As we hit the halfway point of the 2017 season, we wanted to check back on the preseason predictions Amazin’ Avenue readers made back in March. The stats below are current through Sunday, July 2, which was the Mets’ 81st of the year. You can revisit our quarter-season update here, and stay tuned for the next quarterly update at the end of August!
The Mets’ three best hitters are the same as they were at the quarter-season mark. Among qualified players, Michael Conforto leads the back in wRC+, followed by Jay Bruce and then Neil Walker. While the top three hitters are unchanged, Curtis Granderson’s hot hitting has raised his wRC+ to 110 and moved him into a close fourth spot. Lucas Duda (141 wRC+) and Yoenis Cespedes (133 wRC+), meanwhile, seem poised to crack the top three if they can accumulate enough plate appearances in the remainder of the season to qualify.
|1||Yoenis Cespedes||70%||Michael Conforto||150|
|2||Michael Conforto||10%||Jay Bruce||124|
|3||Neil Walker||5%||Neil Walker||118|
If someone told you in March that, by an average of fWAR and bWAR, Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins would be two of the Mets’ three best pitchers in the first half of the season, you would think that something went terribly wrong…and, of course, you’d be right. Between injuries to Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Seth Lugo, as well inconsistent play from Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman, the Mets’ starting rotation has dramatically underperformed expectations. As a result, Jacob deGrom has assumed the role of ace, with relievers Reed and Blevins following him as the second- and third-most productive pitchers on the team, respectively.
|1||Noah Syndergaard||53%||Jacob deGrom||2.3|
|2||Jacob deGrom||38%||Addison Reed||1.1|
|3||Robert Gsellman||2%||Jerry Blevins||0.9|
Defense has not been one of the Mets’ strengths in 2017. Perhaps the best evidence of this is the fact that Bruce, by an average of DRS and UZR, has been the team’s second-best defensive player. While Juan Lagares still holds the top spot (as the plurality of AA readers predicted), Duda rounds out the top three as a result of his strong defense at first.
|Rank||Player||Vote percent||Player||Avg. DRS, UZR|
|1||Juan Lagares||35%||Juan Lagares||4.3|
|2||Yoenis Cespedes||23%||Jay Bruce||2.9|
|3||Asdrubal Cabrera||11%||Lucas Duda||1.3|
The Mets haven’t gotten a ton of production from their rookies—least of all from Gsellman, who was the overwhelming favorite to be the team’s most productive rookie in 2017. Instead, T.J. Rivera has the top spot for his solid play in a utility role, with reliever Paul Sewald right behind him. Brandon Nimmo ranks third despite playing in just 13 games, and could be in line for more playing time if the injury bug continues to hit the Mets’ outfield.
|1||Robert Gsellman||73%||T.J. Rivera||0.4|
|2||T.J. Rivera||10%||Paul Sewald||0.4|
|3||Amed Rosario||6%||Brandon Nimmo||0.1|
Best position player
The Mets’ three best hitters have also been their three best position players overall when accounting for defense and baserunning. As is also the case with the best hitter category, however, Granderson and Duda (1.3 average WAR each) are both making a strong push for the top three, while a big second half from Cespedes (0.8 WAR) could put him in the mix as well.
|1||Yoenis Cespedes||65%||Michael Conforto||2.3|
|2||Michael Conforto||7%||Jay Bruce||1.7|
|3||Neil Walker||7%||Neil Walker||1.4|
Best overall player
It’s no surprise to anyone who’s watched the Mets this year that Conforto has, by WAR, been their best player. deGrom is just a hair behind him before rounding up. Injuries to Syndergaard and Cespedes, whom most considered the team’s two best players heading into the season, have allowed Conforto and deGrom to take the spotlight, with Bruce rounding out the top three after an excellent first half.
|1||Noah Syndergaard||37%||Michael Conforto||2.3|
|2||Yoenis Cespedes||34%||Jacob deGrom||2.3|
|3||Jacob deGrom||12%||Jay Bruce||1.7|
This continues to be the most disappointing category on the list, with the Mets on pace to win just 76 games. That does, however, represent an improvement from the team’s 71-win pace at the end of the first quarter. If the Mets are to fight their way into contention, they’ll need to build on their improved play of late and win a lot more games in the second half of the season.
|Rank||Predicted wins||Vote percent||Win pace|