Today, we continue along in the National League East division with the Mets. They are a tough team to expect any impact prospect performances from for two reasons. First, they just don’t have any real offensive prospects that have played at Triple-A, and I can’t imagine the team would be willing to jump a player up straight from Double-A. Actually, their entire farm system is just pretty bad, ranking near the bottom in all of baseball. Second, some of the hitters that would normally be at risk due to performance will simply not lose their job. Robinson Cano and his 1.3 projected WAR is one such example.
All it took was an opportunity for J.D. Davis to shine. In his first full season, he earned every day playing time with the Mets and posted a superb .373 wOBA, with strong underlying skills all around. So why is he at risk? The projections don’t quite believe the strong offensive performance, forecasting a wOBA decline to around .330. But more importantly, he has been atrocious defensively in left field. That’s more likely to cost him his left field job, though perhaps he finds time at another position.
It’s odd to see Jarrett Parker get scooped up as a free agent by the Mets after another strong minor league campaign. Sure, he’s already 31 years old, but he’s only recorded 397 MLB plate appearances. He has struck out a lot, but it’s more due to plate patience than an inability to make contact given his perfectly respectable SwStk%. And check out those ridiculous walk rates! He walked 17% of the time last year at Triple-A with the Angels organization. Most intriguing though is his power. He posted a career high 31.2% HR/FB rate last season, fueling a .269 ISO. He’s exactly the type of player to speculate on in deeper leagues if he gets a shot at regular playing time.
It was supposed to be a battle between Michael Wacha and Steven Matz for the final spot in the Mets rotation. But with Noah Syndergaard out for the season, now both get slots. Unfortunately, Wacha’s already soft skills have been heading in the wrong direction, as his SIERA has risen each season since 2017 and topped 5.00 last year. It’s no coincidence that his fastball velocity also dropped to a career low last year as well.
David Peterson is the Mets’ 10th best prospect, even though he sits around 90 MPH with his fastball, topping out at just 93. The southpaw hasn’t pitched above Double-A, but it’s much easier for pitchers to make the jump from that level than hitters. Though his ERA settled above 4.00, he actually displayed pretty strong skills last year. His strikeout rate rebounded back into the mid-20% range, after dipping below 20% at High-A in 2018. It was backed by a surge and rebound in SwStk% to just below 14%. He continued showing solid control, as well. Lastly, his ground ball rate remains elite, though did decline from its lofty levels above 60% previously. He seemingly owns all three skills that we like seeing from a pitcher — strikeout ability, control, and ground ball tilt. Because he doesn’t throw hard, he might not get the hype, but from a skills perspective, he looks like he could be just like his rotation mate, Marcus Stroman.
Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.