Grading The New York Mets’ 2013 Season
Grading The New York Mets' 2013 Season
It’s difficult to assign letter grades to the New York Mets for the 2013 season because they went through so many ups and downs throughout the season. They got off to a slow start over the first two months, and it looked like it would be a long season for them. However, the Mets were able to bounce back with a strong month of June and July, as they finished strong heading into the All-Star break and actually looked like one of the best teams in the NL East for a brief period of time, despite a terrible start to the season.
Following the All-Star break, the Mets hung tough for a while, but they were hit with injury and after injury throughout the month of August, as key players such as Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell, and David Wright went down just when the Mets looked ready to make a run at finishing .500. With the devastating injuries throughout the month of August hurting the Mets, they decided to trade away key players Marlon Byrd and John Buck, losing more of the players that carried them throughout the season.
The Mets then spent the entire month of September giving playing time to their younger players, hoping to evaluate them for the future. But even with a young lineup and a watered down rotation, the Mets played well the final two weeks of the season, finished strong and finished third in the NL East. With all that in mind, here’s how the Mets grade out for the 2013 season.
Starting Rotation A-
Despite losing Matt Harvey late in the season, the Mets’ rotation moves from a midseason B+ up to an A-. Dillon Gee was great in the second half after early struggles, Jon Niese finished the season strong after a stint on the disabled list, Zack Wheeler had a nice rookie season, finishing with a 3.42 ERA, and the rotation also got contributions from Carlos Torres, Jenrry Mejia, and eventually Daisuke Matsuzaka. This was a great strength of the Mets and should be for years to come.
The Mets’ bullpen had plenty of ups and downs this season with a few bright spots, but ultimately it’s hard to give it a grade that’s any better than average. LaTroy Hawkins was a standout performer, as was closer Bobby Parnell before missing the final two months of the season with injury. Despite having a few guys they'd like to bring back next season, the bullpen was too inconsistent.
John Buck got off to a hot start and carried the team through April, but he cooled down considerably and never really caught fire again. Backup Anthony Recker had some big hits and the Mets got a taste of the future with Travis d’Arnaud, but he struggled at the plate during his time in the big leagues. All three of them provided solid defense, but all of them barely hit over .200 for the season, as the Mets did not get much offensive contribution from the catcher position after April.
First Base C-
A midseason D turns into a C- by the end of the season. Before his injury, Ike Davis started to show mild improvement, and if nothing else, he got on base a lot during the second half of the season. What makes this grade jump up all the way to a C- is the play of Josh Satin, who proved to be a quality platoon player at first base, even though Davis and Lucas Duda both underperformed for much of the season.
Second Base A-
Daniel Murphy played nearly every single game at second base, and he played almost all of them very well. Compared to other second basemen in the National League, Murphy ranked close to the top in all the major statistical categories, while also playing solid defense. Murphy was one of the few dependable players on the Mets this season, and there’s not much more they could have asked out of him in 2013.
The Mets did not get a lot out of their shortstops this season. Ruben Tejada had a dreadful season, and while Omar Quintanilla did a fine job filling in for him, he wasn’t quite average defensively, as he missed quite a few plays by playing too deep in the hole. At the plate Quintanilla had a few bright moments but had too many prolonged slumps, and the Mets needed a lot more from their shortstops than what they got.
Third Base B+
David Wright earned an A in the first half of the season, but his injury really hurt his grade for the full season. Wright failed to reach 20 home runs and 60 RBI because of the injury, which was a bit disappointing. Also, while Wright was out the Mets had difficulty getting consistent production at third base, as rookie Wilmer Flores struggled after a fast start due to injury issues of his own.
A C- midway through the season turns into a postseason C+ for the Mets’ outfield. The Mets eventually put it together in the outfield with Eric Young, Juan Lagares, and Marlon Byrd forming a competent outfield that was actually quite productive for the middle part of the season. Byrd had a career year for the Mets before being traded, and Lagares emerged as a Gold Glove caliber center fielder and possibly the center fielder of the future. But all that doesn’t quite make up an inept outfield over the first two months of the season.
Things looked bleak for Terry Collins early in the season, but he got things turned around in June despite his lame-duck status. Even when the team was out of contention, they didn’t quit on Collins, which was impressive to watch. When injuries depleted the team’s roster late in the season, Collins was still able to keep the team together and keep them playing hard, which is why the Mets gave him a well-deserved extension.
Front Office B
Despite a lot of financial limitations, general manager Sandy Alderson made a lot of positive moves in 2013 to help the Mets. When the team struggled early in the season, he didn’t throw his hands up and accept losing; instead, he kept trying to tweak the roster and even made some radical moves. Eventually, he put together a team that was competitive before the injuries started to pile up. He waited until the end of August to trade away his worthwhile trade chips in a great move that could pay dividends in the future. It wasn’t a banner year for Alderson and the Mets, but he did well to set them up for this offseason, the 2014 season, and beyond.