New York Mets
Last Updated: March 19
The New York Mets went from having four aces to a Paigow pitching staff in 2017. The Mets allowed 618, 613, and 617 runs from 2014 to 2016 helping them to two playoff appearances with a trip to the World Series. Last year they allowed 246 more runs than 2016 (617) leading to the 28th ranked ERA (5.01) in baseball. Their bullpen was even worse (4.82 ERA – 29th).
Their offense finished 19th in runs scored (735), which was an improvement of 64 runs from 2016 (671). New York did have success hitting home runs (224 – 7th).
The only player lost to free agency was RP Jerry Blevins. The Mets signed OF Jay Bruce and 1B Adrian Gonzalez to help beef up their offense while bringing Jose Reyes to fill the super utility role. New York needs a healthy season from OF Yoenis Cespedes plus see rapid development from SS Amed Rosario. The status and future of David Wright remains in flux. New York added 3B Todd Frazier in February to add power to the middle of their batting order.
The Mets will go to battle with the same core of starting pitchers, but they need a healthy season from all options. Both Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz are returning from elbow injuries. Matt Harvey has been a disaster over the last two years due to a shoulder issue. They signed Jason Vargas to add another veteran pitching options for the starting rotation.
New York signed Anthony Swarzak to add depth to the bullpen.
This team is loaded with risk and upside. The health and rebound of the starting rotation will determine the playoff viability of this roster in 2018. The offense has enough talent to score runs, which will help win games. The bullpen has two arms with closing experience. The Mets should be the second-best team in the NL East with a chance to run down a Wild Card spot.
1. 2B Jose Reyes
Reyes was a misplaced third base option in 2017, but he finished the year with second base and shortstop qualifications. Jose is much more attractive as a middle infield option in deep leagues. Last year he had a spike in his average hit rate (1.683) leading to his third-highest total in HRs (15). His sag in batting average came from his lowest CTBA (.291) of his career. Reyes saw his walk rate (8.9) rise for the second straight year while his K rate (14.1) came in slightly higher than his career average (11.0). Jose had a brutal first three months of the year (.202 with six HRs, 26 RBI, and ten SBs over 263 at-bats). Over his next six weeks (.271 with three HRs, 13 RBI, and four SBs over 118 at-bats), Reyes started to move in the right direction. An oblique issue in mid-August led to a trip to the DL and a trip to the free agent pool in Fantasy leagues. When he returned to the starting lineup in late August, Jose was one of the best players in baseball over his last 32 games (.317 with 26 runs, six HRs, 19 RBI, and ten SBs over 120 at-bats). He played better against LH pitching (.267 with six HRs and 19 RBI over 120 at-bats). In 2016 and 2017, Reyes added more loft to his swing (43.2 and 43.1 percent fly ball rate) while continuing to have a short HR/FB rate (8.2). This season he’ll be the super utility player for the Mets, but a cold start will lead to fewer chances playing time. I expect him to get over 500 at-bats while being overlooked by many Fantasy owners on draft day. Possible .280+ BA with 80+ runs, 10+ HRs, 60+ RBI, and 20+ SBs.
Update: Reyes will get squeezed for at-bats with Todd Frazier added to the Mets’ starting lineup. He still makes the most sense as the leadoff batter if Jose plays as well as he did to end 2017. I’m going to leave Reyes in the one hole at the start of the season. He should get plenty of at-bats in centerfield in April with Michael Conforto expected to be out until early May. From the point on, he’ll jockey between all positions in the infield on most days plus cover any injuries.
2. 3B Asdrubal Cabrera
Cabrera finished with a boring stat line for a middle-fielder last year. He missed time twice in 2017 with a left thumb injury that led to about 20 missed games. Without the injuries, Asdrubal was on pace for 76 runs, 16 HRs, 68 RBI, and four SBs. His walk rate (9.3) was his third-best total of his career while shaving off a few strikeouts (15.4 percent). Cabrera hit very well against lefties (.392 with three HRs and 14 RBI over 125 at-bats). His best run of the year came in September (.371 with four HRs and 17 RBI over 89 at-bats). Asdrubal saw his HR/FB rate (9.7) fall from his career high in 2016 (14.0). New York will move him around as well in the infield while expecting to see most of his playing time at third base. His AVH (1.552) lost value last season most likely due to him battling his thumb injury. His previous level in average hit over the previous four seasons give him a chance at 20+ HRs, but Cabrera needs an uptick in his HR/FB rate. Just a .270 hitter with a 70/15/70 skill set.
