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New York Mets' Final Grades for 2013 Season

Jocelyn TaubCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2013

New York Mets' Final Grades for 2013 Season

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    The Mets celebrate a walk-off win.
    The Mets celebrate a walk-off win.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Before the first pitch was even thrown, most Mets fans knew what to expect for the 2013 season.

    With Johan Santana sidelined for the year and an outfield consisting of Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordany Valdespin, it was obvious that a championship was a long shot.

    These expectations were met as the Mets finished their schedule with the exact same 74-88 record they had in 2012. They did, however, finish third as the once mighty Phillies managed just 73 wins.

    Despite the less than stellar season, there were enough bright spots to give Mets fans hope for the future. Injuries and ineffective play allowed the club to give valuable playing time to a number of up-and-coming players. Zack Wheeler, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores and Juan Lagares were just a few of the players who showed promise while gaining significant major league experience.

    Here's a look at the final regular-season grades for the Mets using the standard report card grading system.

    All stats come courtesy of ESPN MLB.

Starting Pitchers

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    With Dan Wheeler and Matt Harvey the future looks bright for the Mets' starting rotation.
    With Dan Wheeler and Matt Harvey the future looks bright for the Mets' starting rotation.Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Overall, the Mets received pretty solid starting pitching throughout 2013. The final staff ERA of 3.68 ranked seventh in the National League. At the same time, they racked up the third-highest strikeout total with 817.

    Overall, the core of the rotation, including Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee, was reliable.

    Unfortunately, Shaun Marcum, Aaron Laffey and Daisuke Matsuzaka were a part of the mix and helped bring the overall numbers down.

    Final Team Grade: B

     

    The standout, of course, was Harvey, who finished with a 9-5 record and an impressive 2.27 ERA. If Harvey had received more run support in each of his outings, he could have easily won 15 or more games. Hopefully, Harvey will not need Tommy John surgery and will be back to anchor the Mets' staff in 2014.

    Final Grade: A+

     

    Wheeler was promoted from Las Vegas in June and showed lots of promise. Despite walking too many batters, Wheeler went 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA. 

    Final Grade: B

     

    Niese was the Opening Day starter and spent two months of the season on the disabled list with shoulder troubles. Once back with the team, he finished strong and ended the season with an 8-8 record. 

    Final Grade: B

     

    Gee almost pitched himself out of the rotation with a terrible April and May. He turned it around, however, and pitched to an ERA of 2.73 in June, 2.88 in July and 2.14 in August. 

    Final Grade: B- (Most Improved Pitcher)

     

    As for the rest:

    • Jeremy Hefner—One good month. Four poor months. Final Grade: C
    • Shaun Marcum—Had a chance and failed with a 1-8 record and a 5.64 ERA as a starter. Final Grade: F
    • Carlos Torres—Put up good numbers out of the bullpen. Was less successful as a starter. Final Grade: C+
    • Daisuke Matsuzaka—A September pick up. His first three starts were terrible. His last four were very good. Final Grade: C+
    • Jenrry Mejia—Made five strong starts before having surgery for bone chips. Put up a 2.30 ERA. Final Grade B+
    • Aaron Harang—The veteran was signed in September and made four decent starts. He gave up three or fewer runs in each of his outings but received no run support and finished 0-1. Final Grade: B 
    • Aaron Laffey—Laffey made two starts before being designated for assignment. In both games, he was unable to make it through five innings. Final Grade: F
    • Collin McHugh—McHugh would score a high grade for bringing Eric Young Jr. to the Mets as part of a June trade with the Colorado Rockies. As a starter and reliever, McHugh gave up eight earned runs in his seven innings of work. Final Grade: F.

Relievers

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    Troy Hawkins had a solid season out of the bullpen.
    Troy Hawkins had a solid season out of the bullpen.David Maxwell/Getty Images

    In total, the Mets had 22 different players take the mound in relief in 2013. For the sake of simplicity we'll only grade those players that made 10 or more relief appearances.

    In comparison to the leaky bullpens of the Guillermo Mota, Jorge Sosa and Aaron Heilman era, this season's pen was pretty good. The combined ERA was 3.98 and overall the pen was responsible for 40 saves and 18 blown saves. There were some major standouts on the staff as well as a few that didn't impress.

    Overall Staff Final Grade: C+

     

    Bobby Parnell was anointed the closer with Frank Francisco recovering from shoulder surgery. Parnell thrived in this role and recorded 22 saves with an impressive 2.16 ERA. Unfortunately, his season ended in August due to a herniated disc in his neck.

    Final Grade: A

     

    LaTroy Hawkins was a surprise success for the Mets. In 70.2 innings of work, Hawkins secured 12 holds along with 13 saves. He finished the campaign with an impressive 2.93 ERA.

