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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 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Eno Sarris from FanGraphs.

1) The Mets made some early moves in free agency this offseason including the signing of Curtis Granderson. What can fantasy players expect from him in 2014 now that he calls Citi Field his home?

Obviously the strikeouts are going in the wrong direction, and at 32, he’s probably not going to reverse that trend. You can book a bad average. But it’s a bit too early for a power plunge like the one he went on in 2013, so let’s chalk that up to two separate injuries caused by hit-by-pitches. He’s no Shin-Soo Choo or Carlos Quentin when it comes to hit-by-pitches either, so it’s not likely that he’ll continue to have injury problems due to being beaned. He’ll lose the short porch at home with the move to Queens, but he’ll like hitting in Citizen’s Bank in Philadelphia. Maybe the ten feet of longer distance in right field will steal a handful of home runs. It’s just a question of how desperate you are for power in today’s power-starved game. Are you willing to pay a .240 average (or worse) for your 25 home runs?

2) Another signing that made some waves was Bartolo Colon, who had a fantastic 2013 season. You wrote about some of the risks involved with Colon at Fangraphs. If he does struggle, who do you see emerging as the ace of the Mets staff this year in the absence of Matt Harvey?

The sexy pick is Zack Wheeler for sure. He’s got big-time velocity at least, and he’s probably done tipping his pitches. But none of his secondary pitches got average whiff rates last year. And he struggled to command the ball. And he got shut down for shoulder issues at the end of the year. These things might all be related, but they also scream risky business. He might be better long term than he will be in 2014. And the rest of the Mets prospect hurlers aren’t a lock to come up, since 2014 seems to be the contention deadline. You might see Noah Syndergaard and/or Rafael Montero late in the season, but they won’t pitch enough to be aces. Jon Niese has underwhelming stuff and Dillon Gee has a terrible fastball — both will be useful in the near- and long-term, but they don’t have the stuff to be aces. You know who does, and who seems to be a lock to pitch at least 140 innings next season? Jenrry Mejia. Since ditching a curve for a slider, he’s shown better control and wipeout stuff. He may only whiff seven or so per nine, but the cutter, slider, and change combo — with the occasional curve still — is enough to get him grounders by the gallon.

3) Eric Young was a great play for stolen bases in the second half of 2013. Should fantasy owners curb their enthusiasm due to playing time concerns in a crowded Mets outfield, or can EY2 eke out enough plate appearances to make his legs really valuable again?

Unfortunately I think his real-life flaws will come back to bite him. He doesn’t have patience, power or defense — that’s how you have the season he had and aren’t even worth a full win above replacement. Juan Lagares doesn’t have a great bat, but Eric Young isn’t half the defender in center field. Curtis Granderson is a full-time starter. That leaves the Youngs to battle it out. The good news is that Chris Young is a righty and only in town on a one-year deal. Eric Young is cheap and under team control until 2016. He may play against righties in left, and between injuries and play all over the outfield, he might be able to manage 400 plate appearances. That could come with 25-30 steals, but the rest of his counting stats will make him a deep league play, most likely.

4) Deep league/keeper league players always have one eye on a team’s prospects. Which prospect(s) from the Mets system do you see coming up and having the biggest impact in 2014?

You never know how deep to go with these questions. Rafael Montero is a well-known name these days in Mets circles, but perhaps people outside of that sphere aren’t as familiar. He’s short, but he can touch 94 (sits 92), has two good fastballs and a firm but good changeup. Most of it plays up because of good control. And with the Mets so short on positional prospects near the bigs, a Biogenesis suspension won’t stop Cesar Puello. He’s a bit of a loose cannon at the plate, and we’ll see if he can consistently hit breaking balls, but he has power and speed and should be relevant sooner rather than later.

5) You created a cool site called BeerGraphs. If you had to choose a beer that best represents the 2014 Mets, what would it be and why?

Maybe Backburner Barleywine from Southern Tier Brewing (http://beergraphs.com/leaderboards/?brewery=32). The beer is a 1.75 beer-win beer by our ratings, meaning it’s just below average.. right now. That might be because the taste of losing is so strong (9.6% ABV). But, as is the case with Southern Tier brewing, there’s some upside bubbling below the surface. If half of these pitching prospects turn into the pitchers they could be, it’ll only take a few shrewd signings to turn this beer into the Pumking, a ten-win beer (hall-of-fame level) beer that’s the King of October.

