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New York Mets: Three Edwin Diaz predictions for the 2020 season

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets throws a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets throws a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 27, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 03: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

Will New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz have a bounce-back season in 2020? I lay out some predictions for what we can expect.

Simply put, 2019 was a season to forget for New York Mets reliever Edwin Diaz. Coming off a stellar 57 save season with the Seattle Mariners, DÍaz came to New York with high expectations, especially given the hefty price paid to acquire him.

Unfortunately, much like most first-year Mets coming off all-star seasons, Díaz was a disappointment. Díaz displayed his electric stuff on many occasions and posted a 15.36 K/9 (3rd among relievers) which was an improvement from 2018. That being said, Díaz also led MLB relievers with 2.33 HR/9 and blew 7 saves in 2019.

In an important second season for one of the team’s key members, what does 2020 have in store for Edwin Díaz?

Diaz will break Familia’s saves record

Although he underperformed in 2019, Díaz has still compiled 135 career saves at just age 25. He currently ranks 22nd in franchise history in saves in a single season. If 2020 goes as expected for the Mets, Díaz should come into more than 33 save opportunities.

With the addition of Dellin Betances and a potential bounce-back season from Jeurys Familia, the Mets’ bullpen could be one of the National League’s most formidable in 2020. If the rest of the staff excels in their roles, Díaz should remain in the closer’s role for most of the season.

Although it may seem improbable to recapture his 2018 success with Seattle, he is still just 25 years old and his stuff was electric enough to generate  99 strikeouts in just 58 innings.

There has been plenty of hype around the Mets bullpen for the coming year. It all starts with Diaz putting together one of the best seasons a closer has in franchise history.

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