I've been on the internet for 30 minutes and I am already sick and tired of reading about Jose Reyes. So this is why you should be optimistic that the Mets will make the playoffs in 2012.
Josh Thole will hit .300 and not allow any more than 5 passed balls all season.
Ike Davis will slug .550 with 25 home runs.
Daniel Murphy will hit .320 and have 20 home runs. He will also play good defense. While he isn't going to be a gold glover, he will show some good range and good hands, and he will surprise people with his UZR of 5.0.
Ruben Tejada will post a slash line of .300/.380/.400 and he will finish the season with a UZR of 13.7.
David Wright will react positively to trade rumors and the fences being moved in. He will prove to the New York media that he is a real leader and he will go .300/.400/.500 and he will hit 36 home runs with 128 RBIs.
Angel Pagan will return to his 2010 form and lead the league with 22 triples. He will post a UZR of 19.3. He will steal 43 bases and be a catalyst at the top of the lineup. In fact, he will score 120 runs over the season.
Lucas Duda spent the offseason lifting weights and doing agility training. He will learn how to play the outfield and although he isn't going to cover much ground, the fences being moved in and Angel Pagan having a dominating defensive year will certainly help. We will all find out that Duda actually has a very strong arm, as he will finish third in the league with 10 outfield assists. He will have a slugging percentage of .512 and he will lead the Mets with 40 home runs. This will be possible because in 2010 he hit a home run every 18.8 at bats. If he has 575 at bats this year and he hits 40 homers, that will be a home run every 14.375 at bats. This will certainly be possible given how much Lucas has improved over the offseason. Oh, and his movie star smile will fill the clubhouse and he will become the poster boy for JetBlue.
Jason Bay also will not suck. I am not going to tell you that he will hit 40 homers with a .900 OPS. I am actually being realistic within my beliefs for this post. All the things that I said above, and that I will say below, are actually possible in my opinion. So I am going to be realistically optimistic about Bay. His OBP will reach .350. His slugging will hit .430. He will put up 27 doubles and hit 19 home runs with the fences moved in. Jason Bay won't suck. He will actually be a credible Major League hitter. Think these numbers aren't possible? In 2010 with the Mets, Bay's OBP was .347 and his slugging was .402. In 2011 he hit 13 home runs. I am not calling for a career year, but I do think a career revival is certainly possible.
If Jason Bay doesn't do well, the Mets will call up Kirk Nieuwenhuis who will start out his Major League career with a bang. His first game he will hit 2 home runs and 2 doubles. He will finish the season with 300 at bats, and he will have himself 12 homers and a slugging average will be well above league average. He will also play very good defense in left field.
Johan Santana will start the season healthy, and he will pitch 193 innings while putting up 212 strikeouts. His ERA will not be above 3.25.
R.A. Dickey will continue to improve. He will have a very good although underrated season. He will pitch 212 innings and walk no more than 45 batters. He will strike out 150 batters and his ERA will be 2.62.
Jon Niese will also have a healthy year. He will pitch 200 innings and strike out 180 batters. His curve ball will improve and so will his control. Both he and Dickey will be in the top 20 best pitchers in 2012.
Mike Pelfrey is going to start the season in the rotation and although he will pitch 100 innings in the first half, he will put up an ERA of 4.50. At this point Matt Harvey, who has been steamrolling through the minors, will get called up and go 9-2 in Pelfrey's spot. Harvey will strike out 110 batters in 14 starts in the bigs.
In the bullpen, Frank Francisco is going to have 36 saves as the closer. The Mets are going to sign him for 2 years and $8 million. He will be well worth the investment as his ERA will be 2.76.
Bobby Parnell is going to develop his splitter and will also develop a strong sinker. Along with his 100 MPH fastball, Bobby is going to have 40 holds thanks to his improved control and newly varied repertoire.
Jeurys Familia is going to be called up just before September, because he had a dominant season in the minors, striking out 163 batters in 153 innings. He will make a few starts, but down the stretch run and in the playoffs he will take over as closer a la David Price and Neftali Feliz because the other teams have yet to catch onto him. Francisco will move into a less important role for the time being, not as a demotion, but as a way to fortify the earlier innings that the bullpen may pitch. Don't worry, Familia will eventually be moved back into the starting rotation in 2013, but he will help the Mets in the bullpen for a month or two and it won't hurt his development.
Final record: 96-66. First place in the NL East. 2012 World Series Champtions.