Update: Cabrera will be pushed back to second base after the Todd Frazier signing. I expect him to lose about ten percent of his playing time to Jose Reyes.
3. OF Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes showed power over his first 18 games (.270 with six HRs and ten RBI over 63 at-bats), but he landed on the DL for six weeks with a hamstring injury. After a decent three weeks in June (.323 with three HRs and nine RBI over 65 at-bats), Yoenis struggled in July (.256 with one HR and eight RBI over 86 at-bats). His season ended on August 26th with a second hamstring issue, which came after a nice August (.325 with seven HRs and 15 RBI over 77 at-bats). HIs K rate (19.0) was his best since 2012 (18.9) with a career average walk rate (8.1). Cespedes played well against righties (.305 with 11 HRs and 31 RBI over 213 at-bats) while showing power vs. LH pitching (.256 with six HRs and 11 RBI over 78 at-bats). In 2017, he had a career-high HR/FB rate (49.6) with about a career average HR/FB rate (14.8). Both his CTBA (.370) and AVH (1.847) have been in a tight area over the last three years. Great recent power resume with an approach and swing to add value in batting average. Yoenis just need to stay healthy; something he has done over the last two seasons. His bar is .280 with 90+ runs,m 35+ HRs, and 100+ RBI with 550 at-bats. Cespedes will have a favorable price point in the 2018 draft season due to his recent failure to stay healthy.
4. 3B Todd Frazier
Over the last two seasons, Frazier lost his way in batting average (.220) due to a sharp decline in his contact batting average (2014 – .356, 2015 – .328, 2016 – .311, and 2017 – .292). Over the last three seasons, Todd has become more of a fly ball hitter (47.7, 48.7, and 47.5 percent) leading to many easy outs landing in outfielder’s gloves. His HR/FB rate (16.1 in 2017) has been in a tight range over the last four years (high – 19.0 and low – 15.1). In 2016, Frazier had a career-high K rate (24.5) while that number improved to his career average level (21.7) last season. His walk rate (14.4) in 2017 was a career best. Todd has risk in batting average against RH (.215 with 15 HRs and 46 RBI over 358 at-bats) and LH (.207 with 12 HRs and 30 RBI over 116 at-bats) pitching. For him to have a correction in BA, Frazier needs a more balanced swing path. For now, an 80/30/80/10 guy with a cleanup opportunity for the Mets. Invest in his power while hoping for a rebound in his batting average.
5. OF Jay Bruce
Bruce almost had the identical season as 2016. He hit over 30 HRs for the fifth time in his career. His repeated success in RBI rate (18) led to his second season with over 100 RBI. His average hit rate (2.000) remains elite with an uptick in his CTBA (.339). Jay almost matched his career walk rate (9.2) with a slight uptick in his K rate (22.5). Bruce had some risk vs. lefties (.222) even with a power swing (nine HRs and 27 RBI in 171 at-bats). He played well in April and June (.292 with 17 HRs and 35 RBI) while showing fade with each month played in batting average over the last three months of the year (June – .301, July – .250, August – .244, and September – .222). Jay had a spike in his fly ball rate (46.7 – 42.5 in his career) while beating his career HR/FB rate (17.0) for the last two years (2016 – 9.4 and 2017 – 18.5). A solid power hitter with the swing to deliver 40+ home runs. His fly ball approach leads to some easy outs and a lower than expected batting average in most seasons.
6. 1B Adrian Gonzalez
Last season in early February, a Fantasy owner asked me about the 2017 value of Cody Bellinger. With Adrian coming off a decent 2016 with a veteran resume and huge contract, I shot down any idea of Bellinger making the jump from AA to the majors and stealing the first base job in LA. About two weeks later in mid-February, Gonzalez developed a right elbow injury that appeared to be minor. About a month later, his progress was minimal, which should have been a hint of Bellinger getting a better opportunity. Adrian struggled over the first month of the season (.255 with no HRs and 11 RBI over 94 at-bats) leading to two weeks on the DL his elbow injury plus a herniated disk. More emptiness ensued over his next 71 at-bats (.254 with one HR and 12 RBI) after returning to the starting lineup. His back injury led to two more missed months. When Adrian return in mid-August, he offered no upside to the Dodgers starting lineup (.212 with two HRs and seven RBI over 66 at-bats). He had a career-low CTBA (.298) with continued fade in his average hit rate (1.464). New York signed him to a one-year deal to bridge the gap until Dominic Smith is ready to handle the full-time first base job. At age 36 with a bum back and not a clear path to everyday at-bats, Gonzalez falls more into a DH consideration in deep leagues. I only see a .270 hitter with 15/60 skill set in 450 at-bats.