From Around The Web

  1. Mike: I’ll get back to you later on this… My puter has been seized by some Facebook malware.

    Trying to fix it yesterday by myself I erased all my programs –

    Would you believe it!!! Me, “The tech wizard”, pushed the wrong button.

    This is about as bad as when I poured 3 in 1 Oil over my keyboard to unstick it. Or the time I decided, I can fix one of these things and took it apart – needless to say, there was a pile of extra parts and gadgets remaining when I had it back together again. Poor puter…

    Off to the hospital and shopping for a new today… And my local soccer team in a league played in 40 years ago. Love local sports

    I cannot deal with the Mets today – sorry. Esp. following the Zona and CWS.. Back at you tomorrow.

    Don’t let that Jimmy Crack Corn fella pick on ya either. Your shows are great.

      • Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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        @Jay:

        NFL JAY: It was wasn’t it… Absolutely brilliant!!! If you don’t mind the missing or extra words and the “Off Topic” meanderings of a failing old mind.

        I like to think of it as real life drama on RazzBall.

  2. Scooterboy says:
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    I see the Cardinals have signed the 23 year old Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz to a major league contract, and he will be reporting to the Big league Camp. As a Cardinals fan, I’ve heard some recent noise about this guy, but don’t know much about him. Anybody care to comment on him or how it may change the Cardinals outlook on this year?

    • Hawk says:
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      @Scooterboy:

      He hit over 300 with double digit homer power in Cuba as 20/21 year old. Haven’t seen him play / swing but that’s certainly promising.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Can’t say I know much about him, but with Peralta at short and Wong at second, I don’t know where they’d put him. Even if you moved Peralta to third, Carp to second, and let Diaz play short, Wong would get bumped. On top of that, the little bit I’ve read on him seems to suggest Diaz would be better defensively at second than short.

      Lots of teams interested in him and lots of chatter on his talent, so it seems like another good signing for the Cards.

      • Scooterboy says:
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        @Mike: I haven’t seen the actual deal yet, but what I’ve heard so far is about 4 year deal for around $20 mil. That seems like a lot to pay for someone to play at AAA. But I do agree, there infield looks a little crowded unless they would deal someone.

  3. Raj says:
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    Is Jenrry Mejia going to begin the season as a reliever or the 5th starter?

    Do the Mets have any plans of moving Jeurys Familia into the rotation this season if there are injuries?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I would think Mejia gets the 5th spot. It’s between him and Dice-K from what I’ve seen and he doesn’t seem to have any lingering problems from last year’s injury.

      I’d imagine Syndergaard would get the crack at the rotation with an injury over Familia.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Raj: Mejia should nab the #5 starting role or be in AAA. If the Mets put him in the bullpen, then he will be a reliever for good. They jerked him around when he came up several years ago. They should commit to him as a starter until he proves he cannot start.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @Raj: I do not think Familia will be a starter this year unless needed for a spot start.

  4. Papajeansegura says:
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    I’m excited for the Mets this year. Not that exciting of a fantasy team, but we’re much improved I think from last year. I think Lagares might develop into a nice hitter, and Mejia looked a lot better last year. Some good, young talent and that’s why I like watching the Mets over the Yankees.

  5. Wake Up says:
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    Z. Wheeler needs to be bottle conditioned…

    (If you get this you are the rare FBB + Beer Geek double threat…watch out ladies…all four of ya!)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha

  6. Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
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    Where would you draft Grandy in an OBP league?

  7. gbaked mets fantasy preview:

    c – tda is a great low buy, especially in keepers. There is nobody else, so he will get playing time.
    1b – In an obp league, you are rooting for duda to win. He could be a nice source of homers. Ike is prob gonna win, and let someone else deal with that.
    2b – murph is a LOLMets victim in that he is being totally written off. He is a great MI player for your team and could take 2b slot if you dont plan for a ton out of that spot. Wont give you counting stats.
    ss – ignore. Unless somehow flores wins the job… then BUY BUY BUY!
    3b – LOLMets is writing Wright off. Dude is legit. Grab him if your league is letting him slip.
    OF – Grandersons 2012: .232 /.319/.492 10sb. You take that any day of the week. Injurys last year were not the kind that linger. He is a pro, who treats his body right and will blossom as a clubhouse leader. Also, just an fyi: grandy-man was a yankee thing. Dont bring that shizz over here.
    OF – Lagares – Will be primary CF. Not really worth having on your team, but will be so much fun to watch. You want him to play as a fan of baseball, not fantasy.
    OF – CYoung – If you can snag him as a bench player, a good bounceback buy. But in fantasy, risk is prob not worth reward.
    OF – EYoung – If you forget steals until your last round then yeah, draft him. But… I would rather let someone else deal with his starts/sits. Could see him getting some starts at 2b, which would improve his stock.
    Rookie – Flores – Depends if a position opens up for him. I would keep an eye on him and if he gets a starting spot (especially if its a MI spot) grab him.
    Rookie – Puello – Sure. Maybe. But not at this point in the season. Odds are if he improves enough for you to hear about, you will hear about him.

