Scout’s Take: Mets Have Work To Do

What’s the next step for the New York Mets as they look towards the 2019 season? Like every other team in baseball, the Mets want to make their team better. Each team has their own set of priorities and a plan on how to achieve them. Ownership and the front office are responsible for coming up with a plan, based on what their budget will be, whether to tender new contracts to players currently on their roster or any free agents they may want to pursue. In the case of the Mets, we all know they need to find a new General Manager before they can get started. Expect someone to be named very soon.

Hopefully who ever takes the position will be able to work at improving the club with limited interference from management. We’ll soon find out how that will pan out. The new GM will not be facing a disaster. The team on the major league level is not perfect, nor a contender, but they did finish on the up side. If we split the season at 82 games for each half, they were 33-49 for the first half and 44-36 for the last 80 games.

I like what I’ve seen from Jeff McNeil and believe he can be their starting second baseman for 2019 and for years thereafter. Next is Brandon Nimmo. Not only did he lead the Mets in hitting (.263) and OBP (.404) in 140 games but he also led them in speed to first base on walks. He is the “Charlie Hustle” of the new millennials. Appearing in 153 games, Michael Conforto led the team in HRS (28) and RBI’s (82). Then, there is Amed Rosario. He showed us all that he is an everyday major league SS and in this new era of not prioritizing the stolen base, his total of 24 steals is impressive.

For all of you who have become hypnotized by seeing so many home runs and strikeouts and are wondering what stealing a base is, by definition, it is the act of running successfully to the next base before someone hits the ball. Just thought everyone should know that in case it ever happens at a game you are at in the future.

The starting rotation is still one of the best in baseball with Jason Vargas being the only weak link. Dominic Smith, Devin Mesoraco and yes Yoenis Cespedes are all question marks. Will Mesoraco be back? Will Cespedes be healthy and be the dominating, right-handed power hitter that the Mets desperately need in their lineup? Will the Mets give Smith a legitimate shot at first base? Obviously the overhaul of the bullpen is their number one priority. That could be a monumental task to solve in one winter, but is it really their number one priority?

The way I see it, the new GM will have a good base of young players to build around, yet to become a contender not just for 2019, but for the long haul, it will require a lot of work, good decisions and luck. I believe the farm system will be the biggest thing to fix and this should be the number one priority for their organization. There are “slim pickings” down on the farm. The Mets desperately need to develop a better stream of home grown talent from their player development department. It’s the only way they’ll be able to compete for a championship in the future.

Who ever the new GM is, he will have to surround himself with talented and experienced behind the scenes baseball lifers. You can mix in all the analytical, pie chart, mumbo jumbo you want but it will take eyeballs down in the trenches to make this team competitive again. Time to get work.

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