2019 ZiPS Projections – New York Mets

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for more than half a decade. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the New York Mets.

Batters

The lineup feels a lot like one fielded by the St. Louis Cardinals. There are no bonafide superstar projections on the offense (Robinson Cano‘s projections don’t look like they used to, though ZiPS thinks he’ll still be a good player) but there’s a surprising amount of depth, providing a number of solid options for those times when stuff hits the fan. That approach is a smart way for a team in contention to construct its roster, given that teams with serious playoff aspirations should be more risk-averse than middling or rebuilding teams are; depth is certainly a preferable strategy to hoping injuries somehow pass you by. There’s one thing St. Louis has that the New York Mets have lacked, however: a track record of actually doing a good job shuffling their offensive talent around. The Cardinals very rarely bury players, but the Mets have been known to do all sorts of weird things, such as going into seasons without an obvious starting job for Michael Conforto, signing Jose Reyes and then playing him way too often, prioritizing Jay Bruce’s playing time, and needing some bad luck on the injury front to actually give Brandon Nimmo a full-time job coming off a .379 on-base percentage in 69 games in 2017. Whether you want to blame their managers or ownership, the Mets have made some real head-scratching decisions.

And so while are a lot of options here, the Mets will have to prove that they can deploy their talent effectively. Jeff McNeil doesn’t have an obvious starting role, so the team has to demonstrate that they want to find at-bats for him, not just give them to him grudgingly as they did in 2018, only after the obviously worse options played very obviously worse. Once Peter Alonso is down in the minors just long enough to get another year of cost control for the Mets … errr … I mean once Peter Alonso is finished polishing his game coincidentally in just enough games to delay his free agency for a year, getting him playing time should be the priority over the more expensive Todd Frazier. Yoenis Cespedes‘ heel surgeries will likely keep the Mets from having to make any tricky outfield decisions (his ZiPS projection is mostly theoretical) for a while, but that won’t last forever.

Pitchers

I like Jed Lowrie, but if you could buy baseball players from a catalog, I’d be calling customer service and telling the agent “Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with him, and he works fine and everything, but do you have him in pitcher?” The front four looks very solid, but the team has given every indication that Jason Vargas will take the fifth starter job if no other options are acquired this winter. Remember what I said about how contending teams should be risk-averse? Vargas is an extremely risky pitcher, and even though it hasn’t been so long since he pretended to be Greg Maddux for a few months in early 2017, I’d really like the team to do better here, given the noise they’ve made about contending and the very real improvements in other parts of the roster.

Edwin Diaz is a significant addition, and it’s surprising how cheaply they were able to add Diaz and Cano to the roster, both in terms of money and prospects. Of all the ZiPS teams to go up on FanGraphs so far, Diaz has the highest projected WAR of any relief pitcher and the lowest ERA, by three-tenths of a run. And that’s not just because I’ve run bad teams; Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, Andrew Miller, and Brad Hand have already gone live. Signing Luis Avilan to just a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training may go down as one of the best low-key deals of the winter, and the back end of the bullpen is better than many think.

Bench and Prospects

Perhaps my favorite projection for the Mets this year is the league-average projection for minor league reliever Stephen Villines, who I suspect would attract the interest of my friend/mortal enemy/ex-FanGraphs editor Carson Cistulli. He’s not really on the prospect radar much, but he had an interesting first professional season, striking out 54 of 138 batters in the Sally League, 25 of 77 for Hi-A St. Lucie, and then after a final promotion to Double-A Binghamton, striking out 17 of 43 batters. That’s 96 strikeouts against just 13 walks and three homers in 66.2 innings. Now, if he was doing this by blowing batters away with a 95 mph fastball, he’d be on prospects lists. But he doesn’t — he’s a soft-tosser who gets by on changing speeds and a slow slider. But he’s also a sidearmer, with a motion that looks like he wants to throw submarine but gives up halfway and just whips it around, kinda like Terry Leach’s delivery (I’m dating myself). We’ve seen sidearmers/submariners survive with slower stuff than you’d expect was sustainable — guys like Chad Bradford and Mike Myers come to mind — so while Villines could blow up in a bad way against Triple-A hitters, I’m intrigued.

