New York Mets: Way too early 2020 Opening Day lineup predictions
By Allen Settle
While it’s way too early to know what the 2020 New York Mets will look like, it’s never too soon to begin dreaming of what their Opening Day lineup may look like.
It seems strange to consider what will occur nearly a year into the future of MLB. The 2019 season will undoubtedly be full of surprise teams, unexpected transactions, and major intrigue. It will also provide the New York Mets with a legitimate chance to battle through one of the toughest divisions in baseball as they strive for a playoff berth.
As the Mets attempt to take the NL East by storm, let’s take a moment to consider what the team’s lineup might look like during the 2020 Opening Day! (Note: All 2019 stats and transactions that are listed as facts are my personal predictions.)
The Starting Lineup
1) Amed Rosario, SS
As the 2020 season begins Amed Rosario has established himself as an above average major league shortstop. After hitting 17 home runs and stealing 26 bases in 2019, he will have his eyes on an All-Star berth. His elite speed and power potential will put pressure on the opposing pitchers on the very first pitch 2020.
2) Brandon Nimmo, RF
Brandon Nimmo, who has shown considerable improvement during each of his seasons in the major leagues, will seek to continue that trend into 2020. His ability to get on base over 40% of his plate appearances (he posted a .404 OBP in 2018) will make him a valuable top-of-the-lineup hitter.
3) Anthony Rendon, 3B
Anthony Rendon represents the general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s first major free agent signing. While they were unable to sign Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper in 2019, the team will finally open their checkbooks to add another valuable former National in 2020. Rendon’s .300+ batting average and 25+ home runs will be a major spark for the Mets offense. He will also be only 30 years old at the time of the signing.
4) Pete Alonso, 1B
While Pete Alonso was not a part of the Mets 2019 Opening Day roster, he joined the team within the first month. He hit 22 homers during his rookie campaign and finished second to San Diego Padres’ shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. in the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year voting. Entering the 2020 season, Alonso will already be one the team’s most feared hitters.
5) Michael Conforto, LF
The 2019 season offered more of the same from Michael Conforto. His high power production makes him a borderline All-Star despite major strikeout concerns. Alonso’s emergence and Rendon’s presence in the lineup will allow Conforto to become one of the most dangerous #5 hitters in baseball in 2020.
6) Robinson Cano, 2B
Some may assume that Robinson Cano’s drop to the sixth spot in the order as a sign of decline. However, this was not the case in 2019. The former All-Star posted 20 homers and 60+ RBI in his first season in Queens. At 37 years old, Cano will still be a valuable player at the turn of the decade.
7) Wilson Ramos, C
After a consistent offensive and defensive first season in New York, Wilson Ramos barely missed out on an All-Star spot. After consideration, the Mets elected to extend the 33-year-old to ensure his roster spot through 2020.
8) Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Firmly in the playoff race, the Mets made a surprising splash at the 2019 trade deadline. The addition of Kevin Kiermaier solidified their weakest position and significantly bolstered their postseason momentum. The former Tampa Bay Ray will turn 30 as he begins the 2020 season as the Mets’ long-term center field solution.
9) Jacob deGrom, SP
After a brief period of uncertainty concerning his contract status, the Mets were able to lock-up their Cy Young winner to a multi-year deal. He will make his second straight Opening Day start in 2020.
Other Notable Names
Yoenis Cespedes, OF
Yoenis Cespedes is the ultimate wildcard. His health would ensure his role in the starting outfielder. However, an injury plagued 2019 season leads to the trade for Kiermaier and his ultimate demotion to the bench. One of the biggest story lines of the 2020 season will be his quest to regain his 2015 form.
Jed Lowrie, INF
Jed Lowrie will begin the season as an ultra-valuable fill-in player and pinch hitter. He will be expected to receive regular at-bats with the team.
Jeff McNeil, Utility
After a consistent 2019 season, Jeff McNeil established himself as a top utility man. Much like Ben Zobrist and Marwin Gonzalez, McNeil will expect to see regular at-bats despite a lack of a traditional starting position. When Cespedes is unable to play, he becomes the fourth outfielder. He also consistently spells an aging Cano at second base.
Juan Lagares/Keon Broxton, OF
While Juan Lagares and Keon Broxton both gave their best effort in 2019, neither was able to solidify themselves as a long-term solution in the outfield.
Andres Gimenez, SS
Andres Gimenez is one of the team’s most interesting players entering the 2020 season. He showed great potential in limited action in 2019 but struggled to find playing time. As the shortstop/second basemen entered his rookie year, it is unclear how he fits in an infield with Rosario and Cano locked into starting spot.
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What do you expect to the Opening Day lineup in 2020 looks like?