7. C Travis D’Arnaud
A strong September (.297 with six HRs and 19 RBI over 64 at-bats) pushed D’Arnaud’s value in HRs (16) and RBI (57) to a respectable area. Travis showed power (four HRs and 16 RBI in 59 at-bats) over his first 22 games, but he only hit .203. A wrist injury led to three weeks on the DL followed by a poor 70 games (.240 with six HRs and 22 RBI over 225 at-bats). His swing had value against lefties (.302 with three HRs and 19 RBI over 86 at-bats) while falling short of expectation vs. RH pitching (.225 with 13 HRs and 38 RBI over 262 at-bats). His HR/FB rate (13.3) more than doubled 2016 (6.5) while falling in line with his best years in the minors. D’Arnaud has failed to reach a high level at catcher in his four seasons in the majors, and it’s surprising to see he’s 29 already. His average hit rate (1.812) gives him 25+ HR power if he could ever turn in a full season. His K rate (15.7) is low enough where a breakout in batting average could be in the cards with rebound in his CTBA (.294). Travis is a better player than his major league resume, but he needs to hit his way into more playing time. His floor should be 15 HRs and 60 RBI with 400+ at-bats.
8. SS Amed Rosario
Rosario’s bat started to come together over the last two seasons in the minors (.326 with 131 runs, 12 HRs, 129 RBI, and 38 SBs over 872 at-bats). His walk rate (6.6) isn’t ready to be a top of the order hitter without repeating a high batting average. K rate (16.2) is in a favorable area. His approach was much weaker in the majors (K rate – 28.8 and walk rate – 1.8). Amed flashed power (four HRs over 165 at-bats) with the Mets while his AVH is trending upward. Rosario’s best asset will be his speed. Amed has a great glove while expecting to be a top defensive shortstop. His career will be an interesting follow as he transforms his swing to add more power when he adds more bulk and strength. In 2017, Rosario will start at the backend of New York’s lineup while ultimately working his way to a top two hitter in the batting order. His first stop will be a neutral batting average with a 10/20 skill set. His speed has the most upside out of the gate.
OF Michael Conforto
Conforto went into 2017 without a clear path to starting at-bats. A nice April (.321 with six HRs and 13 RBI over 56 at-bats) and the injury to Yoenis Cespedes led to more follow through in May (.314 with seven HRs and 21 RBI over 102 at-bats). A back injury and hand issue resulted in lost playing time and a down June (.206 with one HR and seven RBI). After returning from the DL with his hand injury, Michael crushed the ball for the next month (.287 with 12 HRs and 23 RBI over 115 at-bats). A dislocated left shoulder ended his year in late August. Conforto still has a tough time against lefties (.212 with 41 Ks in 99 at-bats), but he did hit six HRs with 12 RBI. His bat offered an edge vs. RH pitching (.303 with 21 HRs and 56 RBI over 274 at-bats). Michael had a high K rate (25.7) while taking a high volume of walks (13.0). His HR/FB rate (27.3) was more than double 2016 (12.2). Conforto had surgery on his shoulder in early September that requires a minimum of six months of recovery. The Mets hope to have him back in early May, but I expect a slower path. A Fantasy owner needs to be cautious here. Mike won’t go through his normal offseason training while his shoulder won’t have the same strength. With four months of playing time in 2018, possible 15 HRs and 60 RBI. My advice would be to avoid him.
SS Wilmer Flores
Over the last three seasons, Flores has 50 HRs and 150 RBI over 1,126 at-bats. His success in power projected over 550 at-bats would be 24 HRs and 72 RBI. Wilmer had a slight regression in his K rate (14.9) in each of the last three seasons while remaining below the major league average (20.3). Flores continued to have a low walk rate (4.7). Last year in his best two months in at-bats (June and August), he delivered ten HRs and 26 RBI in 181 at-bats. Wilmer was a better play against lefties (.291 with seven HRs and 13 RBI over 103 at-bats). His swing path was fly ball favoring over the last two years (45.0 and 45.8 percent) with the same HR/FB rate (13.6). Last season he missed time with a knee, a rub issue, and a broken nose. In a battle for a starting job, but New York has one too many options to cover 2B and 3B suggesting another season with role value. His growth in AVH (1.802) gives him a chance at 30+ HRs with a starting job. Only a bench option unless he gains momentum in spring training.
