By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on July 1, 2014
The 2014 season is more than half over for the New York Mets, and while their record as a team hasn’t surprised too many people, there have been plenty of surprises within the Mets organization, both good and bad. The Mets are hoping to turn those surprises into a few more wins during the second half of the season, but in the meantime, here are the Mets' five biggest surprises of the first half of the 2014 season.
A couple of injuries have slowed him up, but everyone was surprised by Lagares being the Mets' most productive hitter over the first few weeks of the season. We know he's a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder, but Lagares swinging the bat the way he did in April was a pleasant surprise, and a sign that he can be the team's everyday center fielder for many years to come.
It was a head-scratcher when the Mets signed Abreu to a minor league contract, but he has been a productive player when he's been in the starting lineup, forcing Terry Collins to find ways to get him playing time. The Mets may also find a way to get something in return for him in a trade, which will make his signing well worth it.
Campbell came out of nowhere during Spring Training to have a strong performance, and he's continued it during the regular season after getting promoted. His playing time has been irregular, but his versatility, his power, and his ability to mash lefties have made him a great addition to the Mets' bench. He's especially effective in a platoon with Lucas Duda at first base and as a temporary replacement for the injured David Wright.
After Bobby Parnell went down with an injury on Opening Day, it looked like the bullpen would be a disaster. It was for a while, but the young arms the Mets have been stockpiling have responded and formed a great bullpen. Jenrry Mejia has embraced the closer's role, Jeurys Familia has been outstanding, Vic Black has surprised everyone after a terrible spring, and Carlos Torres has been invaluable in giving the Mets a solid relief corps.
Heading into the season, deGrom looked more like a future bullpen piece, while Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero were better bets to make an impact in the rotation. However, deGrom has been a pleasant surprise as a starter. Despite the team's inability to win games that he starts, he's made a quality start in six of his nine outings this season, and few would have expected he would have been that good when the season started.
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