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Mets 2016 Season Preview: Player most likely to surprise

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Apr 17, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) catches a ball hit by Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (not pictured) during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) catches a ball hit by Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (not pictured) during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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With Opening Night in Kansas City nearly here, it’s time for Rising Apple’s season preview. Our staff will be weighing in on one topic each day as we tick off the final days to April 3.

Head here to read Part 1: Who will be the Mets’ Kryptonite?

Head here to read Part 2: Which Mets player is most likely to disappoint?

Next up: Mets player most likely to surprise

Danny Abriano, Editor:

A few years ago, I wrote about Jeurys Familia in this space. This time, the pick is Hansel Robles, another reliever with tremendous stuff who is flying under the radar a bit.

Heading into the 2016 season, Familia will be the closer with Addison Reed serving as the primary setup man. The club will also have Antonio Bastardo (a true crossover reliever) for the late innings and LOOGY Jerry Blevins. And while Robles is expected to get a chance to help set up, there hasn’t been much talk about him.

Robles, 25, posted a 3.67 ERA and 1.02 WHIP while striking out 61 batters (10.17 per nine) in 54 innings during the regular season.

In the postseason, he threw three perfect innings with four strikeouts.

Almost exclusively a fastball/slider pitcher, Robles’ average fastball was 95.7 MPH last season while his average slider clocked in at 87.7 MPH.

So far, though, Robles has been recognized more for the quick-pitching that has irked opponents and the “intentional” pitch he threw near Philadelphia’s Cameron Rupp that will result in him serving a two-game suspension to begin the season.

But Robles has tremendous potential and the proper mindset — yes, this trait can be a bit overrated — to be a late-inning reliever. And I think he’ll put it all together this season.

Next: Juan Lagares

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