With the 2020 New York Mets season starting up, which player will accomplish these feats this season?
Despite not making it to the playoffs in 2019 the New York Mets had a late-season rally resulting in showing amazing energy the team hasn’t seen in years. Some of the best moments being when Jeff McNeil projected himself on to the netting to make an amazing play, the many walk-offs, as well as Alonso, breaking record after record.
Here are some predictions from the writers at Rising Apples of which player will be the one to accomplish each exciting moment of the season!
Disclaimer: article submissions were compiled before Yoenis Cespedes opted out of the season
1) Most likely to lead in stolen bases
It seems like the general consensus is that Rosario will be the one with the most steals. I’m going to have to agree because while Nimmo and McNeil attempt to steal bases, they’re picked off pretty frequently, Rosario is fast and strategic about how he steals.
Tim: Amed Rosario
Unless he tears a hamstring, twists an ankle, or finds a different calling in life, Amed Rosario will lead the Mets in stolen bases.
Elizabeth: Amed Rosario
Even though I think Nimmo will be leading off more games, I’m going with Amed Rosario here. If he gets on in the 8 or 9 hole and can steal second, it will set up a lot of rallies for the top of the order coming up. Don’t sleep on Eduardo Nunez though, he may get some steal chances as a pinch-runner late in games.
Matt: Amed Rosario
Rosario has the speed to steal the bases without a doubt and with a little more work on reading pitchers, there’s no question he can lead the team.
Allen: Amed Rosario
This answer has to be shortstop Amed Rosario. Rosario had 19 steals in 2019 (most on the team). The second highest count? Michael Conforto with seven. And he isn’t exactly known for his speed.
Zach R: Amed Rosario
The Mets lack speed and Rosario is the only legit base stealer the Mets
have. Stole 19 bags last year, hopefully, he will be aggressive and get between 5-10 in
this shortened season.
2) Most likely to have the first walk-off hit/home run
Tatiana: Michael Conforto
I might be slightly biased because he’s my favorite player, but Conforto even when he’s struggling at the plate has a tendency to get those clutch hits. He’s great under pressure and does a good job following through on big hits during crunch time.
Tim: Michael Conforto
The first walk-off will have to come from a guy who won’t get replaced late for defensive reasons. I say we see Michael Conforto shirtless before anyone else.
Elizabeth: Dom Smith
Since I have a feeling he’ll be pinch-hitting a lot in the more crucial spots late in games, I think Dom Smith will be the first one to come through with a walk-off. Can’t wait to see how/if the Mets socially distance during their first walk-off celebration!
Matt: Jeff McNeil
McNeil is unlikely to be taken out of games for defense late in the game, unlike other guys. With his aggressive approach and sneaky pop, he can end the game with a ball over the wall or a base hit to drive someone in.
Allen: Yoenis Cespedes
I’ll make a bold take and say, Yoenis Cespedes. Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Conforto are better hitters. But there was something about seeing Cespedes with his patented yellow arm sleeve on Opening Day.
Zach R: J.D. Davis
He had so many big hits for the Mets in 2019 and seemed to always come in clutch in those situations.
3) Most likely to see themselves on a cardboard cutout
Tatiana: Jacob deGrom
I’m going to have to go with deGrom because as much as the other players are loved, deGrom is on a different level. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pre-haircut deGrom somewhere in the stands this season.
Tim: Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso will see himself on a cardboard cutout but he’ll have mutton chops or some other outdated style.
Elizabeth: Jeff McNeil
Based solely on the vibes of “The Cookie Club,” I do think JD and Dom will find a way to get a Jeff McNeil cardboard cutout into the stands. The whole team seems to enjoy ribbing on McNeil, and I know the guys would get a kick out of putting a high school picture of McNeil in golf attire somewhere in the Citi Field stands.
Matt: Pete Alonso
With Alonso’s monster rookie season, I am sure there are a few fans that would pay for a cardboard cutout of the Polar Bear.
Allen: Jeff McNeil
This has to be Jeff McNeil right? We all learned he already has a cutout of his dog when it was struck by a home run earlier this week. McNeil’s fun-loving personality makes him most likely to have a cutout of himself.
Zach R: Jeff McNeil
It would go great next to the Willow McNeil cardboard cutout!
4) Most likely to be the team cheerleader
Tatiana: Dom Smith
Dom Does an amazing job of hyping up his teammates when they need it the most. He fully embraces the DH spot and because of this he has a little extra time to be the team “hype man”.
Tim: Dom Smith
Dominic Smith was a cheerleader in another life. With few chances to play, he’ll get great use out of his pom-poms.
Elizabeth: JD Davis
JD Davis, to me, is a great candidate for the “biggest team cheerleader” for the Mets in 2020. His enthusiastic GIFs from the 2019 season showcased his fun personality, and his energy in Mets walk-offs last year was unmatched. I think he’s going to have a big year, and I can’t wait to see how he celebrates his own successes as well as those of his teammates.
Matt: Dom Smith
After watching Dom try to hype up the crowd last season while in the dugout on the injured list it’s hard to say otherwise. Plus, who can forget him wheeling out on his scooter after the Mets walking off the Nationals?
Allen: Pete Alonso
Social distancing will make his infamous jersey-tear celebration difficult in 2020. But if anyone can find a creative way to celebrate and support his squad, it’s the Polar Bear!
Zach R: Dom Smith
While injured last season, Dom Smith was the Mets’ biggest cheerleader rooting the guys on with his scooter. He always has a smile on his face and is beloved in that clubhouse.
5) Most likely to pull through with a spectacular defensive play
Tatiana: Jeff McNeil
This may be wishful thinking because so far McNeil Has been struggling defensively. But in 2019 he was known for being able to play any position he needs to on the field. Despite being a third baseman he excelled in the outfield so I’m just waiting to see what he can offer when he gets his mojo back at third.
Tim: Jake Marisnick
I am excited to see Jake Marisnick track down some deep flyballs and save some Mets relievers from getting roasted on Twitter.
Elizabeth: Pete Alonso
All throughout spring training and summer camp, Pete Alonso has talked about his determination to win a Gold Glove, and I think his hard work will pay off this year with at least one spectacular defensive play. We saw him make many impressive diving stops and incredible stretches at first base last year. I am confident that his defense will continue to improve and he will come through with a few highlight-reel defensive plays this season.
Matt: Michael Conforto
Conforto is quietly a pretty good defender. I would not be shocked to see him laying out for a diving catch or even robbing a home run at some point soon.
Allen: Marcus Stroman
Give me Marcus Stroman. The 2017 Gold Glove winner is still one of the best fielding pitchers in the game. It’s just a matter of time before his athleticism saves the day.
Zach R: Jake Marisnick
He is easily the best defensive player the Mets have and I can envision him making a diving catch to save a game in the ninth.
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Who do you think will be the players to win these “superlatives”?