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New York Mets final report card grades for the 2020 season

Sep 27, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Luis Rojas (19) uses hand sanitizer in the dugout after making a pitching change against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Luis Rojas (19) uses hand sanitizer in the dugout after making a pitching change against the Washington Nationals in the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets celebrates a home run with Brandon Nimmo #9 during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

After a short and strange 2020 season, the New York Mets sit at home in October once again. Time to give the final report cards out.

The New York Mets completed a disappointing season with a 26-34 record and missing out on the playoffs for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons. They dealt with multiple players opting out, losing Noah Syndergaard to injury, and a complete shut down of the league.

Yet, there is still no excuse to not make the expanded playoffs. This win-now team that won 86 games in 2019 have only themselves to blame. Bad pitching, poor defense, awful baserunning, and fundamentals. It was just an awful year for the Mets which fittingly ends the Wilpons tenure as owners of the franchise.

Grading the players, the general manager, and manager is tough with only two months of action. One bad game can put a big dent in a player’s stat line. Guys like Pete Alonso really picked it up in the last week and if he was given more time, I’m sure he would’ve performed better. But alas, here are the player grades for the 2020 season.

Jacob deGrom

His 2020 season might not have been as dominant as the previous two, but he will still be in the top three for the National League Cy Young Award. deGrom went 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA striking out 104 batters in 68 innings pitched. The 104 strikeouts led the National League despite the fact that he missed a start with injury and left another start early due to injury. deGrom displayed increased velocity which saw his fastball top out at an absurd 102.2 miles per hour. His fastball averaged 98.6 miles per hour which was the hardest in all of baseball. His strikeout rate was as high as it has ever been as well at 38.8% and he struck out 13.8 batters per nine innings, by far his highest. Previously it was 11.3 last year. deGrom somehow is getting better and better.

Grade: A+

Michael Conforto

Conforto took his game to another level in 2020. He had a .322/.412/.515 slash line with 9 home runs and 31 RBI. While the power production is a bit down, he still is on pace for about 25 home runs in a 162-game season. He raised his batting average by 65 points from last year and his on-base percentage by 49 points. He went the other way consistently and was a table-setter for the middle of the order bats. Conforto also really stepped up in the field as he made a number of outstanding plays in right field including one that could be a top catch of the year candidate against the Orioles. Conforto was the most consistent bat in the Mets lineup all season. Steve Cohen, please extend him.

Grade: A+

Dominic Smith

Once Yoenis Cespedes opted out, Dominic Smith got his shot to play every day. And boy, did he take advantage of that opportunity. Dom had a .316/.377/.616 slash line with 10 home runs and 42 RBI. He was top five in the National League in slugging, OPS, doubles, RBI, and extra base hits. This was all while only starting 48 of the 60 games the Mets played. Dom was one of the few Mets who actually hit with runners in scoring position as he hit .333 in those situations. He was the middle of the order bat they needed and really broke out. The Mets must figure out a way to get him in the lineup every day in 2021.

Grade: A+

Robinson Cano

This season gave Mets fans some hope that they got something out of the Jarred Kelenic trade. Cano had a .316/.352/.544 slash line with 10 home runs and 30 RBI. Cano did get hurt and spend a little time on the IL but other than that one stint, he played virtually every day either as the DH or as the second baseman. This kind of production at the plate will help Mets fans cope a little easier with losing a future star in Kelenic. The hope is that he can stay healthy in a 162-game season and produce the entire way. We’ll see what happens next year.

Grade: A

David Peterson

Peterson gave the Mets more than they could have ever hoped for this season. He began the year at the alternate site, losing out on the fifth starter job to Corey Oswalt. Luckily for him and for the Mets, they had to use Oswalt in a blowout loss against the Braves the first week of the season and were forced to call up Peterson to start in Oswalt’s place. Peterson pitched 5.2 innings and allowed two runs in a win at Fenway Park in his debut and pitched really well most of the time after that. He inexplicably was even removed from the rotation at one point but never lost his poise and his confidence and was really solid. He went 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA, striking out 40 in 49.2 innings. The one issue that needs to be fixed is his walks as he walked 4.3 batters per nine innings. But for a guy who never pitched an inning in AAA, this season was remarkable. He has solidified himself a spot in the rotation next year and hopefully the long-term future.

Grade A

Erasmo Ramirez

This is a name I’m sure none of you had on any list entering the season. Ramirez was called up in early September out of desperation as the Mets needed a long man in the bullpen. Ramirez fit that role perfectly. He allowed just one run in 14.1 innings pitched, a 0.63 ERA. He helped save multiple games for the Mets by pitching scoreless innings of relief and giving time for the bats to come back. He’s presented an interesting case for a return next season.

Grade: A-

Luis Guillorme

He could not have done any more with the opportunities he was given this year. He had a .333/.426/.865 slash line in 57 at-bats and provided great value in the spot starts he made. The arrival of Todd Frazier really cost him all of the playing time he was getting earlier in the season. I still don’t get why they never played Guillorme more. He played great defense at second, third, and short, and went 7/18 with runners in scoring position, a .389 average. I hope the Mets can find some playing time for him next year, but it’ll be tough with all of the other bats they currently have.

Grade: A-

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