In honor of the Amazin' Avenue league drafting Thursday and the Battle of the Mets Blogs Friday, I've compiled a guide to each relevant Mets fantasy value. Thankfully, the Mets only constitute most of the valuable players in fantasy, so I won't be giving away all my secrets.
1. Jose Reyes SS- After all the focus on Jose's overworking himself in 2007, it was no surprise his stolen base totals dropped. Given Jerry Manuel's aggressive style, expect those numbers to rebound in 2009. I also believe Reyes' power could be on the upswing, despite Citi. Put it all together and I'm calling for a .300-20-120-60-65 line from Reyes. I'll take that over Hanley Ramirez's illusory 40-40 potential any day of the week.
2. David Wright 3B- Go ahead and write him in for .310-30-100-100-20. There's upside in that projection, however, since his BA was too low last season and his power upside may have not yet been reached. If you like security from your first round pick, there's no one safer than D-Wright.
3. Carlos Beltran OF- Last year Carlos hit more line drives and fewer fly balls. The result? Higher average and fewer homeruns. Whether those adjustments carry into 2009 remains to be seen, but it doesn't really matter. He's a very safe pick with an established level of 30-20 production. And there's upside: he's only two seasons removed from his 40 HR campaign.
4. Johan Santana SP- Johan seems like a perfect candidate to avoid early in drafts. His strikeouts declined last year, and thus, his ERA should have been higher. Plus, he loses the intrinsic value of being a 220+ K pitcher. But wait. Remember what The Hardball Times' Fantasy Focus HNIC, Derek Carty, told us:
One thing we need to remember about Santana is that, even though his peripherals dipped, Santana is one of the few pitchers in baseball who has shown the ability to control his BABIP and LOB% over a long period of time (although his LOB% in 2008 was too high even for his standards). Even if his peripheral ERA is 3.50 or something like that, his abilities outside of the big-three peripherals (K, BB, GB) that we ignore for most pitchers (because we assume they're league average) would push it down to 3.00. Santana is not like most pitchers and doesn't follow the same rules. That's not to say he doesn't follow any rules, they simply need to be adjusted.
Johan should be great as usual, but the Ks, the elbow, and cheaper pitchers will probably make me pass.
5. Francisco Rodriguez RP- Similar to Johan, K-Rod's lower strikeout rate is a reason to worry. If you don't value strikeouts in fantasy by now, you're doing it wrong. That concern, combined with the people who think 62 saves was all his doing, means K-Rod will probably be great, but way overvalued on draft day.
6. Oliver Perez SP- While Johan winning the Cy Young sounds nice, Oliver Perez may be the pitcher who benefits the most from Citi's dimensions. If he brings his walk rate down to his 2007 level, he could improve his fantasy number's drastically without actually improving. The WHIP is always painful, but don't be surprised if he posts an ERA around 3.50.
7. Carlos Delgado 1B- He went from fantasy irrelevant to 40-HR threat but how much of that was real? Check out this article on Delgado's breakout for a deeper investigation. The conclusion: it was lucky. If you think his wrist injury was the real thing holding him back, however, he might be a decent pick.
8. John Maine SP- People may be scared by his struggles in Spring so far, but I'm confident he'll recover his mechanics. I'm also convinced Maine's struggles last year were most injury related. If he's healthy, Maine could be a great value.
9. Mike Pelfrey SP- Pelfrey's more of a good pitcher than a good fantasy pitcher, but that doesn't mean he lacks value. He's dependent on his defense, but the Mets have a damn good defense. Assuming Reyes and Castillo rebound defensively too, there's a chance he, like Perez, could improve without pitching better. There's tons of anti-Pelfrey propaganda in fantasy circles so he could end up being undervalued. Monitor his strikeout rate this season, and if it picks up, he could be a good pick-up.
10. Daniel Murphy OF- The Daniel Murphy-means-business hype machine hasn't hit fantasy circles yet, but there's sure to be a handful of crazy Mets fans who draft him. If Murphy starts to spell Castillo at second, however, his value quadruples. Remember: he was nearly a 20-20 player in the minors, which is decent from an outfielder and pure gold from a secondbaseman.