Mets scouting reports for 2014 season

David Wright looks on from the dugout late David Wright looks on from the dugout late in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. (Sept. 29, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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INFIELD

David Wright remains one of the game's elite third basemen, although the Mets could do without any more stints on the disabled list. Daniel Murphy deserves credit for turning himself into a steady second baseman after enduring a sometimes-shaky conversion from third base. But at first base and shortstop, the Mets are as deficient as they were at the end of last season. Injuries sabotaged the planned first-base competition between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. At shortstop, the Mets continued exploring the alternatives late into spring training, calling into question their public backing of underachieving incumbent Ruben Tejada. GRADE: C

OUTFIELD

Sandy Alderson's infamous "what outfield?" quip no longer applies. But the GM fell short of turning the outfield into a bona fide strength. The addition of Curtis Granderson's home run power will help, but the rest of the outfield is a box of mismatched puzzle pieces. Chris Young's range in the field and power at the plate could be negated by his struggles against righties and propensity for strikeouts. Eric Young Jr.'s blazing speed brought him the NL stolen-base title, but his low on-base percentage makes him a questionable fit atop the lineup. Juan Lagares brings Gold Glove-caliber defense in centerfield, but his deficient bat gives the Mets pause about playing him every day. GRADE: C

CATCHING

The eternal question: will Travis d'Arnaud finally stay healthy? Now 25, the longtime top prospect has flashed all the tools to establish himself as an above-average offensive catcher. Sustained success will come only if he sidesteps any more setbacks. GRADE: C

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BENCH

Omar Quintanilla is best suited as a utilityman, a role he will reprise this season after the Mets exposed him as a starter at shortstop. Corner infielder Josh Satin crushes lefties. Duda and Andrew Brown could serve as useful bench bats. GRADE: C

ROTATION

Even with Matt Harvey out for most, if not all, of the season, the starting rotation remains a relative strength. For the third straight year, the Mets expect to promote a top pitcher at midseason. Noah Syndergaard is on track to follow Harvey and Zack Wheeler, who will begin his first full season in the majors. The addition of free agent Bartolo Colon gives the Mets a proven top-of-the-rotation arm. Righthander Dillon Gee has emerged as a mainstay by making the most out of his ordinary repertoire. Jonathon Niese gives the Mets a steady lefthanded presence, but his health record is spotty. GRADE: B

BULLPEN

Question marks abound. Bobby Parnell excelled in his first full season as the closer, but he's coming off lengthy rehab from neck surgery that cut his year short. Scott Rice proved to be tough on lefties, but the longtime minor-leaguer could regress. Hard throwers Vic Black and Jeurys Familia lack any meaningful track record in the big leagues. The Mets took a chance on veteran Jose Valverde, but it's unclear what he actually has left. GRADE: D

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