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Mets Predictions: 3 players set for a career year in 2021 update

Sep 11, 2020; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) celebrates with Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) and Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a grand slam home run during the fourth inning at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2020; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Dominic Smith (2) celebrates with Mets designated hitter Pete Alonso (20) and Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo (9) after hitting a grand slam home run during the fourth inning at Sahlen Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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May 12, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) delivers a pitch during the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Taijuan Walker’s first year with the Mets looks like a personal-best

I am amazed at what Taijuan Walker has done with the Mets after seven starts. His 3-1 record and 2.20 ERA is better than I expected. And I predicted he would have a career year for the team.

Much like my reasoning for Nimmo, he’s at the perfect age to explode toward stardom. Not only that, Walker is coming off of an impressive season. I know a lot of people have said “we shouldn’t look too hard into the 2020 numbers.” I think this only works for the negative. If a guy with a lot of untapped potentially finds himself in a shortened season, maybe he truly is on the right path.

Walker is not without his hiccups. He walks way too many batters. This could potentially set him up for some bad outings in 2021.

Fortunately, they have been very few. Walker signed with the Mets to begin the season as the club’s number four starter with the expectation that he’d slide into the number five spot by the time Noah Syndergaard comes back. Well, with Carlos Carrasco out from the start of the year, he has been forced to fill in as the number three.

Walker rose to the challenge with ace-like numbers. Is it too soon for me to start thinking he could challenge for the Cy Young? I think Jacob deGrom may have something to say about that first.

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