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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Eno Sarris from Amazin Avenue.

1) It’s funny how batting average can make someone a fantasy sleeper.  Despite hitting 32 HRs last year, Ike Davis also had a .227 average and is going after guys like Anthony Rizzo and Eric Hosmer in some mock drafts.  We have an Ike Davis fantasy sleeper call out on this first baseman for the season.  Do you feel the same way or is the current valuation of him justified for 2013?

Ike has real power, which is funny because his first season as a profession produced zero home runs. Well, funny to me I guess. Not to him. Anyway, there’s a hitch in his swing, and that hitch helps him with the power and also hurts his ability to make contact. His hitting coach tells me it’s not a problem, so I guess it’s not a problem. But that means it’s also not going away. So if you are dreaming on his BABIP and see that .302 average in 2011 and are drooling, I’d wipe it up. If you are open-eyed, knowing that his batting average will be a minus, but that his power and price will make him a valuable pickup, go right ahead. I guess what I’m saying is I like Ike, but I know he’s got flaws. Ryan Howard made that package work once upon a time, though, so yes. Let’s call him a sleeper.

2) Even after losing R.A. Dickey this off-season, there’s a lot to like about the Mets starting rotation this year.  Who will you be targeting in fantasy drafts and which one do you think will be the best value on draft day for 2013?

I find the entire rotation entirely fantasy useful and undervalued. Johan Santana’s changeup is still working — look at his swinging strike rate, and look at what he did before he busted his ankle. That wasn’t all the shoulder. He can get guys out, and it I bet a year removed from the surgery will help. A mid-threes ERA with a nice WHIP and okay strikeout rate? In the dollar rounds? Yes. Matt Harvey will cost a little more because he struck out everyone in his debut. And his control leaves something to be desired, so he might be overvalued in some leagues. But I’ve been in expert mocks so far, and he’s going in the high teens. I’ll take him there because I love strikeouts. Even if they are fascist. Jon Niese is a fantasy afterthought, and watching him, I get it. The curve is okay, the cutter is a cutter, and the fastball is just a 90 mph thing. But he does have good control, gets ground balls, and can be an innings-eater on any staff. I bet he’ll be above replacement level and be cheap. Dillon Gee? Maybe more of a deep leaguer, but he has great control and even if his fastball sucks, his secondary stuff really doesn’t. There’s upside there. Shaun Marcum should be good for a hundred or so good innings, twenty or so blow-up innings, and anything you get after that is bonus. But be like the Mets — invest so little in him that if TJ comes calling, you don’t mind.

3) If Ruben Tejada were a food, he’d be wonder bread: sure you can eat it but it’ll still leave you feeling hungry and was full of empty calories.  Despite batting .289 and in the leadoff spot for most of the season, Tejada finished the year with only 4 steals and 53 runs in 114 games.  Prorated to 150 games – 70 runs and 5 steals – we have to say we’re pretty bored over here in the fantasy world with Tejada.  At only 23 years old, what can we expect for growth from Tejada and is there any value for him in a typical 10 or 12 team league for 2013?

I denigrated Ruben Tejada coming up, thinking they’d knock the bat out of his hand, his defense was unknown, and the patience would disappear. In real life, he’s been great though. Cheap, reliable defense with a modicum of patience. In fantasy, you’re right. Total wonderbread. I’ve been as positive as I can be about his 2013, and all I can find is maybe a .285 batting average with a home run and fifteen steals, and unless they move him to the top of the lineup and the patience returns a little, the runs won’t even be exciting. You have to be in a Warm Body deep league to want him at your MI position.

4) In our Travis d’Arnaud fantasy write up, we said we’d be surprised if he weren’t up by May 1st.  Is this a reasonable expectation and what do you foresee from the rookie catcher in 2013?