    Final Grade: B+

     

    Before being moved in to the starting rotation, Carlos Torres was a valuable piece of the Mets' pen. He put up the lowest ERA of any bullpen member with an impressive 1.47. Torres pitched a total of 36.2 innings in 24 games.

    Final Grade: A

     

    Scott Rice was the work horse of the bullpen with 73 appearances. He pitched to an ERA of 3.71 and was responsible for just two blown saves.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Scott Atchison was used in part of 50 games and was adequate. He recorded 10 holds while putting up a 4.37 ERA.

    Final Grade: C+

     

    David Aardsma was promoted to the Mets from Las Vegas in June. He featured in short relief with mixed results. His ERA for June was 1.80 but that rose to 6.23 in August. He finished the year at 2-2 with four holds, two blown saves and an ERA of 4.31.

    Final Grade: C+

     

    Brandon Lyon had a disastrous June which led to him being released in early July. He finished at 2-2 with three blown saves and a 4.98 ERA.

    Final Grade: C-

     

    After a poor April, Josh Edgin was sent back to the minors. He was recalled in July and was sensational. He had an ERA of 1.29 in June and a measly 0.73 ERA in July. His season ended prematurely due to a fractured rib.

    Final Grade: B+ 

     

    Greg Burke was used infrequently and put up some ugly numbers in just 31.2 total innings of work. He finished 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA.

    Final Grade: F

     

    Gonzalez Germen made his major league debut in July. Despite a few too many walks, Germen put in some solid efforts and finished with an ERA of 3.93 in 34.1 innings of work.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Pedro Feliciano rejoined the Mets after spending two seasons on the disabled list as a member of the Yankees. He made 25 appearances in August and September and showed some signs of his old reliable self. In total he threw 11.1 innings with an ERA of 3.97.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Vic Black was part of the Marlon Byrd and John Buck trade with Pittsburgh. In his brief tenure with the Mets, Black looked solid and finished with a 3-0 record, one save, one blown save, four holds and a 3.46 ERA.

    Final Grade: B+

     

    Simply put, Robert Carson was awful. In 19.2 innings he allowed 21 hits, nine home runs and 18 earned runs. His cumulative ERA was 8.24.

    Final Grade: F

Infielders

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    Murphy and Wright had solid seasons.
    Murphy and Wright had solid seasons.Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    The only consistent part of the Mets' infield this season was at second base where Daniel Murphy played in 161 games.

    Otherwise, Ike Davis struggled yet again and was demoted to the minors. Ruben Tejada spent a large part of the season in Las Vegas and even David Wright was forced out of the lineup for six weeks with a hamstring strain.

    One positive from these struggles was the opportunity given to up-and-coming prospects to gain valuable major league experience.

    Murphy hit a solid .286 with 188 hits and 78 RBI. He was eighth in the league with 92 runs and sixth in stolen bases with 23. Murphy's power numbers were up a bit with 13 home runs and 38 doubles. His only negative was his on-base percentage, which dropped due to his lack of walks.

    Final Grade: B+

     

    Wright led by example and once again had the team's highest  batting average at .307. He missed 50 games, but still managed to hit 18 homers with 58 RBI and an OBP of .390.

    Final Grade: A-

     

    For the second straight season, Ike Davis got off to a miserable start. With just five home runs and an average of .150, he was sent to the minors in early June. Davis rebounded in August by posting a .290 average. His season ended early due to a strained oblique.

    Final Grade: D

     

    Omar Quintanilla took over once Tejada was sent down in May and was solid in the field. While his season average was just .222, his hits seemed to come in clutch situations.

    Final Grade: C

     

    Tejada got off to a slow start and was eventually demoted to the minors. He was recalled in September, but broke his leg in just his ninth game back. In total, Tejada played in 57 games while compiling a .202 average.

    Final Grade: D

     

    In addition to being the teams' official walk-off pie man, Justin Turner proved to be a valuable utility man. He put up a respectable .280 average in 200 at-bats.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Josh Satin was called up in June and immediately made fans take notice. He hit .375 with a .500 on-base percentage for the month. He finished the season with a .279 average and many memorable clutch hits.

    Final Grade: B+

     

    Wilmer Flores, Wilfredo Tovar and Zach Lutz each had limited playing time with the Mets. It is therefore unfair to give an actual grade.

    Final Grades: Incomplete

Outfielders

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    Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. were welcome additions to the Mets' outfield.
    Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. were welcome additions to the Mets' outfield.Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    The Mets' 2013 outfield was a season-long work in progress. The team's opening day lineup featured an outfield of Marlon Byrd, Collin Cowgill and Lucas Duda. They closed the season with Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares and Mike Baxter in these same positions.