Update: If Adrian Gonzalez regains his form, Flores is going to have a tough time getting meaningful at-bats in 2018. Wilmer has been graded to an injury cover in the Fantasy games.
3B David Wright
After the 2010 season, Wright appeared well on his way to the Hall of Fame. He had five seasons with over 25 HRs and 100+ RBI. Over the last seven years, he has one season of value (2012 – .306 with 21 HRs, 943 RBI, and 15 SBs). David missed 451 games over the last three years leading to 12 HRs and 31 RBI over 289 at bats with a .259 batting average. Over the first two months of 2016, Wright hit .226 with seven HRs and 14 RBI over 137 at bats with a spike in his K rate (33.5) with continued strength in his walk rate (33.5). His season ended late in May in 2016 with a neck injury that required surgery. Just the name of his surgery (cervical discectomy and fusion surgery) paired with his injury in 2015 (spinal stenosis) should be enough to keep a Fantasy owner miles away nevermind another surgery to repair his rotator cuff in his right shoulder in September and back surgery in October. The end is near at age 35. Only a late gamble if he shows any life in spring training.
1B Dominic Smith
Smith played great at AAA in 2017 (.330 with 16 HRs and 76 RBI over 457 at-bats), but he had much tougher time making contact in the majors (26.8 percent K rate) with just below the league average walk rate (7.7). Dominic had a spike in his average hit rate (2.000) in the majors after delivering a less than attractive number in his last two seasons in the minors (1.514 and 1.570). HIs CTBA (.397) was a plus at AAA with plenty of emptiness with the Mets (.280). Over 624 at-bats in last season, Smith had 94 runs, 25 HRs, and 102 RBI. With the Mets adding Adrian Gonzalez to the roster, Dominic will have to win the starting job at first base in spring training. A high average hitter with developing power. Right kind of bet as a bench player in deep leagues and he could very well get 550 at-bats in New York in 2018. If so, .300 with 20+ HRs and 80+ RBI. His step up in power will come with an improved swing path (50.4 percent fly ball rate in the majors).
Kevin Plawecki (C) – Plawecki is only a .222 hitter in the majors with seven HRs and 45 RBI over 465 at-bats. His minor league resume (.297 with 44 HRs and 265 RBI over 1,563 at-bats) pointed to more upside. Kevin should be the backup catcher in 2018 with a chance to steal some starting at-bats.
Brandon Nimmo (OF) – Brandon will compete for the fourth outfield job in New York and a bump in playing time early in the year with Michael Conforto starting the season on the DL. Over two seasons in the majors, Nimmo hit .264 over 250 at-bats with six HRs, 27 RBI, and two SBs. His K rate (27.1) invites playing time risk, but he did take a high volume of walks in 2017 (15.4 percent). In his seven years in the minors, Brandon hit .280 with 40 HRs, 243 RBI, and 37 SBs over 2,115 at-bats with a better approach at the plate (K rate – 21.3 and walk rate – 13.6).
Juan Lagares (OF) – Juan hit .257 with 20 HRs, 146 RBI, and 37 SBs over 1,643 at-bats over five years in the minors. His K rate (20.9) is about league average with a low walk rate (5.2). Lagares is the best options to backup in centerfield.
1. SP Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard gave Fantasy owners the appearance that he was on his way to a great season after his first four starts (1.73 ERA with no walks and 30 Ks over 26 innings). A biceps issue in late April led to his fifth start getting pushed back a couple of days. The Nationals drilled Noah for five runs, and seven baserunners over 1.1 innings that led to only three more innings pitched in 2017 due to a torn lat muscle. In 2016, Fantasy owners drafted Syndergaard like an ace, and he lived up to expectation despite only pitching 183.2 innings. He repeated his walk rate (2.1) and K rate (10.7) while only allowing 11 HRs on the year. Syndergaard was one of the best pitchers in baseball over the first two months of the season (1.84 ERA with 81 Ks over 63.2 innings). After fading a bit June (3.86 ERA), Noah posted a sub 3.00 ERA in each of the last three months of the season (July – 2.45 ERA, August – 2.84 ERA, and September – 2.83 ERA) while striking out 103 batters in 89.2 innings. He pitched well vs. righties (.228 with 126 Ks over 394 at-bats) with some work to do against lefties (.262). His AFB (98.9) was electric. Batters hit .248 against his four-seam fastball, but his sinker showed risk (.309 BAA). Syndergaard dominated with his slider (.165 BAA) with a high level of success with his curveball (.208 BAA). His changeup (.250 BAA) still isn’t where it needs to be. Noah also induces a high volume of ground balls (51.2 percent) with fading fly ball rate (27.2). Great arm who may or may not have an underlying elbow issue. The lack of pitching in 2017 probably did him some good. A foundation ace, but I need to see a clean spring before paying full price on draft day. The talent to post a sub 2.50 ERA with impact wins and Ks.
