The Fantastic Four
The Mets have had an awful season. The team picked to finish fourth in the National League East by most prognosticators is well on its way to proving them right. The daily struggle that is a Mets game can be attributed to nearly everyone who has donned the blue and orange this season. Only four players have consistently succeeded this season. Closer Bobby Parnell, third baseman David Wright, second baseman Daniel Murphy and starter Matt Harvey are the only players have done well for the Mets this season. David Wright given his captainship of the Mets prior to this season, has been “David Wright” at the plate, which as we know is high praise. Wright is hitting at the level that got him his massive 8 year, 138 million dollar contract. Wright has an OBP (.391) tied for second best of his career, his highest OPS (.891) in five seasons, is striking out less (18.2%) and walking more (13.6 %). He also has the highest line drive percentage (26.1 %) of his career. This coupled with the fourth lowest BABIP (.328) of his career represents the likelihood that his numbers will improve as the season goes on. This is not to mention, he’s on pace for over 30 stolen bases, and continues to play solid (though not as good in previous years) defense. Wright has succeeded this season despite being surrounded by the worst Mets team since being called up in 2004. Along with Wright, the other hitter who has played well this season is second baseman Daniel Murphy. Murphy has stabilized what was once cringe-worthy defense to become a slightly above average fielder this season. This progression in the field has been accompanied by a steady improvement at the plate. Murphy will never be a flashy hitter, but he does a few things very well. Murphy combines the ability to not strikeout (14.8%) and to hit for extra bases (20). These two qualities have led to his consist hitting. Unlike past seasons some of Murphy’s doubles are now leaving the park and he is on pace for the most homeruns of his career (14). The Mets pitchers have equaled and possibly surpassed the teams hitters ineptitude. The bullpen has played an important role in the Mets failures this seasons. However, Bobby Parnell has been the lone bright spot posting a .7 WAR, which is just .1 lower than his career high from last season and he has done this in 45 less innings. Bobby Parnell has improved almost every year of his career and these improvements (most notably the addition of the knuckle-curve) are manifesting themselves in great numbers this season. He has posted a career best ERA (1.93) and WHIP (0.90) while posting a K/BB (3.33) which is nearly one point higher than the league average (2.40) while giving up zero homeruns. He has also been able to close out games well, already surpassing his career high in saves (8), putting to bed the Mets few tight victories. Finally, the best pitcher, and player this season has been Matt Harvey. The new unquestioned ace of the Mets, has been one of the most dominating pitchers in a season dominated by pitching. Harvey has five wins, which equals the total of the rest of the Mets starting rotation combined. He has pitched well enough to keep the team in every game he has started this year, and if he was on a more competent team he would likely have around eight wins this season. He is top ten in MLB in WAR (2.0), FIP (2.46), ERA (1.93), K/9 (9.51) and leads the league in WHIP (0.83) and H/9 (5.3). These are amazing numbers for any pitcher, let alone a pitcher who has 20 career MLB starts. There will be some regression as the season unfolds, however, Harvey will likely end up as a top contender to start the All-Star game for the National League and eventually the Cy Young. Harvey has been the proverbial “stopper”, and without him who knows how much worse the Mets seasons would be. The outlook for the rest of the season isn’t good, but fans have confidence that these four players will continue to perform at high levels. All four players are under contract until at least 2015. This group clearly cannot lead the Mets alone, and will need a lot of help if the Mets eventually want to reach the promised-land. These players should be appreciated for fighting through a terrible season and not be brought down by the rest of the woeful roster.