    SP – Wheeler – dude is great. Grab him. LOLMets is making you think he is not all that but dude is legit.
    SP – Niese – A nice buy low candidate, but I would not give up a ton for him. Shoulder already barking which scares me.
    SP – Gee – I love gee. If you can grab him late do it. Even in the middle. Hitters miss his pitches. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball last year 2nd half. If he had a great fastball, he would be an ace, so dont pay ace money for him. But he will be a great addition to the back end of your rotation. And he is a stud at Citi Field.
    SP – Colon – IDK. I shy away from fat ballplayers. He is another good bet to fall lower then his value because of LOLMets and I like the signing… but I would not draft him no matter what team he was on.
    SP – Mejia – If you can grab him late , do and thank Eno later. Dude is sick. go look up some gif’s of him and then tell us he is not worth having your your fake baseball team. he will be starting for the mets soon enough if not right away.
    SP – Thor – If you are in a league that allows you to keep players that wont pitch until the 2nd half, then get your hands on Thor.
    SP – Montero – Put a flag on him and if you hear news the mets are about to call him up then grab him.
    RP – Black – This years Rosenthal.
    RP – Parnell – Good middle of the pack closer. Will be traded before 2014 is done.

    There is nobody else on the mets you should care about from a fantasy perspective.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      welp, g’night everybody

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @gbaked: What is LOLMets? A blog or a silly internet nickname?

      I am a big Mets fan and pretty much agree with everything you wrote.

  8. Anthony says:
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    Evereth Cabrera and Moustakas or Alex Gordon?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Gordon

  9. BilldeBalso says:
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    12 team dynasty league.

    who are you keeping?

    Domonic Brown, or Danny Salazar

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      That’s a good one. I gotta go Brown.

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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      @BilldeBalso: Brown because I’d rather have the hitter.

  10. Kid A says:
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    Being that this article is about the Mets, I would like to ask a question about the Cubs outfield:

    What’s your take on the sweeney, lake, rugggiano, boneface, schierholtz logjam?

    Damn crowded outfield.

    Who goes where, and what are the splits like, in your mind’s eye. Of particular interest are ruggiano and schierholtz.

    And please, talk to me like I’m a two year old. It’s much easier for me that way.

    You seem very bright. I’m curious about your read. Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks KidA, it is pretty congested. My best guess…Lake in left field. Schierholtz and Sweeney in a platoon with Nate sitting against LHP.

      I think Ruggiano gets the lion’s share of playing time in CF and for fantasy purposes is worth a flier as an OF5 since he’s got some pop and speed. I’d bet he’ll also get some reps at the corner outfield positions by year’s end.

      Bonifacio probably ends up more as a super utility all over the place which doesn’t get me too excited.

      • Kid A says:
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        @Mike:

        Very good. Thanks.

        I’m trying to create some sort of twisted platoon hybrid in a couple leagues with B. Moss and Schierholtz. And seems if Ruggiano can get his BA up to a decent level he could be a good late get, like you say. Power and Speed that late? Yes please.

        Continuing on with the non-Mets questions: What’s your take on the Saint Louis outfield?

        Does Bourjos have Center all to himself or is Jay going to steal some playing time?
        Where does Bourjos hit in that Cards lineup and what kind of stat slash do you see?
        When does Taveras come up and take it all for himself, if at all?

        I’ve been targeting Bourjos late for his light pop/speed balance, but see a pretty hefty swing in BA projections. Any concern there?

        Even though I know you have a crystal ball, I’m only looking for opinions not answers.

        Much appreciated.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime. I’m looking at a depth chart and seeing Bourjos looking back at me from the 2-spot in the lineup behind Carpenter.

          I wouldn’t worry about Jay since Bourjos is a superior defensive center fielder.

