Another disappointing Mets season is in the books. Aside from Jacob deGrom, there was not much to root for following that incredible 11-1 start. Not much more to say, so here is the 2018 Mets report card:
Jacob deGrom: A+
10-9 1.70 ERA, 269 Ks
Key Stat: 1.70 (ERA, obviously)
deGrom did everything this season but accumulate wins, which was no fault of his. He will likely win the Cy Young award, if only so the writers can put the final nail in the importance of wins. Hopefully deGrom remains a Met, but I guess we’ll see.
David Wright: A
.000, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs
Key stat: 2 (games played)
He deserves this grade for his Mets career — a career that was great, but could have been greater had it not been for injuries. He also deserves this for his two-year battle to get back onto the field. It was brief, but it was a fitting farewell for one of the best Mets ever.
Jeff McNeil: A-
.329, 3 HRs, 19 RBIs
Key Stat: .281 (BA vs. lefties)
Where did this guy come from?! After an undistinguished minor league career, McNeil has seemingly figured things out at the advanced age of 26. He did enough to earn the starting second base job in 2019, but is he for real? We’ll soon find out.
Zack Wheeler: A-
12-7, 3.31 ERA, 179 Ks
Key Stat: 1.68 (post All-Star break ERA)
This is the Zack Wheeler the Mets thought they were getting when they traded Carlos Beltran for him way back in 2011 (has it really been that long?!). If he can follow up on this and remain healthy, he could be in for a huge payday heading into his free agent year.
Brandon Nimmo: B+
.263, 17 HRs, 47 RBIs
Key Stat: .404 (on base percentage)
Aside from deGrom, Nimmo was the best story of the year for the Mets. No one expected this level of performance from Nimmo. And he did it all with that trademark smile on his face. He could be part of the Mets outfield for some time to come.
Seth Lugo: B+
3-4, 2.66 ERA, 103 Ks, 3 saves
Key Stat: 2.30/3.91 (ERA as reliever/starter)
Seth Lugo says he would rather be a starter, but he seems to have found a home in the Mets bullpen. He was reliable (which cannot be said for most of the guys out there), so he will likely be in that role again next year, despite his reservations.
Wilmer Flores: B
.267, 11 HRs, 51 RBIs
Key Stat: .267/.133 (BA as first baseman/second baseman)
Once again, Flores had a solid season despite not having a full-time job. He played all over the infield, with the bulk of his work coming at first base. Flores is entering his walk year; it will be interesting to see what he fetches on the free agent market at age 28.
Robert Gsellman: B
6-3, 4.28 ERA, 70 Ks, 13 saves
Key Stat: 1.13/5.63 (Day/night ERA)
Robert Gsellman became the closer when Jeurys Familia was traded at the deadline. He was pretty good, although it remains to be seen if he will be given the job next season. Lugo could challenge him, or maybe Anthony Swarzak (just kidding!).
Austin Jackson: B
.251, 3 HRs, 19 RBIs (stats with Mets)
Key Stat: .304 (August BA)
The Mets acquired Jackson in late July as they found themselves in need of healthy outfielders. He turned out to be much better than anyone thought. Although he slowed down late, he put himself in the mix for a bench spot next season.
Noah Syndergaard: B
13-4, 3.03 ERA, 155 Ks
Key Stat: 1 (dumb virus)
What a strange year for Syndergaard — he missed a month and a half with a finger injury, then another couple of weeks with hand, foot and mouth disease. When he came back from everything, he did not look as dominant has he had been. He did finish strongly, hopefully setting the stage for a big 2019.
Michael Conforto: B-
.243, 28 HRs, 82 RBIs
Key Stat: 9/29 (Homers/RBIs in September)
Conforto is becoming an enigma. We thought he would be a Keith Hernandez-type line drive hitter, batting .300 with 15 homers. Instead, he has become a slugger. That’s fine, but he’s too good a hitter to bat in the .240s. That’s got to change.
Amed Rosario: B-
.256, 9 HRs, 56 RBIs
Key Stat: .291 (September BA)
Rosario was starting to look like another overhyped Mets prospect before coming on strongly at the end of the season. He even stole 24 bases, good enough to tie for seventh in the league. Hopefully he learned his lessons and the solid finish can carry over into next season.
Steven Matz: C
5-11, 3.97 ERA, 152 Ks
Key Stat: 3.38/5.54 (pre/post All-Star break ERA)
After another year, the Mets still don’t know what they have in Matz. On one hand, at least he was finally healthy. On the other hand, he was just not great. Maybe he will have a Wheeler-like breakout season next year. Or not.
Jerry Blevins: C-
3-2, 4.85 ERA, 41 Ks, 1 save
Key Stat: 9.00 (April ERA)
Blevins was supposed to be the guy the bullpen the Mets could count on. Well, that was not the case in 2018, at least not early. He got off to a terrible start that tainted his season. He came on strongly at the end, but still, it would be a surprise to see the free agent next season in Flushing.
