away assets, they went out and got one. It was a smart move to get a jump-start on rebuilding the bullpen for 2018. Ramos filled in as closer and can assume the role next year if Jeurys Familia cannot handle it. Poor September, though.
Amed Rosario: B-
.256, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs
Key Stat: .306 (BA versus lefties)
After refusing to call up Rosario when he actually could have made a difference, Alderson finally made the call on August 1. While he did not light the world of fire, Rosario showed why he is one of the top prospects in baseball. He can field, he can hit, he can run. So perhaps there is hope for the Mets future.
Dominic Smith: B-
.198, 9 HRs, 26 RBIs
Key Stat: .283 (BA with RISP)
See above about Smith’s long overdue call-up, which happened a week and a half after Rosario’s. Smith showed the power he promised, and while his average needs to be higher, he proved he can be a force at the major league level. Again, providing hope for the future.
Asdrubal Cabrera: C+
.280, 14 HRs, 59 RBIs
Key Stat: 1 (trade request, later rescinded)
Cabrera got hot late in the season to boost his numbers, but overall, it was a step down from his fine 2016 season. He loses points for the disgruntled way he refused to move from short, where his playing days are clearly over. Ironic that he was the veteran who asked for a trade and was not dealt.
Jose Reyes: C+
.246, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs
Key Stat: 145 (games played)
Reyes was supposed to be a backup; instead, he led the team in at bats. He got off to a terrible start, batting under .200 as late as June 29 as many called for his release or demotion. His final batting average was still not pretty. But let’s face it, with all the injuries, the Mets were lucky to have him on the team this year.
Yoenis Cespedes: C
.292, 17 HRs, 42 RBIs
Key Stat: 81 (games played)
Cespedes played exactly half the season, missing the middle and the end with hamstring injuries. While his stats extrapolated over a full season are good, when he was in the lineup Cespedes was just not the game changer to which we’ve become accustomed. He must return to health if the Mets have any chance of returning to October baseball.
Paul Sewald: C
0-6, 4.55 ERA, 69 Ks
Key Stat: .204 (BA versus righties)
Sewald earned a demotion after two April appearances, but came back in May and stuck for the season. Despite overall numbers that were not great, he pitched reasonably well, well enough to merit a possible role in what should be a revamped bullpen in 2018.
Zack Wheeler: C
3-7, 5.21 ERA, 81 Ks
Key Stat: 17 (starts)
Things started so well for Wheeler — his ERA was as low as 3.45 in early June. But then the wheels came off and his ERA skyrocketed. He made his last start on July 22 before being shut down for the rest of the season with a strained flexor muscle. Wheeler’s grade is actually a bit high, but he gets extra points for pitching at all after missing the previous two seasons.
Erik Goeddel: C-
0-1, 5.28 ERA, 33 Ks
Key Stat: 12.27 (September ERA)
Goeddel’s numbers were very similar to 2016, which means this is who Erik Goeddel is. It appears that 2.43 ERA in 2015 was the anomaly. It would be surprising if he were on the team next season; it is time to make a break with guys like him.
Juan Lagares: C-
.250, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs
Key stat: .400 (BA in nine slot in lineup)
Every year seems like another step backwards for Lagares. He keeps getting injured, keeps regressing at the plate. The defense is still there, and with Alderson likely focusing on defense in 2018, Lagares will be back. But he will not be a starter. At $6.5 million, that’s an expensive backup.
Josh Smoker: C-
1-2, 5.11 ERA, 67 Ks
Key Stat: .282 (BA against)
It’s never a good thing when a pitcher has an ERA over 5.00, but that’s the company Smoker kept this season. He did have stretches of competence, finishing strongly. And he can strike a guy out. He will get a look for 2018, unless Alderson can come up with a better alternative at a reasonable price.
Travis d’Arnaud: D
.244, 16 HR, 57 RBIs
Key Stat: .302 (BA against lefties)
The wait for Travis d’Arnaud is over — he’s not coming. d’Arnaud has proven he will not be the player the Mets and their fans hoped he would be. He still can’t stay healthy and he still can’t hit very well. Alderson said he’s happy with his catching crew. We’ll see.