ZiPS already gives Andres Gimenez a win per 600 PA in 2019 and projects enough growth from him to make for an interesting decision for the Mets at shortstop in a few years. ZiPS has come off its love for Dominic Smith, but still thinks Dilson Herrera would at least be a good role player if he can stay healthy. Believe it or not, Herrera is still just 24 (he turns 25 in March) even though it feels like he’s been around forever. There’s really no room for him on the Mets the way the team is currently constructed, but he could still resurface elsewhere and have some type of major league career — people wrote off Jose Peraza at way too young an age, too.

One pedantic note for 2019: for the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ depth chart playing time, not the playing time ZiPS spits out, so there will be occasional differences in WAR totals.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site.

Batters – Counting Stats
Player B Age PO G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Michael Conforto L 26 LF 145 495 77 124 26 1 28 86 72 148 3 3
Jeff McNeil L 27 2B 144 551 76 151 26 8 14 63 37 79 11 3
Robinson Cano L 36 2B 115 456 59 124 24 1 16 66 36 68 0 1
Brandon Nimmo L 26 CF 135 445 67 107 23 5 13 47 71 138 7 5
Yoenis Cespedes R 33 LF 96 360 51 93 18 2 20 63 28 96 4 1
Jed Lowrie B 35 2B 135 502 61 123 27 2 13 61 58 102 0 0
Amed Rosario R 23 SS 156 583 77 155 26 10 11 55 29 117 25 10
Peter Alonso R 24 1B 122 460 64 110 23 1 24 71 49 134 1 3
Todd Frazier R 33 3B 127 455 60 102 21 0 21 72 51 120 8 5
Wilson Ramos R 31 C 112 394 38 102 18 0 15 63 26 78 0 0
J.D. Davis R 26 3B 126 473 58 113 24 1 17 60 37 139 3 2
Travis d’Arnaud R 30 C 94 316 35 76 14 1 11 42 23 64 0 0
Luis Guillorme L 24 SS 121 423 45 103 17 2 2 31 41 68 3 2
Christian Colon R 30 2B 93 294 31 70 12 0 3 23 27 45 7 3
Juan Lagares R 30 CF 97 250 30 62 10 3 3 19 11 51 6 3
Keon Broxton R 29 CF 129 399 49 79 14 4 14 41 42 180 24 6
Andres Gimenez L 20 SS 120 455 48 99 17 4 7 36 26 121 22 13
Dilson Herrera R 25 2B 113 379 44 84 15 2 12 43 29 116 4 5
Dominic Smith L 24 1B 147 542 63 132 28 2 14 60 38 134 2 0
T.J. Rivera R 30 3B 113 399 43 104 19 1 8 46 16 67 1 1
Patrick Mazeika L 25 C 90 325 36 74 15 0 6 31 31 55 1 1
Gavin Cecchini R 25 2B 113 434 48 106 20 2 6 38 31 73 3 3
Ali Sanchez R 22 C 90 327 30 70 13 1 5 27 14 54 3 3
Will Toffey L 24 3B 87 314 35 60 13 1 6 25 42 102 1 1
Tomas Nido R 25 C 100 354 35 77 17 1 7 38 14 81 0 0
Devin Mesoraco R 31 C 77 216 20 45 8 1 8 24 22 49 0 0
Jose Reyes B 36 3B 104 329 44 76 14 3 7 31 28 55 12 4
Rymer Liriano R 28 LF 107 384 46 79 12 2 13 44 35 147 8 6
Sam Haggerty B 25 3B 101 362 41 70 16 4 4 27 45 121 20 7
Colton Plaia R 28 C 61 199 20 39 8 0 4 18 16 70 0 0
Rajai Davis R 38 CF 100 235 35 50 9 1 2 9 14 58 20 6
Joey Terdoslavich B 30 1B 95 342 38 77 15 1 9 37 33 77 1 1
Adrian Gonzalez L 37 1B 58 187 14 44 9 0 4 26 14 38 0 0
Austin Jackson R 32 CF 102 333 34 79 17 2 4 31 26 104 4 3
Matt den Dekker L 31 CF 101 331 35 66 13 3 9 35 24 111 7 4
Johnny Monell L 33 C 79 261 27 52 10 1 5 26 21 77 1 1
David Wright R 36 3B 44 167 18 34 6 0 3 14 20 55 1 1
Braxton Lee L 25 RF 112 406 41 91 13 2 2 26 36 94 9 10
David Thompson R 25 3B 111 401 42 86 20 1 9 42 21 110 5 3
Ty Kelly B 30 2B 120 347 39 74 15 3 5 34 37 88 2 2
Cody Asche L 29 3B 107 351 39 74 16 2 10 39 32 106 1 3
Kevin Kaczmarski L 27 CF 102 355 37 78 13 4 2 26 32 92 8 7
Kevin Taylor L 27 LF 120 429 42 98 16 2 3 32 32 72 1 1
Luis Carpio R 21 2B 124 458 44 90 17 1 10 37 37 125 10 10
Desmond Lindsay R 22 CF 98 347 33 61 10 4 6 28 34 142 6 8
Jhoan Urena B 24 RF 128 458 48 95 19 3 11 48 38 146 3 3
Gregor Blanco L 35 CF 111 301 37 66 11 3 4 20 30 82 8 3
Tim Tebow L 31 LF 97 333 28 58 12 1 7 25 21 145 1 1

