Mets Optimism May Actually Be Based In Fact
Is there reason for optimism for the blue and orange this season? The smart kids at Baseball Prospectus seem to feel there is:
This from the Mets chapter in the new Baseball Prospectus 2010 (Wiley, $24.95): "The team still has a ton of front line talent and could easily compete for a playoff spot in 2010. When healthy, Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Santana and free-agent signee Jason Bay are about as good as any group you'll find, particularly in the National League, and there's no reason the Mets shouldn't be able to build around them competently enough to give the Braves and Phillies a run for their money ...
"The reasons for optimism will be the same as they always have been: the frontline talent is still in place, the farm system might spin off a couple of solid pieces, and if the team has good luck where it had bad and good health where it had injury, then ... Citi Field could be a much happier place in 2010 ..."
Here's some notes on individual players:
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Carlos Beltran: "There's a secret Hall of Fame career going on under our noses ... a very solid bet to post another strong season."
David Wright: "His .307 batting average and .390 on-base percentage were within .003 of his career marks, but he lost 20 home runs. The dimensions of the new park were partly responsible ... The truth is nobody really knows, and he could hit 30 homers again in 2010 ... Or not."
Francisco Rodriguez: "Rodriguez was better than he looked in 2009; a couple of five-run outings in the second half of the season completely blew up his ERA, which was 2.41 in his other 68 appearances."
Johan Santana: "For the first two months of the season, Santana was arguably once again the best pitcher in baseball, putting up a 1.77 ERA in 10 starts while striking out 86 in jut 6 innings. Things slowly slid from there, as Santana tried to pitch through increasing elbow soreness ... He'll be healthy again in 2010, and he'll be great again."
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