The Mets were the 27th team to receive ZiPS projections courtesy of FanGraphs. Founded by Dan Szymborski, ZiPS is a computer-based projection system using “4 years of weighted statistics (8,5,4,3) for players between the ages of 24 and 38 and 3 years for younger and older players.” As Szymborski notes, saves—an “opportunity-based” stat—aren’t incorporated in his projections, and David Wright’s recent injury history isn’t accounted for.
Michael Conforto and Hansel Robles are among the Mets pegged for bounce-back seasons. The 23-year-old Conforto is projected to post a .215 ISO and .336 wOBA after a disappointing 2016 campaign. Robles is projected to increase his strikeout rate and decrease his walk rate over 69 innings, while Lucas Duda is slated for a two-win season after missing most of last year with a back injury.
Any counting stat projections should be taken with a grain of salt. As noted by Fangraphs’ Carson Cistulli, projections “have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors.” As such, five outfielders on the 40-man roster are listed with home runs in double-digits. For three to reach 20+ would likely be a victory for Terry Collins. The ZiPS depth chart appears to indicate Juan Lagares serving as the team’s fourth outfielder, with Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce occupying starting roles.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, and Granderson are deemed the Mets’ worst fielders, while Cespedes and Lagares are listed as the team’s best. The starting rotation is marked for a cumulative 13 WAR, hindered by sub-par projections for Zach Wheeler, Robert Gsellman and Matt Harvey. This conservative figure takes “general regression” into account, as well as Bartolo Colon’s departure. On the mend from thoracic outlet syndrome, Harvey will certainly look to outperform his projected 3.80 FIP.
Among the Mets’ player comparisons, none is more amusing than Noah Syndergaard’s connection to Dwight Gooden. Through his first two major league seasons, Syndergaard has maintained a 10.4 K/9, superior to Doc’s 9.9 rate after 1984/85. Jacob deGrom is likened to Charles Nagy, a three-time All-Star who retired with a 129-105 lifetime record.
Wilmer Flores and Gavin Cecchini received favorable comps, being compared to Mike Lowell and Aaron Hill, respectively. Dominic Smith’s Billy Butler comp could be regarded as a sobering outlook, as could Conforto’s to Ryan Ludwick.