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The 2015 New York Mets shocked the baseball world by not only winning the NL East division, but representing the National League in the World Series, ultimately losing to the Kansas City Royals in five games.

A trip to the World Series gave the Mets amazing young pitching staff some great experience and confidence, something they plan to carry into the 2016 season.

Yoenis Cespedes was the one guy the Mets had to bring back if they wanted to make a return trip to the World Series. After giving the fans a scare, and nearly losing him to the rival Washington Nationals (like Daniel Murphy), a deal was done and Cespedes will be back in Queens in 2016.

Losing Murphy caused the Mets to make a few moves to improve their middle infield by trading Jon Niese for 2B Neil Walker and signing free agent SS Asdrubal Cabrera.

With the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves in rebuilding mode, and the Miami Marlins being average, the Mets will battle all year with the Washington Nationals for the NL East title.

2016 New York Mets Projected Go-To Lineup

  1. RF Curtis Granderson
  2. 2B Neil Walker
  3. 3B David Wright
  4. CF Yoenis Cespedes
  5. 1B Lucas Duda
  6. C Travis d’Arnaud
  7. LF Michael Conforto
  8. SS Asdrubal Cabrera

Bringing back Yoenis Cespedes was key this offseason for the Mets. Cespedes brings that right handed power that the Mets desperately needed and he’s a presence in the lineup. It will be interesting to see if David Wright can stay healthy this year, but he will more than likely get a lot of scheduled days off as Terry Collins tries to keep him fresh. The Mets will miss Daniel Murphy’s professionalism at the plate, but they will not be disappointed with Neil Walker at all. A full year of Michael Conforto will be a nice upgrade over Michael Cuddyer and he will be a huge contributor against right handed pitching. All 8 hitters in the Mets lineup can easily wind up with double digit home runs.

2016 New York Mets Projected Pitchers

Starting Rotation

  1. Jacon deGrom
  2. Matt Harvey
  3. Noah Syndergaard
  4. Steven Matz
  5. Bartolo Colon

The Mets head into 2016 with the best pitching rotation in all of baseball. deGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard and Matz all are under the age of 28 and all throw 95+. If they can stay healthy, there is no reason to believe they can’t win a minimum of 60 games combined. Colon is back and he showed in the postseason that even at the age of 42 he can still pitch in this league. Colon will hold that fifth spot in the rotation until Zack Wheeler is ready to return from Tommy John Surgery.

Bullpen

  • Jeurys Familia (closer)
  • Addison Reed (setup)
  • Antonio Bastardo (setup)

The Mets never intended on making Jeurys Familia their closer in 2015 but Jenrry Mejia was banned 162 games after his second failed PED test. It was a blessing in disguise for the Mets, as Familia finished third in the NL with 43 saves and a 1.85 ERA in 78 IP. Signing lefty Antonio Bastardo was a nice addition for the Mets as they did not have a lefty specialist in the postseason.

2016 New York Mets Team Preview: Fantasy Studs

The Mets pitching staff will be lights out in 2016, but it’s two guys who will lead and carry this team.

Jacob deGrom won 14 games last season, posting a 2.54 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He struck out 205 batters while walking just 38 in 191 innings. He won 3 games in the postseason, and really became a household name when he struck out the side in the sixth inning during the MLB All-Star game on just 10 pitches. With the experience he got in 2015, expect Jacob deGrom to compete for a Cy Young award this season.

Matt Havey is the Mets 1A pitcher. He’s just as good as deGrom and is a gamer. He lives for the big moments and we saw that in the World Series (although it backfired). However, coming off of Tommy John surgery, Harvey won 13 games last season, posting a 2.71 ERA and a WHIP of 1.02. He struck out 188 batters while walking just 37 in 189 innings. Expect Harvey to be stronger in 2016.

Breakout Candidates: Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard

Somehow the Mets traded 40 year old R.A. Dickey and got back Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, two guys who are ready to break out in a big way this year.

