Let's face facts-- for the past few seasons, it has not been easy to be a Mets fan. But each season brings hope, and the Mets path to success resides in its pitching staff, which is the team's core strength. The rotation took a serious blow last October when the Mets announced that Matt Harvey was undergoing Tommy John surgery, effectively eliminating his value for the 2014 season. It affects the 2015 season, as well, since Harvey will be restrained, but that's not what we're here to discuss. For 2014, the addition of Bartolo Colon offsets Harvey's loss somewhat, but what the Mets have in 2014 is a hodgepodge rotation led by Bartolo Colon, followed by young-gun Zack Wheeler, an above-average Jon Niese, a guy with decent potential in Dillon Gee and potential sleeper in Jenrry Mejia. The back-end of the bullpen belongs to Bobby Parnell unless he is still injured, in which case Vic Black will be a sneaky sleeper to steal saves.
2014 New York Mets - Pitching Staff Preview
Bartolo Colon - At 40 years old, Colon is coming off of one of his most effective seasons of his entire career. He was able to move past his 2012 PED suspension and contend for the Cy Young with an 18-win performance in 2013. True, he benefited from playing in a cavernous ballpark in Oakland, but he doesn't lose much moving to another pitcher-friendly park in Citi Field. I think Colon will give the Mets a very solid season and continue to defy nature. Look to draft Colon in the last few rounds.
2013 Stats: G: 30, INN: 190.1, W/L: 18-6, ERA: 2.65, WHIP: 1.166, K: 117, BB: 29
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 30, INN: 200, W/L: 16-11, ERA: 3.20, WHIP: 1.15, K: 135, BB: 35
Jon Niese - Niese has been a very consistent starter for the Mets, and while he isn't flashy, he gets 10+ wins, 150 strikeouts and a solid ERA. He is more draftable than Colon since he is more well-rounded (only figuratively, not literally). Look to draft Niese between rounds 15-18.
2013 Stats: G: 24, INN: 143.1, W/L: 8-8, ERA: 3.71, WHIP: 1.44, K: 105, BB: 48
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 32, INN: 190.1, W/L: 15-10, ERA: 3.55, WHIP: 1.35, K: 160, BB: 65
Dillon Gee - Gee has been a standout since his arrival on the scene in 2010. If the Mets had been any good the last few years, Gee would already be a 15-game winner. He projects very similarly to Jon Niese. I would draft Gee between round 18-20.
2013 Stats: G: 32, INN: 199, W/L: 12-11, ERA: 3.62, WHIP: 1.28, K: 142, BB: 47
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 29, INN: 175, W/L: 12-10, ERA: 4.00, WHIP: 1.28, K: 140, BB:60
Zack Wheeler - Wheeler is the next phenom the Mets have brought up to the big leagues. He has big-time strikeout potential like Harvey, but lacks the control Harvey has. I think that Wheeler will have a good year, but not the breakout year everybody is hoping for. That said, Wheeler has the most upside of any pitcher on the Mets, and he very well may be their most productive fantasy pitcher. I'd draft him between rounds 11 and 14.
2013 Stats: G: 17, INN: 100, W/L: 7-5, ERA: 3.42, WHIP: 1.36, K: 82, BB: 46
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 30, INN: 185.2, W/L: 15-11, ERA: 3.65, WHIP: 1.32, K:188, BB: 75
Jenrry Mejia - If he can stay healthy, Mejia could be a very good fantasy pitcher. He keeps the ball down, which makes for fewer home runs, and he strikes out a lot of guys. Last season, Mejia had a hot stretch until he got hurt and went down for the season. As an untested pitcher without a guaranteed starting spot, he's your classic high-risk high-reward pick. Draft him in your later rounds and treat him like a lottery ticket.
2013 Stats: G: 5, INN: 27.1, W/L: 5-5, ERA: 2.30, WHIP: 1.171, K: 27, BB: 4
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 25, INN: 145.2, W/L: 9-8, ERA: 3.55, WHIP: 1.24, K: 155, BB: 32
Vic Black - Black was acquired by the Mets before the deadline in the Buck/Byrd deal with the Pirates. He could be in line for saves as a sleeper if/when Bobby Parnell gets hurt. Black has solid stuff-- throughout his minor league career, he averaged 11 K/9, which is pretty damn good. He needs to eliminate some of his walks, at which point he would be no-brainer closer material. Do not draft unless Parnell is starting the season on the disabled list.
2013 Stats: G: 18, INN: 17.0, W/L: 3-0, SV: 1, ERA: 3.71, WHIP: 1.353, K: 15, BB: 6
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 55, INN: 60.0, W/L: 4-3, SV: 7, ERA: 2.95, WHIP: 1.25, K: 75, BB: 22
Bobby Parnell - Parnell was a nice surprise is 2012, providing the Mets with good strikeout numbers and ERA. His fantasy owners started to cash in during 2013 until he got hurt. He provides a solid ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and some saves. I'd draft him higher if he were on a better team, but as a Met he isn't worth drafting before the round 15-18 range.
2013 Stats: G: 49, INN: 50.0, W/L: 5-5, SV: 22, ERA: 2.16, WHIP: 1.000, K: 44,BB: 12
2014 Fantasy Projections: G: 60, INN: 64.1, W/L: 5-3, SV: 30, ERA: 2.55, WHIP: 1.106, K: 70, BB: 25