The only thing that makes me worry about TDA — other than his mediocre plate discipline stats in the minors and the fact that his best power years came in nice power parks and his upside might be more of a real-life than fantasy thing — is that with the knee injury, they’ll have an excuse to keep him down for arbitration reasons. Like you say, May 1 is a good guess, although I think June 1 is the safer one, since that’s usually when the super two deadline is. I’m not sold. Remember how sweet Devin Mesoraco was going to be. Managers want veterans behind the plate and it often takes a while. TDA is no Buster Posey, not to me.

5) It’s mid-Summer and the Mets are playing well, in the thick of the NL East crown hunt.  What’s the storyline behind this drive down Amazin Avenue?
A) Lucas Duda returns to 2011 form and is on pace for hitting .280 with 20 HRs and 90 RBIs
B) Frank Francisco challenges Bobby Parnell to a chair-throwing contest, saying the loser doesn’t close for the Mets on the year.  Though Frankie throws it the farthest, he also hits another fan and is arrested, giving Parnell the job anyway
C) Jordany Valdespin – a sparkplug off the bench for most of the start of the year – eventually takes over for one of the struggling players and goes on to have a 12 HR, 30 steal season.
D) Jonathon Niese becomes addicted to plastic surgery after last season’s nose job.  Niese shows up in camp looking like David Hasselhoff and becomes a Cy Young contender with the boost in confidence he gets.  The Hoff’s cover of Hooked On A Feeling becomes his walk up music.
E) Matt Harvey wins NL rookie of the year

If they are actually competitive, it’ll probably have to be all of the above. I think A) and E) have a shot at happening, but if that’s all that happens, they’ll just be third or fourth in the division. I do think they can manage 75+ wins! Heady times to be a Mets fan!

  1. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    Tejada might be a 1st round draft pick in my RCL bizarro league.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha, that sounds about right. He’s like tasteless junkfood.

    • Wife has by nuts but I have fantasy sports says:
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      There is literally no way Harvey can win ROY. He pitched 9 innings too many last year to qualify

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        So I’ve heard from the comments above you… :)

  2. Sideshow says:
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    I like Cowgil to surprise this year. Not even a mention in question 5?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not really a huge believer in him myself. There’s plenty of upside in that Mets OF. Last year we were supposed to be interested in Nieuwenhuis and yet in the end they say they’re starting the year with Valdespin leading off and probably in center and Marlon Byrd in right. I think he’s a 5-7 HR/20 SB guy with a .260 average if he gets enough playing time. Not all that exciting in my book.

  3. Captain Kangaroo says:
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    Harvey pitched above the league minimum last season to be a rookie this year. So, no E) does not happen but he will win NL Most Awesomesauce Pitcher on a Non-Contending Team.

      • JoeC says:
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        @Sky: I got him in the 18th round of my main league’s draft last night (13 team). Seems like crazy-good value. Teheran was taken waaaay before him (13th round). Ah, the hype of Spring Training stats! Never gets old!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @JoeC: That’s crazy…especially juxtaposed to Julio.

  4. Josh says:
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    Question 5: Is RA Dickey really going to pitch well enough to put BOTH the Mets and Blue Jays in the AL East race?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Josh: Hehe, oops. Fix is in shortly.

  5. MrMojoRisin says:
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    Somehow I doubt my Metsies will be in the thick of the AL East race…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @MrMojoRisin: Maybe they’ll swap NY teams to make the AL East as competitive as it used to be.

  6. MrMojoRisin says:
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    Unless they give Harvey the NL ROY retroactively he won’t win it.

    He threw 59 innings last year, 9 too many to be considered a rookie.

  7. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    im liking Valdespin this year,looks like he is making better contact less k,s,hope he can hit 275

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Even if he hits .260, I love him in yahoo leagues: 2B eligible.

      Overall I’m with you. Drafted him late in my deep keeper as a bench bat. Hoping for big things.

  8. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    surprised Paulie hasnt chimed in on his mets,

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      He’s probably written me off for a hack since I called Harvey a rookie.

      • AL KOHOLIC says:
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        @Sky: ha,probably studying streamers,in the ECFBL they all go with streaming so i grabbed a top flight set of starters kershaw,weaver gallardo,lester,harvey and teheran,ill see if i can get him to bite on harvey

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          There ya go. They always pay more for their boys!