Batters – Rate Stats
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Michael Conforto .251 .352 .477 125 .226 .301 6.0 3 3.7 Steve Kemp
Jeff McNeil .274 .329 .426 106 .152 .299 5.3 -4 2.8 Todd Zeile
Robinson Cano .272 .329 .434 107 .162 .290 5.2 0 2.5 George Kell
Brandon Nimmo .240 .359 .402 109 .162 .320 5.1 -6 2.5 Andy Van Slyke
Yoenis Cespedes .258 .314 .486 115 .228 .299 5.6 5 2.3 Cleon Jones
Jed Lowrie .245 .325 .384 94 .139 .284 4.5 1 2.3 Joe Randa
Amed Rosario .266 .303 .401 91 .136 .316 4.6 -1 2.3 Garry Templeton
Peter Alonso .239 .324 .450 110 .211 .285 5.1 3 2.2 Justin Morneau
Todd Frazier .224 .310 .409 95 .185 .258 4.4 2 2.1 Ed Sprague
Wilson Ramos .259 .302 .419 95 .160 .289 4.6 -2 1.7 Javy Lopez
J.D. Davis .239 .297 .402 90 .163 .303 4.2 0 1.5 Eddie Williams
Travis d’Arnaud .241 .297 .396 88 .155 .270 4.2 0 1.3 Nelson Santovenia
Luis Guillorme .243 .312 .307 71 .064 .286 3.4 2 1.0 Jeff Treadway
Christian Colon .238 .310 .310 71 .071 .272 3.4 6 1.0 Ted Sizemore
Juan Lagares .248 .286 .348 73 .100 .301 3.6 7 0.9 Rufino Linares
Keon Broxton .198 .278 .358 73 .160 .317 3.7 1 0.9 D.J. Dozier
Andres Gimenez .218 .278 .319 64 .101 .281 3.0 7 0.8 Chris Moritz
Dilson Herrera .222 .283 .367 77 .145 .287 3.4 3 0.8 Nick Green
Dominic Smith .244 .296 .380 84 .137 .299 4.1 4 0.7 Adam Lind
T.J. Rivera .261 .296 .373 82 .113 .296 4.0 -1 0.7 Terry Tiffee
Patrick Mazeika .228 .309 .329 76 .102 .258 3.5 -3 0.5 Paul Ellis
Gavin Cecchini .244 .297 .341 75 .097 .282 3.5 -2 0.3 Chris Demetral
Ali Sanchez .214 .245 .306 50 .092 .243 2.5 6 0.2 Rogelio Arias
Will Toffey .191 .289 .296 61 .105 .262 2.8 2 0.1 Ronald Bourquin
Tomas Nido .218 .249 .331 57 .113 .263 2.8 2 0.0 Jeff Winchester
Devin Mesoraco .208 .295 .366 80 .157 .233 3.7 -6 0.0 Dave Valle
Jose Reyes .231 .290 .356 76 .125 .258 3.7 -4 0.0 Spike Owen
Rymer Liriano .206 .278 .349 71 .143 .295 3.2 3 -0.1 Jed Hansen
Sam Haggerty .193 .286 .293 60 .099 .278 3.0 -1 -0.3 Joe Redfield
Colton Plaia .196 .258 .296 52 .101 .280 2.6 -1 -0.3 Ray Stephens
Rajai Davis .213 .265 .285 51 .072 .274 2.9 0 -0.3 Lou Brock
Joey Terdoslavich .225 .293 .354 77 .129 .266 3.6 -1 -0.3 Chris Pritchett
Adrian Gonzalez .235 .286 .348 73 .112 .276 3.5 -1 -0.4 Glenn Adams
Austin Jackson .237 .293 .336 72 .099 .333 3.4 -6 -0.4 Gino Cimoli
Matt den Dekker .199 .256 .338 61 .139 .270 2.9 -2 -0.5 Nate Murphy
Johnny Monell .199 .262 .303 55 .103 .263 2.6 -3 -0.5 Chad Moeller
David Wright .204 .289 .293 61 .090 .284 2.8 -4 -0.6 Charlie Hayes
Braxton Lee .224 .289 .281 58 .057 .287 2.5 6 -0.7 Mike Kingery
David Thompson .214 .261 .337 63 .122 .273 3.0 -3 -0.7 Ronald Garth
Ty Kelly .213 .290 .317 67 .104 .272 3.1 -8 -0.7 Kevin Stocker
Cody Asche .211 .282 .353 73 .142 .272 3.3 -8 -0.7 Dave Baker
Kevin Kaczmarski .220 .290 .296 62 .076 .291 2.8 -4 -0.8 Deron McCue
Kevin Taylor .228 .285 .296 60 .068 .268 2.9 2 -0.9 Andre David
Luis Carpio .197 .256 .303 53 .107 .248 2.4 2 -0.9 Vicente Garcia
Desmond Lindsay .176 .254 .280 46 .104 .276 2.0 2 -1.0 Jason Knoedler
Jhoan Urena .207 .269 .334 64 .127 .279 3.0 -3 -1.2 Brian Suarez
Gregor Blanco .219 .291 .316 67 .096 .288 3.2 -13 -1.3 Andy Van Slyke
Tim Tebow .174 .231 .279 39 .105 .282 2.1 -12 -3.1 Colin Porter

