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Scouting the 2015 Mets

Newsday's Marc Carig scouts and grades the 2015 Mets.

FIRST BASE

Sure, Lucas Duda has his flaws, with the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin C. Cox

Sure, Lucas Duda has his flaws, with the most conspicuous being his .180 average against lefthanded pitching. Yuck. But to dwell on that would be to miss all the good that he did during a breakout season. He led the Mets with 30 homers and 92 RBIs — all while sticking with an uber-selective approach that once was subject to ridicule. It might have been a long road, one that included wince-inducing bumps such as Duda’s detour into the outfield. But in Duda, the Mets have a legit power hitter who is beginning to come into his own. Grade: B-

SECOND BASE

Daniel Murphy does lots of things well at
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Daniel Murphy does lots of things well at the plate. That’s a good thing for the Mets given that he’s the reigning Concrete Spikes winner at second, where his lack of range remains a major detriment. To cover up his deficiencies, he must hit. And to hit, he’s got to stay on the field, which has been a dicey proposition lately. He’s in danger of starting the year on the disabled list. His likely replacements — Matt Reynolds and Danny Muno — have a combined zero innings in the big leagues. Grade: C

THIRD BASE

ght easily could turn this grade into an
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

ght easily could turn this grade into an A. He certainly has the track record. But it’s hard to look past last season, the worst of his career. Wright busted up his left shoulder early in the year and never looked right. With rest and rehab, he has looked good this spring. In the field, he has moved with fluidity, and at the plate, he’s flashed the power that eluded him when he played through pain. But has the bounce-back been nothing more than a spring oasis? Until Wright handles the rigors of the regular season, the jury’s still out on his health. Grade: C

SHORTSTOP

For all the hand-wringing about Wilmer Flores, he
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

For all the hand-wringing about Wilmer Flores, he might not be among the Mets’ top five concerns. Sure, he won’t cover the same ground as the vast majority of his peers, but he has a chance to outhit many of them, which is the only way he’ll make this trade-off worth the Mets’ time. Grade: C

OUTFIELD

Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer bring the Mets
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer bring the Mets plenty of much-needed power potential, but they don’t come without their own issues. Granderson will need a bounce-back year and Cuddyer will need to stay out of the trainer’s room. On defense, both bring glaring weaknesses that could come into play. In centerfield, Juan Lagares has enough range to reach everything from Flushing to Montauk. His Gold Glove defense should offer some cover for Granderson’s faulty arm in right and Cuddyer’s inability to cover ground in left. Grade: C+

CATCHER

Travis d’Arnaud was hitting .180 last June when
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Travis d’Arnaud was hitting .180 last June when the Mets banished him to Triple-A Las Vegas for nearly three weeks. Upon his return from the desert, he hit .272. In spring training, d’Arnaud looked more like the guy who got sent down. Which will it be in 2015? That uncertainty -- and d’Arnaud’s need to improve his throwing -- earns him only a lukewarm endorsement. Anthony Recker doesn’t possess the typical catch-and-throw skills of a backup, but he does have some unusual pop. Grade: C

ROTATION

The return of alpha ace Matt Harvey changes
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

The return of alpha ace Matt Harvey changes the complexion of this group, which also includes reigning Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom. But it’s what the Mets have behind them that raises expectations. Prospects Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Rafael Montero soon will be ready to supplement a rotation already bolstered by veterans Jonathan Niese, Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee. Tommy John surgery deprived the Mets of Zack Wheeler’s services for the upcoming season, but there were no groans of despair coming out of camp, a credit to the impressive depth that the Mets have hoarded during their lean years. Grade: A-

BULLPEN

Maybe it’s just a spring slump, but Jeurys
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Foldy

Maybe it’s just a spring slump, but Jeurys Familia has yet to rediscover the power sinker that made him a force last year. Vic Black’s recurring shoulder issues make him a question mark for Opening Day. And Bobby Parnell’s road back from rehab has hit a speed bump in the form of a missing fastball. But the additions of lefties Jerry Blevins and Alex Torres gives the Mets some much needed help after losing Josh Edgin for the season. Grade: B-

BENCH

This is not a particularly distinguished group, though
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

This is not a particularly distinguished group, though a few pieces could prove particularly helpful for the Mets. Righthanded-hitting John Mayberry Jr.’s bat gives the Mets a needed weapon. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has excelled at pinch hitting, a very difficult job. Eric Campbell’s versatility is a plus, though he has no standout skills. If utilityman Ruben Tejada sees regular playing time this season, something has gone seriously wrong for the Mets. Grade: C-

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