          Uh, ECFBL…I get the FBL but what’s the EC?

          • AL KOHOLIC says:
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            @Sky: not sure,maybe paulie will fill us in,ill try to find out

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              My two best guesses:

              East Coast

              Echidna Cocks

              You can see why I don’t have a third one.

        • AL KOHOLIC says:
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          @AL KOHOLIC: now that i look at Paulies team,he loaded up on starters nice also

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @AL KOHOLIC: shoot. Oh well, guess you’ll just have to enjoy Harvey all to yourself.

            • Paulie Allnuts

              Paulie Allnuts says:
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              @Sky: EAST COAST FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUE. The Mets are a terrible team. May have the worst NL outfield in my lifetime, and I am old enough to have seen Ted Williams play in the majors. Until Wilpon goes, the team can never compete. Yet I agree – their staff is nice. Wouldn’t agree about Santana; he is terminally injured, had an ERA of about 9.. or so after his no-hitter. Harvey is a stud, but wait till you see Wheeler later on. A wonderbread reincarnation of Doc Gooden; curve not quite as awesome, but he has the goods. Yes, Kelly, loaded up on starters because I am just not good as the Fredsies and Chris at picking up streamers. I would trade for Harvey except I picked up Shelby Miller, Grey’s newest heart throb, and now have five starters. And naw, you ain’t no hack, Sky! Pretty good evaluation. However, Ike’s BA was much better once he shook of Valley Fever. Could have an awesome year. At least the Mets aren’t spending millions for retreads like Vernon Wells. Old man Steinbrenner is turning around in his grave. Would be awesome if the Mets won more games then the Yanks. Nice column

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                Ha thanks! I think it’s a very real possibility the Mets do win more games. Though your OF assessment is correct, if d’Arnaud comes up soon and Duda can give some part of his tail end to 2011, it’s a reasonable team. I’m with you regarding Johan, but I do like Niese and Gee. Think Gee is set up to come close to what Niese did in terms of surprise in 2012 this year. What is Wheelers ETA?

                • Paulie Allnuts

                  Paulie Allnuts says:
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                  @Sky: I don’t think that either Wheeler or D’Arnoud will appear on the team until the dates they are cleared for an extra year of the Mets not having to deal with arbitration. Wilponzi states he has money, but that is doubtful, and this year is certainly a wash. But if Harvey, Niese, Gee, and Wheeler perform well, the Mets have a nice rotation; if they have some money, they could sign an Ellsbury and a right fielder, fix up their bullpen, and have a shot at winning 90 games and be in the mold of the SF Giants. But the keys are Harvey, Wheeler and D’Arnaud. Alderson’s job is on the line if they don’t perform up to their potential. And BTW, thanks for some nice columns. I am a steady reader, though an infrequent commenter.

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    That makes sense about the rooks and the Mets approach. I’ve always wanted to root for the Mets but as a Mariners fan, I have my own problems to deal with :)

                    And thanks, glad to hear you enjoy the read. Opening day is drawing painfully close, can’t wait!

                    • Paulie Allnuts

                      Paulie Allnuts says:
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                      @Sky: Can’t wait myself. Hopefully, will be able to get tickets to the All-Star Bank at the House that Barnie Madoff built. At least the Mariners have 18 games against the woeful Astros.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Ha! Yeah, I would’ve said the same thing last year vs the A’s but there ya go. I’m expecting them to be decent this year but can’t see them finishing any higher than 3rd and that’s if the Rangers take a huge tumble. I know part of OAK’s run last year was miracle/luck but in reality, it’s a solid ballclub. I am glad we have very little chance of finishing last this year, though.

  9. love the mets.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Good luck to ya this year then.

    • Paulie Allnuts

      Paulie Allnuts says:
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      @Sky: @gbaked: Amazin’! Have to dig up some old Casey quotes. A fellow sufferer!

