To say that New York Mets fans should not be disappointed after losing the World Series in five games would be ignorant, as the Mets held a lead in every game and suffered two heart-breaking extra inning losses. However, the Mets fans must rejoice in the fact that this season was not an anomaly and that the window for that coveted World Series ring will be open for several years.
Sure, the Mets will more than likely lose Yoenis Cespedes in free agency (which Mets fans might not mind given his postseason struggles), and sure, Daniel Murphy is a free agent, but the Mets still have a tremendous core of young players who were ultimately the reason why they even made it so far in 2015.
Matt Harvey, the most seasoned veteran out of all the young pitchers in the postseason rotation, is still only 26 years old and already has an All-Star Game Start and a fourth place Cy Young finish in 2013 to his resume. After missing all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Harvey silenced the doubters by starting 29 games and posting a 2.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP.
The “ace” of the Mets pennant-winning 2015 season, Jacob deGrom, has shown his big game potential by defeating both Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in the 2015 postseason. He ended the 2015 season with a 2.54 ERA, good enough for fourth in the National League.
Long Island native and rookie sensation Steven Matz showed his potential in his six regular-season starts as he pitched to a 2.27 ERA and ultimately made the postseason rotation over veteran arms Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon.
However, the most interesting young arm is still Noah Syndergaard, who entered the season as a top-20 prospect. Acquired from Toronto along with Travis d’Arnaud in exchange for R.A. Dickey, Syndergaard brought serious heat to the league this year as he led all-starters with pitches thrown over 100 miles per hour. His curveball and slider also produce significantly higher numbers of swings and misses than do those of pitchers around the league. In 24 starts, he posted a 3.24 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, but most impressively a 10.0 K/9.
These four pitchers, who outline the Mets potential rotation for the next five years, combined for a 2.76 ERA in 89 starts, but could not have accomplished this feat without the help of young Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud, who was also acquired from Toronto, has been a highly regarded catching prospect for years, even dating back to when he was traded for Roy Halladay. He posted a wRC+ of 131, the sixth-highest WAR among catchers with at least 250 plate appearances in 2015 and was one of only two with at least 250 plate appearances to have a positive offensive, defensive, and baserunning rating according to Fangraphs.
The Mets may also have found their middle-of-the-order bat for the next decade in Michael Conforto, a rookie out of Oregon State who was selected tenth overall. In 56 games in 2015, Conforto posted a slash line of .270/.335/.506, good enough for a 134 wRC+. He’s also shown the ability to field well in Left Field.
With a strong veteran core led by David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, and potentially a resigning Daniel Murphy, the Mets now have the experience, dynamic pitching, and balanced offense to return to the World Series once again in 2016.
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