Let’s get bold and make some predictions for the New York Mets offense in 2020.
As we enter this new decade of New York Mets baseball excited and hopeful we can make the postseason coming off an 86 win regular season in 2019, one of the few areas where we should feel confident we have an edge in the National League is our offense.
Last year, the Mets’ bats finished top-ten in the major leagues in hits, home runs, and total bases accumulated. The Amazins also finished just outside the top ten in total RBI and team slugging percentage. This was definitely a stark improvement over what our offense was in the several seasons prior.
But will this progression at the plate persist heading into 2020?
We all know that as new seasons begin, there will always come with it new questions and worries as to what us fans can expect from our team’s performance before the start of the regular season.
Fortunate (or unfortunate) for you the readers, this is where I will now strap on my thinking cap and attempt to try and come up with some answers as to what 2020 will have in store for us as far as our offense goes.
Or to better put it, some far-reaching answers that could very well come to fruition if everything breaks right for our beloved baseball team’s offense this upcoming year.
Yoenis Cespedes is the 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year
Before you ask, the answer is no. I have not been drinking too much to start 2020.
With all that has recently come to light regarding Yoenis Cespedes‘ love of nature, ranching, and farm animals, it can be easy to see how such a freak accident could have occurred at such an inopportune time last May for the Cuban slugger.
Falling into traps that you set for wild boars would be devastating enough to endure even if you weren’t coming off of recovery from two heel surgeries just seven months prior. But for the beloved slugger, who carried us offensively on our way to the 2015 World Series, having this set back occur while recovering from these other two previous heel injuries is just brutal.
But there is some positive to take out of all this.
Prior to his freak ranching accident, Cespedes seemed to be determined to get back on to the field in 2019 and have an immediate impact at the plate. By all accounts and indications, it seemed as though he was way ahead of schedule for recovery from his heel surgeries before his set back, which is definitely good news.
This is backed up by the fact that it was reported in several papers that, while in recovery after having both heel surgeries, Cespedes was able to get up in the mornings and walk around without “feeling the pain” he used to before his surgeries in late 2018. Keep in mind that he said this back in mid-February of 2019 according to the article.
Cespedes also reported back then that he would be able to start taking batting practice and participate in fielding drill activities by as early as mid-July. This target date incorporates the 8 to 10 month recovery period that Yo was expected to go through after his second heel surgery in early November of 2018.
The Mets figured it would take him about 4 to 6 weeks to get into total baseball shape from that point forward, which would have set his return to the Mets major league starting line up at around September of 2019.
Now if this freak wild boar accident occurred just six months after his second surgery (which is when it indeed did occur), then you figure Cespedes was probably recovering nicely and ahead of schedule up to that time considering he was able to tend to chores on his own ranch and deal with wild animals (I mean, you must be able to move somewhat well on your feet if you are able to set traps and tangle with wild boars by yourself, no?).
Again, to me, this was definitely a positive sign and a strong indication of a motivated and determined Cespedes, who seemed well on his way to a path of full recovery.
But we know that as a result of him falling into his own trap hole, the Cuban slugger then had to deal with a setback of a fractured ankle. Yet again, keep in mind, his previously injured heels seemed to have recovered nearly to full capacity by this point.
And by all accounts, most fractured ankles usually recover within 8 to 12 weeks, which means Cespedes should have fully recovered from this next predicament of his by mid-September 2019.
If that is indeed the case, this would fully explain the video that was posted by Mets minor league coach Endy Chavez – showing Chavez himself throwing batting practice to Yoenis Cespedes down in Florida this past November 2019. The footage from this video is certainly encouraging, as it shows Cespedes looking decent and nearly fully healthy as he takes some big batting practice cuts at the plate.
It also fully adds to the notion that Yoenis is both on the right and the fast track to being ready to start in left field for the Mets by late April to early May of 2020.
If this is the case, we can expect anywhere from 450 to 500 official at-bats from the Cuban slugger this upcoming season. If hungry, healthy and motivated, that can easily translate to 25 home runs, 80 RBI and a .270 batting average in the middle of an already stacked Mets lineup has guys that can get on base with ease. These stats should be enough for Cespedes to be in consideration for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.