2. SP Jacob deGrom
DeGrom threw the ball well in eight of his first ten starts (3.23 ERA) with five double-digit strikeouts games. Back-to-back disaster starts (15 runs and 24 baserunners over eight innings) suggested his arm had an underlying injury. Jacob rebounded with 11 strong starts (9-2 with a 1.82 ERA, .189 BAA, and 85 Ks over 79.1 innings). Three bad starts over his last eight outings led to poor finish to the year (2-5 with a 4.50 ERA and 60 Ks over 50 innings). He pitched well against both RH (.229 BAA) and LH (.247 BAA) batters, but 17 of his 28 HRs allowed came form righties. His AFB (96.0) was a career-best with batters hitting .201 vs. his four-seamer. He threw a slider (.226 BAA) as his second-best pitch followed by a changeup (.245 BAA) and curveball (.258 BAA). He had a spike in his HR/FB rate (16.1) with three years of regression. Sure looks the part of an ace with career-high K rate (10.7), but he did have an elbow issue in September of 2016. The rise in HRs allowed could be a sign of a lost season due to an elbow issue. Possible sub 3.00 ERA with a rebound in his walk rate and less ball landing in the seats while offering an edge in Ks.
3. SP Matt Harvey
Over the last two seasons, Harvey lost more than two mph off most of his pitches. Batters crushed his four-seam fastball (.330 with 15 HRs allowed over 206 at-bats) and his curveball (.370 BAA). His slider (.228 BAA) and changeup (.241 BAA) still offered an edge, but Matt pitched behind in the count to too many batters. His walk rate (4.6) was well below his elite levels in 2013 (1.6) and 2015 (1.8) while his K rate (6.5) is fading to soft tosser territory. Harvey served up 21 HRs in 92.2 at-bats (2.0 per nine). His troubles were magnified against lefties (.331 with 12 HRs over 172 at-bats). There has been any offseason news giving a Fantasy owner hope if a rebound in 2018. For now, we have to place our decision on his success or failure in spring training. His failure and lost value came on the heels of TJ surgery, and a bum left shoulder last year. His price point is free so a wise gambler might be rewarded with a season of value.
4. SP Steven Matz
In October of 2016, Matz had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow. He had a setback late in spring training leading to him starting the season on the DL. Steven made his first appearance on June 10th. He pitched well over his first five starts (2.12 ERA and 22 Ks over 34 innings), but he did allow five home runs. Over his last eight starts, Matz went 0-6 with a 10.13 ERA and .385 BAA). His AFB (93.7) and the velocity of his slider (86.3) had less value than 2016 (94.3 – 87.9). None of his pitches had value in 2017. New York finally shut him down in late August to have surgery on his ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. His surgery has been compared to the injury that Jacob deGrom had at the end of 2016. Talented arm with a list of injuries on his pro resume. Better than his disaster season with questions about his ability to pitch a full year of starts. Just like Matt Harvey, place your bet on his spring training news.
5. SP Zack Wheeler
Wheeler struggled through his first four starts (5.40 ERA) despite being tough to hit (.220) and success in Ks (21 over 21.2 innings). Over his next six starts, Zack had a 2.41 ERA with 35 Ks over 41 innings, but he did issue 20 walks. His arm lost all value over his next six starts (9.89 ERA, .358 BAA, and nine HRs allowed over 23.2 innings. Wheeler suffered a stress reaction in his pitching arm in late July ended his season. His AVB (95.5) was in line with his career average. His curveball (.214 BAA) and slider (.225 BAA) played well while his fastball was very hittable (four-seam – .288 BAA and sinker – .348 BAA). Another Mets pitcher with a disastrous performance last year. He has the fastball and secondary pitches to be a winning arm in 2018, but Zack needs to throw more strikes (4.2 per nine in 2017 and 4.0 in his career).
