New York Mets: Five players poised for a successful 2019 season
By Chris Rocco
With baseball season right around the corner, let’s take a look at five New York Mets players that are poised for a successful 2019.
In under 30 days, the New York Mets will play meaningful baseball games. Opening Day is right around the corner and fans in Flushing will hope to see some breakout success stories from their favorite players in 2019.
5. Seth Lugo
Unlike 2018, Seth Lugo will primarily serve in the bullpen, unless, of course, all else fails and they need rotation help. Personally, Lugo is one of my favorite Met players, and I, like many other baseball fans, am enamored with his insane curveball.
Primarily acting as the bridge to Familia and Diaz, Lugo will be an integral part of the 2019 Mets. Through his first three seasons, Lugo has made strides in his development and is very consistent in his play. In 2019, we should see Lugo make even more strides.
Lugo knows work ethic. Being drafted in the 34th round of the MLB Draft and making the majors is not an easy feat, but nonetheless, he made it. He has proven that he is a very good baseball player, and I think he develops into a more well-known baseball star this season.
4. Amed Rosario
It hasn’t been easy for Amed Rosario. Coming into the league in 2017, being touted as one of the best prospects in the MLB, Rosario struggled immensely. 2018 wasn’t much better, either, but there were some bright spots.
Rosario is just 23 years old and is still very much developing as a player. Between 2017 and 2018, Rosario cut his strikeout rate from around 30% to a shade over 20% – below the league average. He also raised his walk rate from a putrid 2% to close to 5%. His walk rate is still a big flaw in his game, but a significant achievement nonetheless.
Rosario had an excellent second half of 2018, specifically in the month of September, and I expect this to carry over. Also, he’s had a fast start out of the gate in spring training and having Robinson Cano bring him under his wing, is a plus also.
3. Michael Conforto
Michael Conforto started the 2018 season recovering from a shoulder surgery that left many people in doubt as to his future. He returned earlier than expected, to the delight of Mets fans, but probably should have waited longer, as evidenced by his first-half numbers (11HR, .217AVG in 287 at-bats). Conforto finished the season leaving no doubt that he still has heights to which he can shoot for and likely reach.
He had a strong second half with 17 HR, 52 RBI, and a .273 AVG in only 256 at-bats. Despite the lull in performance to start the season, Conforto continued his output progression with a fourth straight season of an increased homer total, hitting 28 in 2018. He also has an excellent walk rate (13.2%) that continues to increase.
Starting off the 2019 season healthy should allow Conforto to reach 28 homers once again, with an increased likelihood of him eclipsing 30. Positive additions to the Mets lineup will also help Conforto’s ability to improve his stats.
Conforto should have his first true “breakout” season.
2. Robinson Cano
He’s old. He’s slow. He’s coming off an 80-game PED suspension. A lot of fans only remember these things when thinking of Robinson Cano. They shouldn’t, though. Cano is a monster and a sure-fire future Hall-of-Famer.
Last season, Cano played in 80 games after his PED suspension, meaning he missed just two games after his suspension. He played excellent in his 80 games played. Cano had a very respectable slashing line of .303/.374/.471. Not to mention, he hasn’t missed more than 10 games – other than the 80 he missed last year for PED’s – since 2006.
Cano hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and just two years ago, he hit a monster 39 home runs for Seattle. He will be a major piece for the Mets in 2019 and I don’t think a 100+ RBI season is out of the question.
1. Noah Syndergaard
“Thor” has been making some big statements lately:
Also, last week Noah Syndergaard injected a lot of confidence in himself. According to what he said last week, he has no intentions in signing an extension:
"“I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did,"
This means that he fully expects himself to stay healthy and pitch like the dominant Thor we all know.
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