Robert Gsellman D
8-7, 5.19 ERA, 82 Ks
Key Stat: 1.35/6.29 (Day/night ERA)
Gsellman was supposed to be one of the insurance policies in the likely event that one of more Mets starters got injured. Instead he was injured and ineffective.. But we will likely see Gsellman again next season, as he gets a chance to prove he is more the pitcher we say in 2016 rather than 2017.
Seth Lugo: D
7-5, 4.71 ERA, 85 Ks
Key Stat: 2.39 (ERA at Citi Field)
See Robert Gsellman — another insurance policy that did not pay off. Lugo was hurt, not making his first appearance until mid-June. He spent a couple of more weeks on the DL in August. When he was healthy, Lugo was not particularly good. He’ll be around next season; hopefully, he’ll be better.
Rafael Montero: D
5-11, 5.52 ERA, 114 Ks
Key Stat: .306 (BA against)
After all these years, Montero remains a mystery. He had a couple of good games in which everybody said, “that’s the guy we’ve been waiting for.” But then he would stumble big-time the following game. Montero has one more season before he hits arbitration to show the Mets who he truly is.
Hansel Robles: D
7-5, 4.92 ERA, 60 Ks
Key Stat: .323 (BA against with RISP)
See Erik Goeddel above. Mets fans always have a reliever they love to hate, the one who makes them shudder when bullpen doors open. And in 2017 Robles was that man. He simply was not reliable and we have likely seen the last of him in Flushing.
Matt Harvey: F
5-7, 6.70 ERA, 67 Ks
Key Stat: 11.28 (September ERA)
Harvey had a second straight season to forget. Coming off thoracic outlet syndrome, he was simply terrible. And there was also his May suspension for missing a game. And also missing two months with a shoulder injury. Will Harvey ever again be the dominating ace who started the 2013 All-Star Game? Good question, one that hopefully be answered in 2018.
Steven Matz: F
2-7, 6.08 ERA, 48 Ks
Key Stat: 13 (starts)
Another lost season for Matz. He didn’t make his first start until June 10 and then by August 17 he was done, needing elbow surgery that ended his season. It bears asking whether Matz will be one of those guys who can never manage to stay healthy. It is very frustrating because when he is healthy, he looks like an ace.
Jeurys Familia: Inc.
2-2, 4.38 ERA, 25 Ks, 6 Saves
Key Stat: 24.2 (innings pitched)
Familia gets an incomplete even though he ended up pitching in 26 games. But he missed the first two weeks of the season because of his suspension, then after 11 appearances was lost until late August with injury. So for all intents and purposes, he missed the entire season. Will he regain his closer job? That remains to be seen.
Noah Syndergaard: Inc.
1-2, 2.97 ERA, 34 Ks
Key Stat: 1 (MRI not taken)
It looked like it was going to be a magical year for Syndergaard — he had a 1.73 ERA in his first four starts. But then after refusing to take that MRI, he tore his lat in his fifth start and except for two planned short starts at the end of the season, that was it. Hopefully he can pick up next year where he left off this season and be the dominating force he is supposed to be.
David Wright: Inc.
.000, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs
Key stat: 0 (games played)
Have we seen the last of David Wright on a baseball field? It is a question worth asking after he missed the entire season with a bum shoulder that does not allow him to throw. It wasn’t supposed to end like this, but if it does, Wright will still go down as one of the great Mets of all time.
Terry Collins: D+
Key Stat: 11,321 (head-scratching moves)
How many times have we said this — it wasn’t Terry Collins’s fault. Yes, everyone got injured, but he has to bear some responsibility for a team losing 90 games that was in the World Series two seasons prior. Collins is now gone, so his reign ends on a down note. Too bad — he’s a good, likable guy.
Sandy Alderson: F
Key Stat: 0 (just nothing)
So let’s see — Alderson created a paper-thin team relying on starting pitchers who almost all had injury histories. And then almost all of them got injured. Not to mention the state of the bullpen. Then he was only able to acquire untested bullpen arms in the mid-season trade-off. All he got for Jay Bruce was salary relief. Just a failure all around.
Mug Shots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database, http://ultimatemets.com/mugshots.php