5 reasons why the Mets can be sneaky good in 2024

Don't sleep on the New York Mets in 2024.
Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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3) The health outlook for Starling Marte is better now than it was at this point last season.

A big reason the Mets offense in 2022 felt so different from prior years was because they had a different type of player that teams had to game plan around, in Starling Marte. You factor his aggressive hitting and his threat as a baserunner as things opposing managers had to consider. Also consider you had a leadoff hitter that was excellent at getting on bases ahead of him, and you had two MVP candidates to protect him in the lineup. It was all there for Marte to be a force and turn the Mets into a lineup the team hadn't seen before.

However, Marte's injury issues have been well-documented, and how his finger injury in September of 2022 was a reason the Mets failed to fend off the surging Atlanta Braves in the National League East that year, and eventually, be one-and-done in the Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres. The Mets offense looked totally worse without him there and healthy.

Marte was not healthy or right last year, either, still. Marte followed up the best season of his career by OPS+ (132 in 2022) with his worst (73 in 2023), and he only played four games after the All-Star break and spent two stints on the injured list, one for a migraine issue and one for a groin strain that ended his season in early August.

Marte was seen flying around the field in the Dominican Republic this winter, looking like the player he was two years ago. Marte will enter spring training in the best shape he's been in for 18 months, and getting any sort of replication of his 2022 self will be enormous.