Pitchers – Counting Stats
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO
Jacob deGrom R 31 13 7 2.75 30 30 196.3 164 60 18 45 223
Noah Syndergaard R 26 11 7 3.06 26 26 159.0 148 54 12 38 165
Zack Wheeler R 29 10 8 3.59 27 27 163.0 151 65 16 54 152
Edwin Diaz R 25 4 2 2.36 74 0 72.3 48 19 8 22 115
Steven Matz L 28 7 7 4.07 26 26 132.7 131 60 19 48 126
Jeurys Familia R 29 7 4 2.96 67 0 67.0 55 22 3 27 72
Justin Wilson L 31 5 3 3.21 66 0 53.3 41 19 4 29 71
Walker Lockett R 25 7 9 4.54 26 25 142.7 151 72 21 39 109
Seth Lugo R 29 5 5 4.30 40 12 104.7 105 50 17 29 95
Franklyn Kilome R 24 6 7 4.54 26 26 127.0 128 64 11 71 97
Corey Taylor R 26 4 4 3.80 49 2 68.7 70 29 5 22 47
Luis Avilan L 29 2 2 3.47 67 0 49.3 44 19 4 20 52
Drew Smith R 25 4 4 3.86 52 0 63.0 61 27 5 25 51
Stephen Villines R 23 5 4 3.69 46 0 61.0 53 25 8 22 71
Robert Gsellman R 25 4 4 3.95 71 0 79.7 79 35 8 29 65
Ian Krol L 28 2 2 3.92 51 0 59.7 56 26 6 28 58
Daniel Zamora L 26 2 2 3.79 51 0 54.7 48 23 6 24 61
Chris Flexen R 24 6 8 4.61 21 17 93.7 98 48 14 34 76
AJ Ramos R 32 2 2 3.92 49 0 43.7 36 19 4 26 52
Drew Gagnon R 29 6 7 4.74 31 23 138.7 137 73 22 56 130
Anthony Kay L 24 8 10 4.76 23 23 113.3 114 60 12 69 92
Hector Santiago L 31 5 7 4.81 37 15 112.3 105 60 19 62 108
Jerry Blevins L 35 2 2 3.96 61 0 38.7 35 17 4 19 42
Joshua Torres R 25 4 4 4.18 43 0 56.0 52 26 6 27 55
Eric Hanhold R 25 2 2 4.21 43 0 51.3 50 24 6 22 46
Ryan O’Rourke L 31 1 1 4.28 41 0 33.7 30 16 5 14 39
Tyler Bashlor R 26 3 3 4.25 46 0 53.0 48 25 6 30 55
Arquimedes Caminero R 32 2 2 4.24 46 0 46.7 44 22 6 23 47
Matt Purke L 28 2 3 4.47 40 0 52.3 48 26 4 38 48
Joe Zanghi R 24 2 2 4.35 40 0 60.0 61 29 5 28 43
Tim Peterson R 28 3 3 4.37 50 0 59.7 58 29 11 17 64
Jason Vargas L 36 7 10 5.08 22 22 106.3 113 60 22 33 92
Buddy Baumann L 31 2 2 4.65 35 1 40.7 39 21 6 22 41
Jacob Rhame R 26 3 3 4.45 55 0 62.7 61 31 11 20 67
Zach Lee R 27 7 10 5.00 24 23 126.0 144 70 19 39 77
Joshua Torres R 25 4 5 4.70 39 2 59.3 58 31 9 28 58
Paul Sewald R 29 4 5 4.57 55 0 65.0 64 33 10 22 65
Logan Taylor R 27 1 2 4.91 33 4 47.7 47 26 6 29 43
David Peterson R 29 2 2 4.70 35 0 46.0 51 24 5 17 27
P.J. Conlon L 25 5 8 5.04 25 22 121.3 136 68 19 44 80
Ryder Ryan R 24 3 4 4.70 44 0 51.7 51 27 7 25 48
Cody Martin R 29 4 6 5.24 23 17 91.0 95 53 16 40 79
Kyle Dowdy R 26 8 11 5.25 27 19 111.3 121 65 19 47 87
Chris Mazza R 29 3 5 5.16 21 14 83.7 96 48 13 30 49
Corey Oswalt R 25 6 8 5.19 26 22 111.0 121 64 21 41 88
Aaron Laffey L 34 3 4 5.37 17 9 58.7 69 35 9 21 31
A.J. Griffin R 31 4 6 5.56 19 18 87.3 90 54 20 36 73
Vance Worley R 31 4 6 5.44 25 12 81.0 95 49 13 33 47
Stephen Nogosek R 24 2 3 5.50 42 0 52.3 52 32 8 36 52
David Roseboom L 27 2 3 5.51 43 0 50.7 53 31 10 27 47
Harol Gonzalez R 24 6 11 5.70 23 22 124.7 147 79 23 51 71