    Byrd won a job with the Mets in spring training and pretty much became the team's MVP. He provided protection for David Wright in the lineup and supplied the Mets with much-needed power. Byrd led the team with 21 homers and 71 RBI in 117 games. His .518 slugging percentage was fifth-best in the National League. Byrd's value was such that the Mets used him and John Buck at the trade deadline in exchange for prospects with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Final Grade: A

     

    Eric Young Jr. came to the Mets from Colorado in June in exchange for pitcher Collin McHugh. Given the opportunity to be an everyday player, Young ran with it and became an integral part of the Mets' lineup. He was solid in the outfield and provided the team with much-needed speed. Despite batting just .251, Young stole 38 bases in 91 games. With a total of 46 steals for the season, Young finished the National League leader in this category.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Duda appeared in 100 games for the Mets this season and proved that he's really not a good baseball player. His lack of speed was apparent on the bases and in the field. His occasional power displays were overshadowed by his strikeout ratio of once in every three at bats. He finished the season with a .223 average.

    Final Grade: D

     

    Lagares got his major league debut this season and made fans take notice. He was exceptional in the field and led all National League center fielders with 14 outfield assists. His average was just .242, but Lagares showed signs of power with 21 doubles, five triples and four home runs.

    Final Grade: B

     

    Andrew Brown was used primarily as a pinch hitter and showed good power. He hit seven home runs in just 150 at bats while putting up a .227 average.

    Final Grade: C+

     

    Kirk Nieuwenhuis at .189, Mike Baxter at .189, Rick Ankiel at .182 and Collin Cowgill at .180 were major disappointments.

    Collective Final Grade: D

     

    In addition to only hitting .188, Jordany Valdespin was a disruptive force in the Mets' clubhouse and often displayed immaturity. His one bright spot came in April when he hit a walk-off grand slam against the Braves. The final straw for Valdespin came when he was suspended for 50 games as one of the players named in the Biogenesis report.

    Final Grade: F

     

    Matt den Dekker made his major league debut in August. With just 58 at-bats it's too early to truly judge the player.

    Final Grade: Incomplete  

Catchers

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    Hopes are high for Travis d'Arnaud
    Hopes are high for Travis d'ArnaudKirk Irwin/Getty Images

    Highly-rated prospect Travis d'Arnaud was the prize piece of the Mets' RA Dickey trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, he fractured his foot in April and didn't return to baseball activity until late July.

    d'Arnaud was called up by the Mets in mid August and hit just above the Mendoza Line at .202. With less than 100 Major League at-bats it's hard to truly judge the young catcher's future.

    Final Grade: C+

     

    John Buck was also a part of the RA Dickey trade and was the Mets' regular-season catcher before being traded to Pittsburgh along with Marlon Byrd. Buck surpassed the entire season's power numbers put up by 2012 catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas in the month of April alone. Buck hit seven homers and had 25 RBIs in the season's first month. He cooled off after that and finished with 15 homers and 62 RBI. Buck also served as a solid influence on the Mets' young pitchers.

    Final Grade: B-

     

    Anthony Recker was an adequate backup to Buck and d'Arnaud. His .215 average was low, but he did have some clutch hits, including six home runs.

    Final Grade: C

Team Offense

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    Marlon Byrd is congratulated by Ike Davis.
    Marlon Byrd is congratulated by Ike Davis.Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    A lack of offense was a season-long problem for the Mets. Luckily the Miami Marlins saved the team from finishing last in many offensive categories. Here are the final offensive numbers for the Mets. 

    • Average: .237                              League Rank: 14
    • Home Runs: 130                         League Rank: 11
    • Total Bases: 2035                       League Rank: 14
    • Runs: 619                                  League Rank: 11
    • Hits: 1318                                  League Rank: 13
    • On-Base Percentage: .306           League Rank: 13
    • Slugging Percentage: .366           League Rank: 14

     Final Grade: C

Team Defense

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    Omar Quintanilla completes a double play.
    Omar Quintanilla completes a double play.Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    For the most part, the Mets were solid in the field. Here are the club's final defensive numbers. 

    • Fielding Percentage: .985               League Rank: 8
    • Assists: 1642                                League Rank: 10
    • Putouts: 4430                               League Rank: 2

    Final Grade: B

Manager

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    Terry Collins watches the game from the dugout.
    Terry Collins watches the game from the dugout.Ralph Freso/Getty Images

    Manager Terry Collins was given a vote of confidence this week by the Mets with a two-year contract extension.

    While the Mets have been disappointing over the past few seasons, Collins has not been the reason why. The manager can only manage the players that he's been given.

    Collins inherited a poor team and has been a calming influence and a teacher to the young talent coming through the Mets' system.

    Collins has never thrown any of his players under the bus and has stood tall and faced the media no matter the situation.

    Final Grade: B+

     

    Do you agree with these grades? Let me know your thoughts on final-season grades for the New York Mets. 

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