          If he stays healthy, the optimist in me thinks Bourjos could hit around .260 with ~10 homers and flirt with 18-20 steals. Something similar (if not as good) as his 2011 season. That’s pretty solid where you’ll likely draft him. Health is a bit of a worry though. Here’s more on Bourjos from the offseason…

          http://razzball.com/2014-sagnof-outfielders-part-3/

          As far as Taveras, I think they’ll take it slow. He had ankle problems last year and now his hammy is banged up. There is no reason to rush things with their outfield intact at the major league level. Soon as somebody gets banged up or starts to fade, it’ll be go time, but that might not be until mid-season.

          • Kid A says:
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            @Mike: Will be pretty tasty if he stays in that two-slot. I hope he gets some of that age 27 magic pixie dust everyone always talks about.

            Thanks again.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Haha. Hey, it worked for Carpenter ;)

              Anytime man

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @Mike: holy crap did you move in with Gareth Kid A?

  11. Alex says:
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    Which side wins in keep forever league?

    5×5

    Trumbo OR Yelich/Aj Griffin?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yelich

  12. mcBlunty says:
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    keep 2, slotted value in the draft
    m trumbo 7th
    j kipnis 6th
    m minor 15
    a craig 4th
    j parker 13th

    thinking minor and kipnis? or trumbo in place of kipnis?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah I agree, Minor and Kipnis.

  13. Tehol Beddict says:
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    what would you say the odds are of Wheeler winning both the Cy Young and MVP a la Justin Verlander a few years back?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      This year? I think I have better odds of beating you in writer’s league. I do love me some Wheeler though.

  14. MB says:
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    If you had Cody Allen, Koji, Romo and Frieri in 15 team dynasty, would you trade cody allen for Cody Asche?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup

  15. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mike: The puter emergency clinic was closed yesterday… It’s scheduled for major open box surgery today – Keep your fingers crossed..

    I managed to load Google Chrome this morning – it fought it hard…

    So, I’ll the Mets

    5) O’Douls Non Alcoholic Beer

    4) Noah Syndergaard …… IF IF IF IF the Mets somehow manage to tickle the the race with that rapidly disappearing pitching staff of theirs…. (Niese’s shoulder is sore…. YIKES!!!!) And Colon and Dice-K are all that is about left….DOUBLE YIKES-EE-WYKESIES!!!!

    They may have to use the kid/s +++… Besides, there has been a recent resurgence of quality Scandoid named baseball players of late = a FACT from the MLB Player Name Bureau.

    3) Young is intriguing… I like him late – as we have talked about before. Ya never know, his fielding may miraculously improve all of a sudden and he is able to get extra ABs… He is of the age for a semi-full time (mabes 500 ABs and 30+ SB) gig… He is a nice sleeper that may have an uptick at the plate ( BA upwards) and certainly is an icing on any FBB team’s SB total.. Before JimmyCC comes on here talking about the Downfall of RazzBall again – This is a “this year only” qualified statement. He is there after R Davis (esp. now) Do you take him or Bonifacio, Mike???

    2) Colon is amazing the way he pounds the dish – An old pro, who is super fun to watch pitch… Is this the year he gets pounded for pounding the plate. The Met’s SPing is highly suspect going in. The kids from below and a couple retread vets are the stuff legends are made. Legends are legends, because they don’t happen very often. The Met’s are in trouble because of their pitching. YIKES!!!!!

    1) Granderson is always a puzzle to me. That said, had he and the other additions, I have no problem with. Granderson is a decent mid draft pickup. IF, you have fully covered yourself in BA elsewhere. He and a Martinez balance out in the mid rounds – if you have room for a DH – mabes to be 1st baseman by June in ESPN…..

    Note on C. Young, He just missed having a decent year for Oakland – He was the most unlucky hitter on the club – with a little luck he could have batted 50 points higher and a much better Slugging % up in the 425 – 450 range.. He was the guy time after time who got robbed. I look for a decent rebound for him. He may have everyone scrambling to pick him up this summer. I mean this. I won’t be drafting either of them to start …

    Hey this thing is working OK…

    In case you are interested, My soccer club won in the Semis yesterday and play in the Finals Sunday.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Congrats on the W

      I’d prefer EY2 to Bonifacio. Good points on Chris…

      Good luck with the comp!

  16. swinging3.0 says:
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    jenry mejia seems like a lock to throw 140 innings? in one season? puff puff pass man, quit hogging.

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