Pitchers – Rate Stats
Player TBF K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP ERA+ ERA- FIP WAR No. 1 Comp
Jacob deGrom 789 10.22 2.06 0.83 .292 140 71 2.80 5.0 Kevin Brown
Noah Syndergaard 656 9.34 2.15 0.68 .311 126 79 2.85 3.5 Roy Halladay
Zack Wheeler 691 8.39 2.98 0.88 .293 108 93 3.70 2.6 Bob Rush
Edwin Diaz 289 14.31 2.74 1.00 .288 169 59 2.53 2.5 Antonio Osuna
Steven Matz 575 8.55 3.26 1.29 .299 95 105 4.36 1.3 Doug Davis
Jeurys Familia 281 9.67 3.63 0.40 .294 131 77 2.88 1.3 Claude Jonnard
Justin Wilson 228 11.98 4.89 0.68 .301 124 80 3.15 0.9 Marshall Bridges
Walker Lockett 614 6.88 2.46 1.32 .297 85 118 4.50 0.7 Nick Blackburn
Seth Lugo 445 8.17 2.49 1.46 .293 90 111 4.39 0.6 Danny Graves
Franklyn Kilome 577 6.87 5.03 0.78 .299 85 117 4.59 0.6 Mike Torrez
Corey Taylor 297 6.16 2.88 0.66 .297 102 98 3.86 0.6 Pedro Borbon
Luis Avilan 211 9.49 3.65 0.73 .301 111 90 3.43 0.6 Tippy Martinez
Drew Smith 274 7.29 3.57 0.71 .296 103 97 3.94 0.5 Ray Herbert
Stephen Villines 258 10.48 3.25 1.18 .294 105 95 3.81 0.5 Jorge Julio
Robert Gsellman 346 7.34 3.28 0.90 .297 98 102 4.10 0.5 Chad Kimsey
Ian Krol 263 8.75 4.22 0.91 .299 102 98 4.12 0.4 Tippy Martinez
Daniel Zamora 235 10.04 3.95 0.99 .298 102 98 3.83 0.4 Grant Jackson
Chris Flexen 411 7.30 3.27 1.35 .298 84 119 4.72 0.3 Michael Macdonald
AJ Ramos 192 10.72 5.36 0.82 .296 99 101 3.88 0.3 Heathcliff Slocumb
Drew Gagnon 606 8.44 3.63 1.43 .294 82 123 4.70 0.3 Dan Petry
Anthony Kay 522 7.31 5.48 0.95 .298 81 123 4.91 0.2 Greg Kubes
Hector Santiago 501 8.65 4.97 1.52 .280 83 121 5.22 0.2 Ray Searage
Jerry Blevins 170 9.78 4.42 0.93 .304 98 102 4.03 0.2 Marshall Bridges
Joshua Torres 247 8.84 4.34 0.96 .297 92 108 4.24 0.2 Joe Hudson
Eric Hanhold 225 8.06 3.86 1.05 .297 92 109 4.34 0.1 Casey Daigle
