Realistically, we know that there are four competitive teams in the National League East. As good as they look, the New York Mets could easily miss the playoffs in 2020. However, isnâ€™t it fun to imagine what could happen if things break right?
Here are the New York Metsâ€™ best-case scenarios:
- Cespedes is healthy and keeps his word
After missing most of the last two seasons with heel and ankle injuries, Yoenis Cespedes claims that he will hit at least 40 home runs in 2020. If he is healthy enough to do that, it would be a huge boon for the Metsâ€™ chances.
- Alonso avoids the â€œsophomore slumpâ€
Not every rookie can hit 53 home runs and have a 143 wRC+. Pete Alonso is truly one of a kind. Can he do it again? If he can, the Mets will be in a good place. Even if he hits 40 and stays somewhere in the 130-135 wRC+, the team would welcome it.
- Amed Rosario keeps evolving
Rosario slashed .260/.299/.414 with an 88 wRC+ in the first half of 2019. He managed to improve to a .319/.351/.453 line and a 114 wRC+ after the All-Star Game. A best-case scenario for the New York Mets would be if he showed he is closer to the second-half version.
- Wacha and Porcello both show they are healthy and effective
Michael Wacha (4.76 ERA, 5.61 FIP) and Rick Porcello (5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP) were both mediocre in 2019. If at least one of them shows he can be a sub-4.20 ERA guy, the Metsâ€™ rotation would be very stable and competitive. If the two hurlers can do it, the team would even have trade bait to feel a need down the road.
- Rebound seasons from Diaz and Familia
Edwin Diaz was very bad in his first season in Queens, with a 5.59 ERA and lots of blown saves. Jeurys Familia (5.70 ERA) was even worse. However, both of them have been dominant in the past. If they both have rebound seasons, watch out. The bullpen could be a mess in the worst-case scenario, but it could be deadly if things go right.
- Conforto makes more strides versus lefties
Michael Conforto is an underrated slugger. He is one of the Metsâ€™ top offensive performers with a .257/.363/.494 line and a 126 wRC+ in 2019. However, for his career, he has much better results against righties (136 wRC+) than versus lefties (90 wRC+.) Getting to at least average (100 wRC+) against southpaws would be a best-case scenario for the team.
- Nimmo stays healthy
Brandon Nimmo missed several weeks of 2019 with a cervical issue. If he stays healthy in 2020, there will be plenty of runs for the Mets. He has an elite eye (18.1 BB% in 2019) and enough power and speed to be a threat all year long.
- Cano rebounds
A healthy, effective Robinson Cano can be much better than last yearâ€™s .256/.307/.428 guy. He had a 93 wRC+ in 2019, but has a 125 mark for his career. If he can contribute a 110-115 register, that would be excellent for the Queensâ€™ squad.
- DeGrom keeps the Cy Young form
For the Mets to advance to the postseason, they need Jacob deGrom to keep carrying the rotation. He has 16.0 fWAR in his last two seasons, and he won the Cy Young award in both of them. Can a third one be in store? If so, the Mets are in for a treat.
- Beltran and Hefner merge analytics with baseball savvy
Carlos Beltran is the new manager, and Jeremy Hefner is the pitching coach. Both of them have modern approaches while welcoming analytics. If they can impart knowledge and help their players maximize their talent and respective resources, this team could even lead the division.
If all these scenarios come to fruition, it would be very difficult for the Mets not to advance to the playoffs.