Mets Players Destined for Bounce-Back 2014 Seasons
The Mets this past season were 74-88 and in third place. However, their overall performance did not mean that everyone on the team struggled. The Mets pitching staff had a 3.77 ERA, which was good enough for eighth best in the National League and thirteenth among all teams.
Offensively, though, the Mets were not as impressive. Their 619 runs scored was eleventh in the National League and twenty-third overall, while their team batting average of .237 was second-to-last both in the National League and overall. These are numbers that the Mets will have to improve in order to become a more successful team.
Furthermore, a few Mets hitters did not perform as well as some may have expected them to. Here are five Mets hitters who are destined for bounceback seasons in 2014.
After his promotion in August, Travis d'Arnaud's first season in the big leagues was not particularly impressive. d'Arnaud batted just .202 with one home run, five RBI, .286 OBP and .263 slugging percentage. d'Arnaud accumulated only 99 at-bats though, which will make him eligible to be a rookie in 2014.
With a relatively small sample size from this past season, d'Arnaud should hopefully be able to put together a very good rookie season and tap into the power he has. With the starting catching position his to lose, d'Arnaud should be able to put together 20+ home runs and 80+ RBI this season to start out what could be a long and productive career.
Look for d'Arnaud to be one of the top offensive rookies in the National League next season.
Ike Davis is one Mets hitter who might be getting traded sometime this offseason, but if he ends up staying with the Mets, he will definitely be one hitter who could have a bounce-back season in 2014.
Davis batted just .205 this season, with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 317 at-bats. Davis raised his 2012 .308 OBP to .326 thanks to a higher walk rate, but his slugging percentage fell from .462 to .334. Davis got off to a very slow start and eventually was demoted in June for nearly a month. He hit slightly better after coming back, but in late August, he suffered a season-ending oblique injury.
For much of the season, Davis was platooning at first base with the right-handed hitting Josh Satin. This was understandable, being that Davis hit only .145 against southpaws, with one home run and five RBI.
If the Mets give Davis one more chance, it would be great to see him hit like he did in the second half of 2012, which helped him get to 32 home runs and 90 RBI for the season that year. But for Davis, it all starts with a better start to his season and more consistency at the plate, generally speaking.
If Ike Davis ends up being with the Mets in 2014, it would likely mean that Lucas Duda will get traded away. On the flip side, if Davis gets moved to another team, Duda would most likely become the new starting first baseman.
After spending the 2011 and 2012 seasons as a right fielder and part of 2013 as a left fielder, it has become clear that Lucas Duda's position going forward will be at first base, whether it is with the Mets or another team.
Duda batted .223 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI in 318 at-bats this past season. He was the starting left fielder until he got injured in June and was replaced by Eric Young Jr. in left field for the rest of the season. When Duda eventually returned in late August, it was as a first baseman. Originally, he was on the bench, but after Ike Davis got hurt, Duda took over at first base for the rest of the season.
Duda has yet to put together a consistent full season in the major leagues. If he is given the opportunity to do so in 2014, he should be expected to have a breakout season.
The one Mets hitter with the most unknown future would probably be Wilmer Flores. With David Wright at third base, Daniel Murphy at second base and either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda at first base, Flores could be blocked within the Mets depth chart from being an every day player. Thus, the chances of his getting traded are on the higher side.
When David Wright suffered a hamstring injury in early August, the Mets eventually decided to give Flores an opportunity to showcase his talents. Unfortunately, Flores did not play particularly well, with a .211 average, one home run and 13 RBI in 95 at-bats. Once Wright was healthy, Flores was sent to the bench and did not play as much in the final two weeks of the season.
If the Mets could find a way to trade both Davis and Duda, they could possibly insert Flores as the new starting first baseman, but the likelihood of this happening is rather slim.
More than likely, if the Mets make a notable trade soon, Flores will probably be involved. A good number of teams could use a young third baseman, but with a superstar in Wright around, the Mets do not have this problem. Furthermore, due to his younger age and the fact that he is still eligible to be a rookie, Flores' trade value should be considered higher than both Davis and Duda.
With all this said, it will be very surprising if Flores remains a Met by next spring. Nonetheless, if he is a Met in 2014, he should be expected to hit a lot better and put together a solid rookie season.
Eric Young Jr.
Eric Young may have led the National League in stolen bases this past season with 46, but other than that, Young's first season with the Mets was not particularly great. He hit .249 with an OBP of just .310. For all the speed that Young has, a .310 OBP just is not good enough.
That being said, Young as the Mets' starting left fielder again is no guarantee. If the Mets were to make an upgrade of some sort, Young would probably get demoted to the bench as a fourth outfielder and pinch-runner.
If given the opportunity to start though, Young should be able to have a bounce-back season and become one of the National League's better leadoff hitters.
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