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Mets: Three Marcus Stroman predictions for the 2021 season

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action during an intra squad game at Citi Field on July 17, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets in action during an intra squad game at Citi Field on July 17, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Marcus Stroman #7 of the New York Mets pitches during the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

A top-10 Cy Young finish

Originally drafted in the eighteenth round out of high school and again as the 22nd pick in the first round years later, there is no question that Stroman has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in the game.

Back in 2017, Stroman finished eighth in Cy Young voting when a member of the Blue Jays.

Stroman has always been extremely vocal about improving his game on the field. He is constantly posting on social media about trying out new pitches, working out, and trying different methods for body recovery and strengthening. With not playing in 2020, Stroman has had extra time to continue to improve his health and game on the mound.

In 2019 Stroman ranked in the 73rd percentile in xERA, xwOBA, and xSLG. xERA is a pitcher’s expected ERA, xwOBA is expected weighted on-base average, and xSLG is expected slugging percentage. Stroman also ranked in the 88th percentile in fastball spin, which as a result makes the ball appear different as it comes to the batter and making it harder to hit. As a result, Stroman ranked in the 94th percentile in barrel percentage, which refers to how often players were barreling up the ball.

In his career, he has always been known to be a ground ball pitcher as well. In 2019 his ground ball percentage was down from his usual numbers which were usually around 60% to 53.7%. With improved defense now with gold glove winner Francisco Lindor at shortstop and Jeff McNeil at second base with more range than the aging Robinson Cano, this will only help Stroman and his usual above league average ground ball rates.

In addition to the Mets improved defense up the middle of the infield, they now have a better defensive catcher in James McCann, and the Mets are still looking to improve defense in center field, Stroman’s numbers can be helped a great amount.

With Stroman’s defense around him being greatly improved, a full season of rest and strengthening, and well above average percentile rankings, Stroman can do some serious damage and find himself finishing in the top ten of Cy Young voting.

With a season full year off of in-game action, it gives Stroman plenty of time to prepare for the 2021 season. Going into the new season fully healthy and prepared, I expect great things from the Long Island native.

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