SP Robert Gsellman
Over seven seasons in the minors, Gsellman has a 3.15 ERA with 402 Ks over 557.2 innings. His walk rate (2.5) is major league ready while offering low upside in Ks (6.5 per nine). The Mets gave him seven starts in April and May, which ended up being all negative (7.27 ERA and .325 BAA). After a couple of relief appearances, Robert had his second life in the rotation (3-0 with a 2.16 ERA, .204 BAA, and 18 Ks over 25 innings). Disaster struck again in his next three starts (12.41 ERA and .403 BAA) leading to a second trip to the DL with a hamstring issue. Gsellman had eight starts in the majors over the last six weeks of the season with better results (3.50 ERA). On the year, his walk rate (3.2) was much lower than expected while still offering next to nothing in strikeouts (6.2 per nine). Both RH (.284 BAA) and LH (.276 BAA) batter had success against him. His AFB (93.7) came in about league average. His only pitch of value was his changeup (.188 BAA). He’s better than major league success, but he needs to find a swing and miss pitch to improve his K ability. Backup dancer who may earn his early keep in the bullpen.
SP Seth Lugo
Early in April, Lugo suffered a minor tear in his right elbow suggesting his season could be over. By mid-May, Seth was back on the mound at AAA. New York called him back up in mid-June. Over his first eight starts, he had a 4.05 ERA with batters hitting .274 against him. He struggled more often than not over his last 11 starts (5.27 ERA and .291 BAA). Lugo showed growth in his walk rate (3.2) and K rate (7.5). Both righties (.273 BAA) and lefties (.293 BAA) had success against him. His AFB (92.0) was slightly below 2017 (93.2). Batters struggled only against him four-seam fastball (.188 BAA) with each other pitching offering losing value. His short window of success in 2016 (2.67 ERA) gives him a chance to offer playable value if given an opportunity.
CL Jeurys Familia
Familia was discounted on draft day due to an expected suspension for a domestic issue. After a couple of games in low-pressure situations, Jeurys resume the closing role in late April. As the closer, he won a game and picked up three saves while tossing five shutout innings with two Ks. Familia blew up on May 10th (three runs and four baserunners over one-third of innings), which ended being a result of a right shoulder injury. He was able to make it back to the mound in late August. Jeurys struggled in his first seven games (seven runs and 15 baserunners over eight innings). He regained his form over his last eight games (1.23 ERA, ten Ks, and three saves over 7.1 innings). His AFB (97.4) remains elite with batters struggling to hit all his pitches (four-seam – .242 BAA, sinker – .236 BAA, and slider – .154 BAA). Familia dominated RH batters (.192 BAA) with risk against lefties (.182 BAA). Jeurys will need to outpitch A.J. Ramos to earn the closing job in April. I believe he is the best arm for saves in New York making the indecision about his role a buying opportunity. The key is finding his command showcased in 2015 (2.2 walks per nine). 40+ saves with an edge in ERA, WHIP, and Ks.
RP Alejandro Ramos
Ramos had a tough time getting ahead of batters in Miami (46.8 percent first strike rate) leading to a poor walk rate (5.2) in 2017. Over his first 16 games, A.J. had a 5.40 ERA with four saves. Each one of his disaster games didn’t come in a closing role. He regained his form over his next 16 games (1.10 ERA, 20 Ks, and 11 saves over 16.1 innings). Over his last 29 games with Miami and New York, Ramos converted 12 of 14 saves with a poor ERA (4.94). He pitched well against lefties (.197 BAA) while showing more risk vs. RH batters (.252 BAA). HIs AFB (92.8) was in range of his last three seasons. Batters struggled to hit his changeup (.128 BAA) and slider (.204 BAA). With 99 saves on his major league resume, A.J. is still a threat to close. His lack of command over the last two years (2016 – 4.9 walks per nine and 2017 – 5.2) suggest setup man without a step forward in his skill set.
RP Anthony Swarzak
Before 2017, Swarzak had a 17-26 with a 4.52 ERA and 311 Ks over 484 innings. His arm made a step forward in the bullpen last year (2.33 ERA) leading to a career high in his K rate (10.6). Anthony pitched well against righties (.218 BAA) and lefties (.198 BAA). His AFB (95.1) was a career high with batters hitting .166 against him. His slider (.275 BAA) didn’t offer an edge. Not closer-worthy without improvement in his slider. Swarzak will man the 7th inning in 2018 for the Mets.
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