Engel: 2017 New York Mets Fantasy Baseball Outlooks

Here are Fantasy style capsule player scouting reports for all draftable New York Mets players for the 2017 season. The outlooks lean to standard 5×5 Rotisserie scoring and include National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) Average Draft Positions (ADPs), which they are based on.

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Lucas Duda (NFBC ADP: 341): Back problems ruined Duda’s 2016 season, but he should return to being a good source of power if he has no further setbacks. Depending on what format you play in, he won’t help your batting average but he can be more of an asset in OBP leagues. You may see him out of the lineup against some lefties, too, but he is a strong bet for 25-plus homers at your corner infield spot. Duda is a really good potential value if he can stay in the lineup. Take the late shot.

Neil Walker (248): Walker was on the way to the best year of his career before he was derailed by back surgery. He can be something of a value if he is able to recapture his 2016 form, when he started off the year with nine home runs in April and made it clear he was comfortable in New York. Monitor him in spring training, and if all indicators are good, his ADP could start to climb.

Asdrubal Cabrera (274): Cabrera’s HR/FB rate jumped from 8.7 to 14.0 last year and there may be many non-believers that will pass on him until very late. Last season, though, he hit the ball harder than ever before and if there is any regression, it may not be much. While he is coming off a career year, he’s an underrated and terrific later value pick that is going to confirm last season was no major fluke.

David Wright (519): In his brief active time last season with the Mets last year, Wright seemed to be more of a boom or bust hitter than ever before, as his fly ball rates and hard hit percentages soared to new levels. But his strikeout rate of 33.5 percent was far above his career norms. Of course, his adjustments from unfortunate and consistent health battles make it difficult to envision if he may be that same kind of hitter if and when he’s available this season. He will go undrafted in many leagues after his latest shoulder setback.

Jose Reyes (302): Reyes should play more third base this season if David Wright continues to be unavailable. There has also been a lot of talk about him seeing some work in the outfield. He can potentially bring you some versatility in terms of positional eligibility this season with a decent amount of steals and runs scored depending on how often he plays. He’s definitely worth drafting later, but keep in mind he has always been an injury risk himself even in his younger days.

Wilmer Flores (410): The Mets don’t initially have an established regular starting spot for Flores, but he can find enough time around the diamond in a variety of ways and enough to get him a good amount of at-bats, especially if injuries continue to be issues for the Mets. He does have some late appeal for your depth and definitely is worth your consideration in NL-only leagues.

Yoenis Cespedes (59): Cespedes is perfectly at home in New York, where he has become the axis of the Mets offense. Last season he seemed more impressive overall, as he boosted his walk rate, had a career high hard hit rate and cut down slightly on his strikeouts and hit the ball on the ground slightly less. Overall, as long as he stays healthy, he should return nicely on the early round tag. There is some minor concern that Cespedes could relax a bit after signing a new deal, but that should not be a prime deterrent for securing his Fantasy services.

Curtis Granderson (279): Granderson can still hit for considerable power, but he may continue to be a drain on your batting average, as even though he had a career low in BABIP, he hit the ball on the ground more last season. His Home Run to Fly Ball rate also jumped up some as well. At his age, he’s more likely to regress than anything, but he can still bolster your power with a later selection.

Jay Bruce (198): The bulk of Bruce’s power production came in Cincinnati last year, and he did not seem to fit comfortably with the Mets in New York. His batting average and OBP were woeful, although he has never been a real asset in those categories. If he can somehow settle in more comfortably this season he is still capable of hitting near .250 with 25-plus homers and 80 or so RBI. But no one can blame you if you steer clear for another depth outfielder who could be less of a roller coaster ride. Bruce could also see some time at 1B this season.

Michael Conforto (321): Conforto flashed late in 2015 but he fizzled after a good start last year and was a Fantasy disappointment. He does still have some promise, but could be caught in a numbers game to start this year and may not get enough playing time to help your team initially. But his potentially productive bat could be back in the lineup at any time if there is an injury or player move, so at least consider him as a late round flier.

Travis d’Arnaud (289): If he can somehow stay healthy, d’Arnaud could easily hit 15-plus home runs in a season and would return significant value. For now, you have to draft him as a No. 2 Fantasy catcher and hope against all previous luck that he actually avoids bad luck this season.

Noah Syndergaard (19): Syndergaard has emerged as the ace of a much-ballyhooed Mets rotation and has climbed into elite Fantasy starting pitcher territory. His impressive velocity and arsenal are well-documented and his FIP of 2.29 last year indicates just how formidable he has become. He did deal with a bone spur in his elbow last season but he did not require surgery. “Thor” bulked up during the offseason and should continue to throw hammers this year. He’ll be off the board no later than the third round of most drafts.

Jacob deGrom (70): He underwent elbow surgery in the fall after a bit of a disappointing 2016 campaign that was marked by a decreased strikeout rate and diminished velocity. He came into camp, though, claiming he was pain-free and eliciting hope that he can recapture his better form of 2015. His Fantasy appeal seems to be despressed a bit this season in the earlier rounds, making him a potential value buy as an ideal No. 2 Fantasy starting pitcher.

Matt Harvey (144): No one knows what to truly expect from Harvey as he makes his way back from yet another major health issue. This time he is on the recovery path from Thoracic Outlet surgery. He’s a total shot in the Fantasy dark. His 2013 brilliance seems farther away now, and the focus is on staying healthy and regaining consistency. If you take the shot on him later, he is high risk with uncertain rewards.

Steven Matz (164): Matz could be the best fourth starter in MLB, but injury issues continue to plague him, and he is on the way back from elbow surgery. When he is available, he has a quality array of pitches, including a very impressive curveball. He is quality depth selection for your starting staff, but by now, any savvy owner knows he cannot fully depend on Matz.

Robert Gsellman (346): Gsellman was a pleasant surprise last year when he was pressed into service, and the state of the Mets staff could make him a useful Fantasy piece again in 2017. His K rate was a bit above what was seen in the minors, but he has a quality mix of four pitches and can keep his ERA down. He may not have a pristine WHIP but overall he is not going to hurt your Fantasy outlook much.  He’ll begin the season as the fifth starter over Zack Wheeler.

Seth Lugo (501): Lugo won five of seven decisions last season and had an impressive ERA, but he’s not likely to be as successful if pressed into service again as a starter this year. He lucked out with a .230 BABIP and a high strand rate. The strikeout rate was higher in the minors, but so was the ERA and last year’s 4.33 FIP is not a good indicator.

Jeurys Familia (113): Familia was not as dominant as he was in 2015, but was still very good for Fantasy purposes overall. His walk rate climbed a bit and the ERA jumped, but he still had an impressive K rate and FIP of 2.39. Familia was often invincible two years ago, but he is still pretty darn good and if a speculated suspension drops his draft price, grab him enthusiatically for when he will be available.

Addison Reed (265): Reed has past closing experience that should serve him well if needed to do the job at any point. He still has impressive strikeout stuff and has fared well as a setup man for the Mets.

Wheeler may begin the season in  extended spring training and could be headed to the bullpen. When he could possibly return to the starting rotation if at all is uncertain.

Zack Wheeler (412): Wheeler may begin the season in  extended spring training and could be headed to the bullpen. When he could possibly return to the starting rotation if at all is uncertain.


Scott Engel is the Managing Director of RotoExperts.com and a host on FNTSY Sports Network Radio.


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