Todd Frazier C-
.213, 18 HRs, 59 RBIs
Key Stat: .162 (BA vs. lefties)
Frazier missed nearly two months of the season with injury. When he did play, he performed as advertised — low average, good power. He is also a leader in the clubhouse. He did come up with that salt and pepper nonsense, which is annoying.
Devin Mesoraco: C-
.222, 10 HRs, 30 RBIs (stats with Mets)
Key Stat: 3 (Post All-Star break homers)
With no catchers, the Mets were able to turn Matt Harvey into Devin Mesoraco. He was adequate at best, showing some power but not really making a difference. He was a classic stopgap backstop (which is hard to say). He won’t be back.
Corey Oswalt: C-
3-3, 5.85 ERA, 45 Ks
Key Stat: 4.72/12.54 (ERA as starter/reliever)
Corey Oswalt was an important member of the Mets in 2018 despite his not great numbers. He filled in as a starter when needed and showed some promise. As a reliever? Well, that number tells the story. He’ll get a chance to make the team next season.
Kevin Plawecki: C-
.210, 7 HRs, 30 RBIs
Key Stat: .182 (Home BA)
Poor Kevin Plawecki. He finally had a chance to prove he could be a starter when Travis d’Arnaud went down. But then Plawecki himself got hurt and was out for a month and a half. It might be time for a new pair behind the plate.
Juan Lagares: D
.339, 0 HRs, 6 RBIs
Key stat: 59 (at bats)
Lagares is proving just as fragile as Travis d’Arnaud. He was always going to be a fourth outfielder on this team, so his loss was not as acute as losing Yoenis Cespedes. But still, the guy can’t stay on the field. His salary goes up to $9.5 million next year. That’s a whole lot for him.
Paul Sewald: D
0-7, 6.07 ERA, 58 Ks, 2 saves
Key Stat: .242/.312 (BA against home/road)
Sewald followed a somewhat promising 2017 with a lousy 2018. His ERA is unacceptable; to put that into perspective, even Anthony Swarzak has a lower ERA. And he’s now 0-13 on his career after an 0-6 mark last season.
Dominic Smith: D-
.244, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs
Key Stat: .077 (BA with RISP)
I debated whether to give Smith a grade at all. It was a lost, miserable year for him. He started by being benched for his first Spring Training game, to spending most of the season in the minors and seeing Peter Alonso jump over him. Does Smith have any future in Flushing?
Jay Bruce: F
.223, 9 HRS, 37 RBIs
Key Stat: .187 (Home BA)
Most Mets fans applauded Bruce’s signing; after all, he was excellent in 2017 before he was traded. However, Bruce was a major reason why the Mets flopped this season. He missed more than two months with injury and was powerless when he made it onto the field.
Yoenis Cespedes: F
.262, 9 HRs, 29 RBIs
Key Stat: 38 (games played)
After playing just 81 games in 2017, Cespedes made it into only 38 this season. That is just unacceptable for the man who is supposed to lead your offense, hence the failing grade. He is expected back at some point during 2019 — we’ll believe it when we see it.
Jose Reyes: F
.189, 4 HRs, 16 RBIs
Key Stat: .158 (Night BA)
Once one of the most popular Mets ever, Mets fans turned on Reyes this season as he was simply awful. He straddled the Mendoza line all season and was inexplicably in the lineup more than he deserved to be. This will likely the end for Jose Reyes in Flushing.
Anthony Swarzak: F
0-2, 6.15 ERA, 31 Ks, 4 saves
Key Stat: 2 (year contract)
You probably predicted this grade already. Sandy Alderson signed plenty of terrible relievers during his reign of terror in Flushing, and Swarzak may go down as the worst. When he wasn’t injured, Swarzak was simply awful. And we’ve got another year of him!
Jason Vargas: F
7-9, 5.77 ERA, 84 Ks
Key Stat: 8.60/3.81 (pre/post All-Star break ERA)
When Alderson signed Vargas, people saw the second coming of Bartolo Colon. But Colon was a former Cy Young award winner; Vargas had a good half season of pitching in his career. If only someone had seen this coming. Oh wait, I did!
Travis d’Arnaud: Inc.
.200 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Key Stat: 4 (games played)
This was a new low even for d’Arnaud — just four games played before going down with injury. Are we done with the great Travis d’Arnaud experiment? The guy just can’t stay healthy, and even when he is, he’s just not very good.
Mickey Callaway: C-
Key Stat: 11,321 (head-scratching moves)
Callaway was a genius as the team jumped out to an 11-1 start, Then he experienced the growing pains that every rookie manager goes through. But batting out of order? Screwing up pitching changes? He probably deserves to come back, but the next GM will likely have him on a short leash.
Sandy Alderson and friends: F
Key Stat: 4 (GMs this season)
Alderson left the team mid-season to deal with his recurrence of his cancer. It is a sad end to his Mets career that saw far more many downs than ups. His three-headed replacements were not able to pull off any significant deadline deals. Hopefully the new guy is better at building a team.
Mug Shots Courtesy Ultimate Mets Database, http://ultimatemets.com/mugshots.php