Ryan O’Rourke 144 10.43 3.74 1.34 .294 93 107 4.10 0.1 Bob McClure
Tyler Bashlor 237 9.34 5.09 1.02 .296 91 110 4.47 0.1 Clay Bryant
Arquimedes Caminero 207 9.06 4.44 1.16 .297 91 110 4.48 0.1 Dennis Higgins
Matt Purke 242 8.25 6.54 0.69 .295 89 112 4.66 0.0 Jim Roland
Joe Zanghi 268 6.45 4.20 0.75 .298 89 113 4.40 0.0 Gary Ross
Tim Peterson 253 9.65 2.56 1.66 .297 88 113 4.41 0.0 Jack Krawczyk
Jason Vargas 461 7.79 2.79 1.86 .294 79 127 5.15 0.0 Chris Michalak
Buddy Baumann 182 9.07 4.87 1.33 .297 86 117 4.82 0.0 Tim Adkins
Jacob Rhame 267 9.62 2.87 1.58 .299 87 115 4.35 0.0 Rick Anderson
Zach Lee 558 5.50 2.79 1.36 .300 77 129 4.98 -0.1 A.J. Sager
Joshua Torres 264 8.80 4.25 1.37 .297 82 122 4.78 -0.1 Joe Davenport
Paul Sewald 279 9.00 3.05 1.38 .300 85 118 4.26 -0.1 Brian Edmondson
Logan Taylor 219 8.12 5.48 1.13 .297 79 127 5.00 -0.2 Ken Wright
David Peterson 204 5.28 3.33 0.98 .301 82 122 4.63 -0.2 Jim Todd
P.J. Conlon 540 5.93 3.26 1.41 .299 77 131 5.10 -0.2 Jason Dickson
Ryder Ryan 231 8.36 4.35 1.22 .299 82 122 4.74 -0.2 Joe Davenport
Cody Martin 406 7.81 3.96 1.58 .297 76 131 5.18 -0.2 Robert Ellis
Kyle Dowdy 501 7.03 3.80 1.54 .299 76 132 5.26 -0.3 Peter Bauer
Chris Mazza 375 5.27 3.23 1.40 .299 75 134 5.25 -0.3 Jim Owens
Corey Oswalt 494 7.14 3.32 1.70 .297 74 134 5.32 -0.4 Sean Lawrence
Aaron Laffey 264 4.76 3.22 1.38 .300 72 139 5.31 -0.4 Jose Santiago
A.J. Griffin 387 7.52 3.71 2.06 .277 72 140 5.86 -0.5 Jackson Todd
Vance Worley 368 5.22 3.67 1.44 .303 71 141 5.45 -0.6 Karl Drews
Stephen Nogosek 244 8.94 6.19 1.38 .303 72 138 5.39 -0.6 Jeff Kennard
David Roseboom 231 8.35 4.80 1.78 .299 70 143 5.64 -0.7 Wes Pierorazio
Harol Gonzalez 569 5.13 3.68 1.66 .297 68 148 5.81 -1.2 Mark Mangum

