2020 MLB Power Rankings: 8. New York Mets

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Brendan Murphy

If any of you know me, you know that I am a lifelong New York Mets fan. I’ve seen the good, like their magical 2015 run to the World Series while ultimately falling short, the bad, like the horrendous collapse in 2007, and the ugly, like when Mickey Callaway forgot his lineup and batted a player out of order in 2018. The 2020 Mets team has me very optimistic. If they can replicate that second half success from a season ago, they will have a chance to make a deep postseason run. I have the Mets ranked eighth heading into 2020.

The Mets were in a very strange place in the middle of the offseason. They made what I thought at the time was a great managerial hire in Carlos Beltran, only to find out that he played an important role in the Astros sign stealing scandal. Before even managing a game, the Mets and Beltran parted ways.

That set the stage for Luis Rojas, a notable candidate in the first set of interviews, to become the Mets skipper. Rojas got to the bigs the old fashioned way, by coaching and managing in the minor leagues and earned promotion after promotion until he reached the pinnacle for a coach as a big league manager. Rojas has a very talented group of guys, many of who he has managed before, and is going to likely compete for a playoff spot from day one.

The Mets lineup is a formidable force. Led by major league home run leader and reigning Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, the Mets hitters will try to continue their success from last season. Jeff McNeil broke out in a big way in 2019, competing for a batting title all season long and was named an all-star in his first full season. Amed Rosario took a major step forward, as did newcomer J.D. Davis. Let’s not forget about Michael Conforto, who very quietly had a very productive year in 2019, setting career highs in home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and runs scored.

Top to bottom, the Mets have one of the deepest lineups in baseball, and the return of Yoenis Cespedes could make that lineup even better if he can get back to form. Back in 2015, the Mets relied on their deep starting rotation to propel them to the World Series. If they want to get there in 2020, the rotation will have to be just as good. Jacob deGrom is the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner and will likely have a good chance of adding a third straight.

One very important player from that 2015 team, and the guy who won game three of the World Series, was Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard will be out for 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. Without Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman becomes much more important. He was brought in at the 2019 trade deadline to eventually replace Zack Wheeler who signed with the division rival Phillies in the offseason. Stroman had his struggles early in his Mets tenure but he seemed to regain his early season form in September.

The rest of the Mets rotation has three solid names to fill it out, Steven Matz, and two offseason signings in former Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and veteran Michael Wacha. The Mets were smart to bring in a sixth starter when they signed Wacha and now that Sydnergaard is on the shelf for the year, it looks even smarter.

The Mets farm system really isn’t great. In fact, it’s ranked as the fourth worst in baseball according to Bleacher Report. Their top prospect, Ronny Mauricio, is expected to be a very good player in Major League Baseball. Unlike most teams I’ve ranked, I’m not going to specifically talk about one player. I’m going to talk about the Mets 2019 draft as a whole.

In the first round, they took Brett Baty, a talented high school third baseman from Texas and followed that by taking another Texas high schooler in Josh Wolf in the second round. Both guys were ranked in the top 40 draft prospects heading into the 2019 draft.

One guy on the Mets radar was University of Florida commit Matthew Allan. Allan was ranked in the top 15 coming into the draft and had mostly priced himself out of being a first round pick and seemed intent on heading to Gainesville to pitch for the Gators, but the Mets took a chance and selected Allan in the third round.

In order to make the money work so they could sign Allen, they strategically manipulated the rest of their draft so that they would have the maximum amount of money possible to sign their third round stud, which they were able to do by selecting college seniors that they could sign for nearly the minimum.

By signing Allan, the Mets were able to get three first round talents in the first three rounds, something that grew great praise throughout the baseball world. This draft could be the one that rebuilds the Mets farm system for years to come.

This team has the pieces in place to make a magical run, but the bullpen, which was one of the worst in baseball in 2019, will need to step it up in order to make that happen.

Top Acquisition – Dellin Betances

Biggest loss – Zack Wheeler

MVP – Jacob deGrom

Projected Finish – 2nd in NL East (1st NL Wild Card Team)

Projected Lineup:

  1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
  2. Jeff McNeil, 3B
  3. Pete Alonso, 1B
  4. Michael Conforto, RF
  5. Robinson Cano, 2B
  6. J.D.Davis, LF
  7. Wilson Ramos, C
  8. Amed Rosario, SS
  9. Pitcher

Projected Rotation:

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Marcus Stroman
  3. Steven Matz
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Michael Wacha

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Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU