In Part 3 of this 4-part blog we looked at the impressive Mets young pitching staff. We now look at the future Mets positional players.
We begin with the infielders. At first base the much improved 28-year-old Lucas Duda has14 HR and 49 RBI at the break. It looks like the Mets made the right decision keeping Lucas over Ike Davis. At second base is the 29-year-old All-Star Daniel Murphy who is showing he is a potential.300 hitter. Let’s hope the Mets don’t trade him away. At shortstop is the slick fielding 25-year-old Ruben Tejada. Guess what Ruben has begun to hit. The question is will the Mets try to get JJ Hardy or Hanley Ramirez or stick with Ruben. The franchise third baseman is David Wright. He will only get better when the Mets can protect him with better hitters.
We turn now to the Mets outfielders. It looks like in the Mets future the 25-year-old Juan Lagaras will be in center and the veteran Curtis Granderson will be in right. Lagaras can be a future candidate for a Gold Glove and after a slow start Granderson is now supplying the power the Mets thought they were getting when they paid up for him.. A dark horse candidate for the left field position is the 27-year-old Earl Campbell. After hitting .355 in Triple AAA, he was called up and has thus far translated his success in the minors to the major league level. He can also backup Duda or platoon with Duda at first base. The speedy Eric Young Jr. gives them a solid backup. Yes, the Mets do need another power hitting outfielder.
Finally, the Mets top prospect the 25-year-old Travis D’Arnaud will be their catcher for years to come. After being demoted to Las Vegas where he batted close to .600, he has returned and has begun to hit major league pitching. The 33-year-old Anthony Recker is an able backup.
To summarize neither the Mets or Yankees are a playoff contender this year. The Yankees go into the second half of the season as a .500 team. The last year the Yankees began a second half below .500 was 1992. The Mets enter the second half 5 games below .500 but they have won 8 of their last 10 games.
Whereas, the Mets future starting pitching is as good as any MLB team, the Yankee future starting pitching is in shambles. It was just announced that CC Sabathia will have season ending surgery on his knee. At 34, CC has thrown far too many innings. Neither CC nor Michael Pineda, who has started only 4 games in the last three years, can be counted on in their future plans. Kuroda is pitching well but will be 40 next year. The 25-year-old Tanaka will undergo TJ surgery. If everything goes well he will be the ace of the staff in the future. The rest of the future starters will be determined somehow. Look for the Yankees, who need two starters and are always buyers, to pick up two veteran pitchers from teams out of contention. The Mets must decide on whether they are buyers or sellers. They have so many teams in front of them their best decision is to forget this year and continue to stockpile for the future.
With money to spend and trading chips available, the Mets should try to get JJ Hardy and a power hitting outfielder. Even with only one new power hitting outfielder the Mets will be strong contenders beginning in 2015. The same is not true for the Yankees. The Yankees are too old and have a bloated budget already. Their biggest need is starting pitching. But they also need a shortstop, second baseman, third baseman (assuming the 39-year old Alex Rodriguez skills keep on diminishing) and one power hitting outfielder. With so many needs and so little trading chips and a depleted farm system, the Yankees have too many needs to fill and no way to fill them. I can’t see how the Yankees can be a future contender.
I predict the city of New York will become the property of the Mets starting in 2015 and for the foreseeable future.