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2019. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams, unless I have made a mistake. This is very possible, as a lot of minor-league signings go generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS’ projections are based on the American League having a 4.29 ERA and the National League having a 4.15 ERA.

Players who are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information, and a computer isn’t the tool that should project the injury status of, for example, a pitcher who has had Tommy John surgery.

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by me, Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, I will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on a depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2019 ZiPS Projections – New York Mets by Dan Szymborski!

Please support FanGraphs by becoming a member. We publish thousands of articles a year, host multiple podcasts, and have an ever growing database of baseball stats.

FanGraphs does not have a paywall. With your membership, we can continue to offer the content you've come to rely on and add to our unique baseball coverage.

Support FanGraphs




Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

newest oldest most voted
oconnk11
Member
oconnk11

You say Peter Alsonso will be called up as soon as his clock rolls over another year, but given the Mets history with Conforto, Nimmo, and McNeil are we sure they’re not going to ride Todd Frazier as long as possible? Maybe they try to contend this year and think they need “veteran leadership.”

mikecws91
Member

Well they do have this new GM that isn’t beholden to the team’s transaction history.

oozyalbies1
Member
oozyalbies1

I think Frazier gets sold short. Even including his down 2018 (1.5 fWAR), he’s averaged 3+ fWAR since becoming a regular in 2012. His offense has been trending down, for sure, but he’s not exactly a stiff out there. His BB% has improved since leaving Cincinnati, and he still has pop. Some positive regression to his BABIP could make him an above average regular again, although I admit his profile does skew toward that figure being below league average.

It also may take more than a Frazier benching to get Alonso a path to regular playing time, what with McNeil, Lowrie and Cano all seeming to be ahead of him.

bosoxforlife
Member
Member
bosoxforlife

All those guys you mention that might be in front of Alonso will step aside quickly if he hits, after all his comp is Justin Morneau. All the Mets can do is dream that this is a brilliant comparison and see how it plays out.

Dave42
Member
Dave42

are we really sure Alonso is ready for the bigs? He did not exactly light up Vegas last year, and a lot of bad hitters light up Vegas. As a Mets’ fan, I am glad they are not relying on Alonso to be their starting 1B, adding Cano and Lowrie to Frazier and McNeil in a group of infielders who can play multiple positions. That gives Alonso an avenue to the majors but allows the Mets to make sure he’s ready.

