I am going to make a big prediction in this slideshow: The New York Mets will be in the World Series by 2016.
They have enough current players, enough developing stars and a bright enough future to potentially be NL or World Series champions.
With that said, I am going to predict who will be on the roster by 2016, considering Sandy Alderson's interior development philosophy.
Please note that I will not add players from other teams, as I can't predict trades or free-agency signings, so if you have any suggestions for any signings, feel free to comment.
Josh Thole and Kevin Plawecki
Josh Thole and Kevin Plawecki are two entirely different catchers:
Thole is a contact hitter with more of a defensive mindset, while Plawecki is a sabermetrician's dream with an offensive mindset and an inability to strike out.
Having them both on the roster will provide an effective balance. Plawecki will provide back-end offense, while Thole will contribute front-end defense.
Plawecki will find himself in the majors soon, as he is a collegiate catcher, and collegiates accelerate faster than their high school counterparts. He may even enter his third season behind the plate by 2016.
Davis may be hitting horribly right now, but that doesn't mean that he'll be doing the same thing four years from now. If he reclaims his hitting stroke, he will certainly be a key part of the team in the coming years.
Davis also has the country power of Jim Thome. In a sense, he's a model of Adam Dunn, only smaller. Having Davis in this lineup will be crucial, as he could develop into a No. 4 or No. 5 hitter in any lineup.
Daniel Murphy and Reese Havens/Josh Satin
I'm going to toss this out here: If Reese Havens is not in the Majors by 2013, then he will not be on the 2016 team. That being said, if he's not there, then Josh Satin will be.
Murphy is a good average hitter with almost no pop. The same goes for Satin, who has proven himself lately in the minors.
To let Satin waste away in AAA would be a crime, as he has the ability to rake. But he has only September 2011 and a couple games in 2012 to prove it, and he hasn't been consistent.
It all depends on how things go. If Havens can recover from his injury woes and make the team, he'll be the starter and perhaps Satin will be traded. If it's the other way around, perhaps Havens is traded for a reliever.
Ruben Tejada and Gavin Cecchini
If you think about it, Tejada will be 25 and still not have reached his prime when top pick Gavin Cecchini makes the big league team. While it would be interesting to trade him and see what he would be worth, it also might be a good idea to keep two shortstops.
Cecchini and Tejada are pretty similar. Both can hit, both can field, and both can run. The thing is, Cecchini has a little more pop in his bat. Still, Tejada can prove to be a mentor, and there is also the possibility that Cecchini moves to second with Murphy maybe serving as a bench bat.
Given what we have seen this year, it's completely obvious that Sandy Alderson wants to re-sign Wright. The only things that prevent him from doing so now are the Wilpon's financial situation (yeah, it's still there) and Wright's refusal to negotiate during the season.
You can bet that Alderson will do everything he can to retain the unofficial captain, and when he does, he will reap the benefits. One of these benefits is having a veteran presence on a young team that probably will not be acquiring any stars any time soon.
Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Brandon Nimmo, Matt den Dekker and Cesar Puello
When 2016 rolls around, one of the Mets' strongest assets will be the outfield.
Barring any trades, the Mets will feature a power hitter (Duda), two contact hitters (Nieuwenhuis, Nimmo), a defensive specialist (den Dekker) and a speed guy (Puello).
Looking at this group of athletes, you can bet that this outfield will be one of the reasons why the Mets will be World Series champions in 2016.
Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Jeurys Familia and Dillon Gee/R.A Dickey
Another reason to fear the Mets in 2016 will be their rotation. With three golden arms in Harvey, Wheeler and Familia, not to mention the experience of Niese and the durability of Gee, the Mets rotation could be one of the best rotations in the National League, along with Atlanta, Washington and possibly Pittsburgh.
Harvey and Wheeler have the talent to potentially be 15-20 game winners, and Niese could win as many as 16 games. Familia could have 14 games under his belt, and Gee could have 13-15 as well.
However, if Gee or anybody on this list isn't on the 2016 roster, there is a chance that R.A Dickey could still be there.
Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin, Pedro Beato, Elvin Ramirez, Michael Fulmer, Juan Urbina and Jenrry Mejia
One of the hardest things for me to project was the bullpen, in particular, who would be in the middle.
One thing is for certain, Bobby Parnell will be the captain of this bullpen, which will be dominated by a group of youngsters, which includes late rounder Josh Edgin, former comp-round picks Pedro Beato and Michael Fulmer, former Rule V pick Elvin Ramirez and international signees Juan Urbina and Jenrry Mejia.
Either Mejia or Parnell will close, with Mejia being the more likely candidate. Nonetheless, this is a bullpen that will rely on speed in the back end and durability in the front end, like any normal bullpen.
As much as I would love to see Terry Collins running the team beyond 2014, my gut tells me that Collins will probably end up pulling a Jack McKeon and retiring after getting the team up and running again. That being said, the question would be, who would manage the team?
If I were to hazard a guess, it would be Wally Backman. Backman has been managing in the Mets system for the past couple of years and could be a very likely candidate.
A former champion himself, Backman has the fire in his belly to be an excellent major league manager. He probably would have had a major league position already had it not been for the little slip up by the New York Times that caused his firing four days after he was hired to be the Diamondbacks manager.
Moving on from that, Backman will be the type of guy who can motivate his team and bring them to their first World Series of the 2010s—if Terry Collins doesn't surprise us all this year.