Travis d’Arnaud has been injury prone his entire career but the soon to be 27 year old is ready to be healthy and productive in 2016. In 67 games last year, d’Arnaud hit .268 with 14 doubles, one triple and 12 home runs. d’Arnaud is a strong kid and although he isn’t the greatest defensive catcher (thank god defense doesn’t matter in fantasy), he has a ton of pop and could hit 25 home runs if he plays a full season.

If Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey are 1 and 1A in the Mets rotation, I think we can consider Noah Syndergaard 1AA. At just 23 years old, Syndergaard might be the best pitcher on the entire pitching staff. The 6’6 righty constantly throws in the high 90s and has some great off speed pitches. Last year Syndergaard made 24 starts, going 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Syndergaard struck out 166 batters and walked just 31 in 150 innings. Because of the power he provides behind his pitches, Syndergaard did allow 19 home runs. However in the postseason, he made 3 starts and a relief appearance and did not allow a home run in 19 innings pitched. In the playoffs, Syndergaard went 2-1, with 26 strike outs and batters hit just .217 off of him. Give this kid 30 starts and 190 innings this year, and he’ll win 15+ games and strike out well over 200 batters.

Sleeper Candidates: Steven Matz, Michael Conforto

Steven Matz major league debut did not start off great, as he gave up a home run to Brandon Phillips, the first batter he ever faced. But Matz did finish the 2015 regular season with a 4-0 record in 6 starts. Matz posted a 2.27 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. In 35 innings, he struck out 34 batters. The 24 year old also drew 3 starts in the postseason, including a World Series start in which he gave up 2 runs in 5 innings while striking out 5. Matz, a New Yorker, showed great poise during the postseason, and that will only help him break out in 2016 with a full season under his belt.

Michael Conforto is another kid who the Mets are very excited about in 2016. The 22 year old will start in left field, and will be in the lineup everyday as long as there is a righty on the mound. Conforto had 173 at-bats in 2015 and he hit .270 with 14 doubles, 9 home runs and 26 RBI. This kid is a line drive hitter with some real pop. Conforto’s greatest moment came in game 4 of the World Series as he blasted two solo home runs. Expect Conforto to be an extra base machine this season.

Bust Candidates: David Wright

The Captain David Wright has been on a decline over the past few season, despite being in his early 30’s. Unfortunately that’s what injuries can do to you. Wright played just 38 games last season and hit .289 with 7 doubles, 5 home runs and 17 RBI. Wright struggled in the postseason as he hit just .185. Wright should walk into the 2016 season healthier than he was last year, but it’s hard to expect him to be out there for more than 110-120 games as it’s almost inevitable that he will spend some time on the DL and will get a few days off each week as the manager Terry Collins lets him rest.

Top Rookie: Dilson Herrera

Dilson Herrera is in the long term plans for the Mets, but it’s all about when he’ll get that chance to be the everyday second basemen. Turning 22 before the start of the season, Herrera will likely start the season in Triple-A where he batted .327 with 11 home runs, 50 RBI and stole 13 bases in 81 games. With Daniel Murphy gone, and neither Wilmer Flores or Ruben Tejada a threat to steal the position from Herrera, we could see Dilson up sooner than later. Neil Walker is the Mets everyday second basemen but only hits .237 against lefties, and that’s where Herrera could be a fit. The Mets could essentially use Walker and Herrera as a platoon at second, giving the youngster some much needed at-bats.

What Should We Know About the 2016 New York Mets?

This is not the New York Mets of old. They made a splash in 2015 and everyone knows how good their pitching is. This team is destined to get back to the postseason in 2016 and they’ll be led by their great young pitching staff.

The question for this offense is whether or not they can stay healthy. If Wright and d’Arnaud can be out there for the majority of the year, then this team will have no problem winning close to 90 games. Regardless, it will be fun to see a full year of Curtis Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto in the Mets outfield.

If they fall short of the NL East title, it will mean that the Nationals had a great season, but the Mets should at least claim a Wild Card spot. In a one game playoff the Mets will have a huge advantage thanks to their pitching.

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