David Klein
Member

He struck out more than he has at other levels but other than that he was pretty good in Vegas

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

21 home runs in 300 PAs and a .355 OBP is an excellent batting line. He still might not be ready for the bigs (maybe there’s a certain pitch that AAA pitchers struggle with, but will mess with him in the bigs). But if so, evidence for that will have to come from some place other than the stat line.

dodgerbleu
Member
Member
dodgerbleu

That is a 139 wRC+ in the PCL. For a bat first/bat-only prospect like Alonso, that’s not great. Jabari Blash offers the same profile and had 346 PA’s in the PCL of 188 wRC+ last year. He got cut from the Angels for that performance.

Out of players with 150+ PA, Alonso ranks 20th behind feared sluggers such as Jose Labaton (168 wRC+), David Freitas (158), Patrick Kivlehan (not even sure who he is but he’s in the Mets system and rocked a 147 in 390 PA’s) and Socrates Brito.

It’s the PCL. Alonso could have Dan Vogelbach disease. In fact, that might be an even better comparison if we’re looking for an excellent batting line Dan Vogelbach walked twice as much as Alonso, struck out about 75% less often and posted a 157 wRC+ in 378 PA’s.

I like Alonso well enough. But he’s not proven himself in AAA – not NEARLY proven himself.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

What you’re referring to is more of a “Quad-A” disease, rather than a “PCL disease.” Guys like Blash have problems that AAA doesn’t expose, but major league pitchers do.

You can play this game with the International League too, especially if you drop the PAs all the way down to 150s (where you get way more fluky performances). In 2016, Gary Sanchez was 27th in the International League with a wRC+ of 132, where the best guys were Scott Schebler, Tyler Austin, and Jason Coats (Byron Buxton was #4; I can imagine that everyone will claim that piece of evidence supports their points). Jesus Aguilar was somewhere around #40.

The problem is that there’s a survivor’s bias for guys who aren’t quite good enough to make in the major leagues, and it’s pretty clear that there are a lot more of them than legitimate prospects.

Keep in mind, there are certain things that are more translatable to the majors from AAA than others. Walks don’t translate that well, but lower strikeouts do; homers definitely translate. If Alonso is going to succeed, it’s going to be with a very different profile than Vogelbach; he’s going to have to pound the ball and make guys pitch around him.

finman
Member
finman

Why did you pick 150 PAs as your floor? Alfonso had 300 in Vegas.

Jabari Blash was 29 last year, and has over 1200 PAs at AAA. His K rate averaged in the mid to high 20%’s throughout his minor league career.

Jose Lobatan is a 33 year old career back up catcher. Hitting well for a 5-6 weeks at AAA doesn’t change anything.

David Freitas is a 29 year old backup catcher. Hitting well for a 5-6 weeks at AAA doesn’t change anything.

Patrick Kivlehan was 28 last year, and has over 1300 PAs at AAA, as well as 242 ML PAs. His minor league career high for HRs is 22.

Socrates Brito was 25 last year, and has over 1100 PAs at AAA, as well as 175 ML PAs. His 18 HR (17 AAA, 1 ML) in 2018 was a career best.

Dan Vogelbach was 25 last year, and has over 1400 PAs at AAA, as well as 146 ML PAs. 2018 was his third year with significant AAA time.

Alonso was 23 last year, and got his first taste of AAA. He may not be ready for the bigs, and he may not succeed when he gets there, but I think you should find some better comps.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

I picked it because that was literally what dodgerbleu used as his criteria.

finman
Member
finman

Sorry, it isn’t evident in this layout, but my reply was to dodgerbleu.

Syndergaardengnomes
Member
Syndergaardengnomes

FWIW, Alonso started slow in AAA, then put up .308/.392/.731 in August. I know it’s a bit of cherry picking, but I’d much rather see someone start slow then adjust, vs. the opposite.