NY Mets: 5 predictions that were both right and wrong this year
By Justin Sarachik
For the New York Mets, being .500 is a pretty standard affair for this franchise. Most years they aren’t horrible but they aren’t good either. For every failed superstar, we get a great underdog and so on. The point, the Mets are unpredictable. So when it comes to making predictions, I was pretty close to being right, but also wrong at the same time.
*First, before you check out these predictions, read about the ones I got completely right here and see the one I got horribly wrong here.
Mets and Francisco Lindor didn’t get off to a hot start…as expected
Francisco Lindor came here as the Mets franchise savior akin to the Carlos Beltran signing or the resigning of Mike Piazza. He was a beacon of Steve Cohen’s bright future with the team. As all things Mets, the joy went sour immediately.
Initially, I wrote that I wasn’t excited for him because I expected everything to go wrong. The below excerpt can be found here.
"Too many times the Mets have brought in huge free agents or made big trades where the players with immense talent don’t work out. My mind races to Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Jason Bay, and more recently Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and even Yoenis Cespedes in the long run.The Mets traded away Amed Rosario who seemingly is what he is as a player. A change of scenery may do him well. But then the skeptical Mets fan creeps up and says, what if he becomes the next Melvin Mora? What if he becomes the next Travis D’Arnaud?Then I look at Andres Gimenez and I wonder, what if we gave them a familiar face – the next Omar Vizquel? If he’s this good defensively now, how good will he get, and could he become a serviceable hitter too?If even half of this comes true, and we only got Lindor for one year and no championship, then did we give up too much? I’m not a fortune teller, so time will tell."
What did I get wrong? Andres Gimenez is not Vizquel just yet, and Rosario did not explode for an amazing season, however, offensively it was better than Lindor’s. Also, I said I was more excited for Cookie Carrasco than Lindor…yikes!
Lindor had a pretty solid end to the season that helped redeem himself a bit but wow were those first few months of play brutal. The expectations I set for myself concerning Lindor were spot on because if we’ve seen it before…we’ve seen it before.
Let’s hope whatever clubhouse issues that are being brought up aren’t going to make this trade get worse and worse.
James McCann is not what the Mets thought
Congratulations to James McCann, the only that worked out for him was making it into all three of these articles! The new well-paid Mets backstop was an anomaly of a player this year.
Read the initial three predictions here.
I was very wrong about McCann being a perennial all-star but I was right in saying he’d be dependable on showing up to work every day. After many years of catchers who couldn’t stay on the field, this was welcome.
So while yes, those were half right and half wrong, the prediction I’m choosing for this part was: “James McCann becomes a Mets leader in the clubhouse and with the pitching staff.”
McCann wasn’t a force enough on the field to rally the troops with his play in any compelling way, but I do believe the pitching staff benefitted from his steady hand behind the plate. They certainly weren’t complaining about pitching to him like they were with Wilson Ramos.
Let’s hope McCann can give us a little more in 2022.
Like the Mets in 2021, Noah Syndergaard did not show up
For two years we were waiting for Noah Syndergaard to pitch. For two years we also waited for the Mets to make that run they never did.
My predictions for Thor might have been spot on had he actually been able to pitch.
- “The first prediction is that Noah Syndergaard will battle management over playtime. He will claim to be ready for opening day, but the Alderson-led Mets will hold him until May/June.”
That above prediction was in line until he had a setback in rehab.
- “Noah Syndergaard will come back and pitch well despite the time off.”
The second prediction of him pitching well is inconclusive because he didn’t throw enough. His first outing looked great, his second was not, and then that was it.
- “My last prediction is unfortunate and has a caveat. Aside from the time spent on IL at the beginning of the year, I predict he’ll spend at least back-to-back starts injured.”
What else can be said? That turned out to be true!
Perhaps my boldest and the best prediction was to use Noah as an elite bullpen arm like Seth Lugo. After a few setbacks this was the course of action the Mets were really considering. At the time there was also a logjam of good starting pitching performances. Again, that changed quickly.
Brandon Nimmo’s health prevented killer Mets season
There is so much about Brandon Nimmo’s year that I guessed. He was even better in some ways than I guessed, but the one thing that remained true, he is injury prone. My full prediction below:
"The final prediction for Brandon Nimmo is he becomes the hitter he’ll be for the rest of his career. He will be a key cog in the Mets offensive in more ways than drawing walks.At 27-years-old, Nimmo is entering the prime of his career. Since he came up in 2016 he has suffered from a litany of injuries, fighting for playing time, and a pandemic shortened season. However, last year, showed some signs of the hitter he is becoming.Not only did he have a .404 OBP, but he also hit eight home runs in 55 games. If you average that out, it’s over 20 home runs for the season. If by chance the National League adopts the DH before opening day, that would give Nimmo a greater chance to drive in runs without a pitcher in front of him.Regardless, Nimmo might trade in some of his signature patient plate approach for the opportunity to hit more doubles and home runs. With teammates like Jeff McNeil and Dom Smith doing the same thing and seeing success, Nimmo may be able to do that. His command of the strike zone and pitch selection should allow him to slap some pitches he may normally take for some cheap base hits.Nimmo also raised his batting average to .280 last year. Take away the injury-plagued 2019 and the shortened 2020, and he was about a .265 hitter. So the Mets should expect an uptick in the batting average as well, especially since some of those walks will convert to hits.If Nimmo can put together a season of .277 BA, .385 OBP, 22 home runs, 70 RBI, and 100 runs scored along with at least being base-level defensive runs saved in center field, the Mets and their fans would not mourn the loss of Springer too much."
I was right that he’d show us the hitter he actually is but was off with the power. I was right that we wouldn’t miss George Springer but was wrong that Nimm’s would be as injured as he was. I would have loved to have seen his season extrapolated over the course of 162 games.
Chili Davis was an unnecessary scapegoat for the Mets offense
I wrote a whole article about why Chili Davis and his approach did not work well for the Mets. And yes, while that was certainly true, the same could be said for Hugh Q. Let’s be frank, there wasn’t an approach in existence that would have helped the Mets except “See the ball, hit the ball.”
This team was dreadful, so to put the blame on Davis alone wasn’t completely accurate, therefore making this prediction a 50/50.
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Alright, so that’s it. I’m no Trevor Plouffe, apparently, I’m not a gifted predictor. I’ll go into next season and mind my own business!