The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend.
Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager Sandy Alderson’s desired 90-win total on the season. But the team does have a lot of good, young pieces on which to build. And that’s not something that can be said about their crosstown rivals in the Bronx. But will the Wilpons spend any money this offseason to add a couple pieces to put them right in the thick of the playoff race?
Metro breaks down the grades for the Mets’ lackluster 2014 season.
Travis d’Arnaud, catcher
The season did not start out well for the Mets’ top hitting prospect. But after a quick trip to Triple-A he returned as the prospect the front office thought he’d be when he was acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal. It looks like the Mets have secured the first franchise catcher since Mike Piazza. He finished with 13 homers and 22 doubles and batted .272 after being recalled in late June.
Lucas Duda, first base
The Mets get plenty of criticism for making poor decisions. Let’s give them credit for making the right pick between Duda and Ike Davis. Duda piled up 30 homers and 92 RBIs with a .349 on-base percentage, while Davis had a .344 OBP, with just 11 homers. Duda became the first Met to hit 30 home runs with at least a .250 average since Carlos Delgado and David Wright did it in 2008.
Daniel Murphy, second base
It’s probably time the Mets, and some fans, stopped talking about trading Murphy. He led the team in offensive WAR for the second straight season (3.4) thanks to a team-high .289 average and 37 doubles. He also led the team in hits by 28. Unless the Mets think there’s no chance of re-signing him at a reasonable rate after 2015 it makes no sense to talk deals.
Ruben Tejada, shortstop
The Mets can’t get themselves a real shortstop fast enough. But they’ll have to spend some money this offseason to do it. Tejada once and for all proved he’s not the future at the position by hitting just .237 and showing no power. His ability to take walks was greatly outweighed by just 16 extra-base hits in 355 at-bats. Wilmer Flores gave you 20 extra-base hits in 100 fewer at-bats. It’s time to move on.
David Wright, third base
What is going on with David Wright? The Mets captain went from sinking ship to sunk with the worst season of his career in 2014. His .269 average is poor, but you could live with it if he hadn’t lost his power completely. Not only did he hit just eight homers (the third straight year he’s declined), he was only fourth on the team in extra-base hits (39). The Mets better hope it was just a balky shoulder.
Eric Young, left field
Young led the Mets in steals (30) — and was tied for 12th in MLB — but that’s about the only positive for him. Young is a fourth outfielder who would be a nice bench player on a winning ballclub. With the Mets, he got 77 starts. Left field, along with short, is the biggest need for the team. By the end of the season, Kirk Nieuwenhuis — a fourth outfielder in his own right — was often playing in Young’s stead.
Juan Lagares, center field
The best outfielder in the majors showed he had some offensive game this year as well. It’s hard to tell whether he’ll win the Gold Glove since it’s a poorly handled award, but he should take it in a close battle with Billy Hamilton. And with that kind of defense, you’ll happily take a .281 average and .326 on-base percentage.
Curtis Granderson, right field
The nicest thing you can say about Granderson is that he wasn’t Chris Young. The move from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field meant 30 home runs was no longer a possibility, but he did hit nine more doubles in 2014 than he did with the Yanks in 2012 (his last full season). But $60 million should do more than buy you a .227 average and 1.3 WAR.
The pitchers …
Bartolo Colon, starter
Mets fans probably expected more out of Colon due to an absurdly low American League ERA with Oakland. But in the end Colon was a solid, if not spectacular, pitcher. Frankly, he did about what should’ve been expected all along. He pitched over 200 innings and had a 4.09 ERA. It would’ve been nice to see it more in the 3.50 range.
Zack Wheeler, starter
It can be hard to live up to the mantle of being a stud, can’t-miss prospect. Wheeler found that out this year when he had a 3.54 ERA and struck out 187 batters in 185 1/3 innings — and was called a disappointment. Many fans, and media, probably feel Jacob deGrom has already passed him as a prospect. But Wheeler is still developing into a nice top of the rotation starter.
Jacob deGrom, starter
Speaking of deGrom, the rookie came out of nowhere to steal the attention of more highly touted prospects, like Wheeler and Rafael Montero. And there’s no question he looks very good. He’ll need to repeat his success in 2015, but he should win Rookie of the Year in 2014 and he earned it with a team-leading 2.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
Jonathan Niese, starter
Niese just plugged along to the tune of a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts. Forget his meaningless 9-11 record, he was the best pitcher of the team’s innings qualifiers (deGrom didn’t quite make it). He’s not an ace, but if he’s your No. 4 or No. 5 starter, you have a very deep rotation.
Dillon Gee, starter
Gee struggled to find the success he had in 2013 during an injury plagued season. He made just 22 starts — 11 of which were quality outings — and finished with exactly a 4.00 ERA. But toss this season out as a loss, because Gee still has the potential to be a solid contributor to the rotation.
Jeurys Familia, reliever
Not every prospect the Mets had was going to be able to fit in the rotation. And they appear to have found Familia a nice role in the pen. He wasn’t perfect, but his 2.21 ERA led the team (minimum 50 IP). He just needs to cut down on the walks a little.
Jenrry Mejia, closer
Mejia slid fairly seamlessly into the closer role once Bobby Parnell was done for the season. And while he wasn’t a sure thing, he was pretty good. He finished with a 3.65 ERA, but he needs to cut down on his 1.48 WHIP if he’s going to stick in the role. Right now, the Mets have a good problem on their hand trying to figure out where a healthy Parnell would go.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.