  10. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    with the Mets being my secondary team, I am concerned about Duda, i thought he was a draft day deal only to have him be a draft day heal. What happened?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I think he caved under expectations. There’ll be less of a spotlight on him this year. If I remember correctly, he also didn’t play well in right and I heard it got in his head a bit. Overall, lower expectations and very little competition should lead to a decent season. I’m thinking 20-25 HRs and a .260 average is doable.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Sky: he’s from Riverside and went to USC, dude doesn’t know what his element is.

        I just picked him up in 20 teamer. crossing my fingers!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I have him in my 12 team, 30 player keeper as a bench bat. I got to enjoy that 2011 ride down the stretch. I still have faith.

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Sky: on my watch list in RCL’s, going to jump on a hot start faster than other bats, could lead to something

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @Jack Full of Hate: Yup, he’s a 20 HR guy who could surprise for more. Guys like him are why I like deep leagues. You target guys like him late in drafts where everyone has forgotten them and see if you get something good out of it.

              • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                @Sky: It’s like waiting til last call to go hook up some after hours action, most are duds, but sometimes you pull the one that everyone else over looked and you scored some good talent!

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Haha, yup! RCL is all about watching guys like him but definitely no reason to draft him/pick him up right off the bat.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: I was talking with Grey yesterday about my toss-up salad with Fowler, Cain and Marte and I know I need to hold and see how the first two weeks pan out, but I can’t stop wanting to rosterbate. It’s so hard, no pun intended, to not want to mess with things. Regarding Marte, I see him as a guy that is amazing when hot and horrendous when not. There is no middle ground with him.

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Agreed, it’s kinda why I wasn’t too hip on chasing Marte this year. I’ve already picked up three Texas hitters to start the year off right on Sunday due to the DL spot and Cashner not starting the year in the rotation (which is BS, BTW). IMHO, RCL is too thin not to rosterbate but it depends on who you’re dropping. Fowler for me is a home start and that’s about it. Like David Murphy for Texas. Cain I pray for but I surprisingly didn’t get him anywhere this year.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: I know “spring doesn’t matter” but I always watch K/BB for hitters, see how the eye is coming along and Cain has a 1/3 K/BB going right now, that peaks my interest. Marte has a 6/1 K/BB and makes me wonder. Do you know what I’m saying?

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I hear ya. But in reality, a 1:3 split with the amount of at-bats he’s had means he’s swinging at everything which is the Royals MO. Go look at the splits of other KC guys. It’ll probably be similar in terms of low numbers.

                      Marte does not surprise me. What does surprise me is that they’re gonna let him attempt lead off. Not a good on base guy at all.

                  • Jack Full of Hate says:
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                    @Sky: Cains actually numbers are 9 walks to 6 K’s, I like 9 walks especially for a guy set to lead off. Bags baby!

                    I have this gut feeling that Marte is going to go the way of Presly and Tabata but with more pop. Conservatively I see a .240 with 20/20 and 200k’s

      • Paulie Allnuts

        Paulie Allnuts says:
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        @Sky: That is an understatement. Duda is the Marv Throneberry (for those Metropolitan fans with long memories) of the outfield. He is awful.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Paulie Allnuts: Yeah, I’ve seen the defense. It’s painful to watch. Usually a good fielder has most of his movement done before the camera pans to him but with Duda’s zero speed/zero recognition, it’s always an adventure.

  11. Christian says:
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    Sky,

    In a 10 team NL-Only league that starts 7 pitchers. Right now I’ve got this lineup going for me and am thinking about jettisoning someone to stash Zach Wheeler.

    Hamels
    Greinke
    Samardzjia
    Gee
    Romo
    Miley
    Peralta
    Corbin
    Narveson

    Would you boot Narveson to the curb with an uncertain Brewers’ starting pitching staff and hope that a season-ender to Santana puches up the Wheeler time-table?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I don’t think it does for monetary reasons. I don’t mind the move, though, just keep in mind you’ve gotta hold him for a good while for it to pay off.

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