Where's the Love for the New York Mets' Mike Pelfrey?

Walker McKeoughContributor IMarch 23, 2009

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 23:  Mike Pelfrey #34 of the New York Mets poses during photo day at Tradition Field on February 23, 2009 in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Mike Pelfrey has been the Mets' No. 1 pitching prospect for a long time.  And it finally seems that he is willing to live up to his potential. 

Last year, he was 13-11 with a 3.72 ERA, 110 K and a 1.36 WHIP.  But don't let his record fool you. He could have easily won 16 games last season.  He was amazing after starting the season at 2-6.  He pitched over 200 innings and shut down teams.  Yet he is ranked 220th in ESPN and Yahoo fantasy leagues.  Why is that? 

People argued that his arm was overused after pitching 200 innings for the first time in his career.  But that can't be so. He averaged around seven innings after July 3.  He showed that he is a good pitcher and that he could improve. 

As the season progressed, his pitches got sharper, and the better he became.  With a much improved bullpen, in the additions of K-Rod and JJ Putz, his chances of winning went up.  Along with the fact David Wright won't bat .246 with RISP again this season, the runs behind him will probably rise.  All of this factors into the possibility of a monster season.

I predict Pelfrey will have a season like this: 16-11, 3.53 ERA, and 123 K.  He can pitch 200 innings, and if he can get into the seventh and finish it, the ball will be handed to Putz and K-Rod.  I suggest looking at Pelfrey in drafts, because he is a break-out candidate if I have ever seen one.