While we are still in the middle of the Winter and there is snow outside, there is hope on the horizon. We have warm weather coming around the corner and I figured this out because Spring Training has officially started. Players are reporting over the next few days to either Florida or Arizona to begin training with the end result of winning the World Series in mind. One of those teams that are hopeful to win the World Series is the New York Mets. They are entering the 2017 season with a lot of hope and promise that they can make it to the playoffs for a third consecutive time and the first time in their 55 year history.
I would now like to take a closer look at what I see the starting lineup looking like when the Mets take on the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day.
1- Curtis Granderson, OF – I see him being the lead off hitter for the fact that he can somewhat get on base and the team simply does not have a true lead-off man. In 2016, he lead the Mets in walks with 74 which is great for the guys coming up behind him. He was also second in intentional walks with seven, so opposing pitchers most of the time don’t want to pitch to him. On the other hand, he did have 30 homers in 2016 which was also second on the Mets team. Anyway you look at it, there is more than likely a chance that he will be on base in one way or another.
2- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS – I am a firm believer that you want someone with speed to follow someone with power. Since I have Granderson leading off, why not have Cabrera be plugged in between Granderson and Cespedes. While he did have a lot of strikeouts, he did have one of the higher on base percentages which is a good thing. He was also one of four Mets players to have over 100 hits last season, which does well when you have someone like Granderson batting before Cabrera.
3- Yoenis Cespedes, OF– This was a no-brainer. After he resigned with the Mets this off season, I can’t see him batting less than the third spot on the lineup. He happens to be one of the more feared hitters on the Mets and being that he is only 30 years old, he can only go up from last year. He is one of the more feared Mets players in this lineup as he lead them last season in on base percentage (.354) and slugging percentage (.530). I don’t think any opposing pitcher would want to face him with any one on base.
4- Jay Bruce, OF– After getting traded to the Mets at the 2016 trade deadline, he had a decent second half with them. While I know there were people who wanted the Mets to get rid of Bruce this off-season, you can make the argument that it was better that they didn’t. While you have him play right field for a majority of the season, you can also have him play first base. Also having him bat after Cespedes and this being his first full season with the Mets, Mets fans are hopeful that they can become a lethal duo.
5- Neil Walker, 2B – You don’t want to have three power hitters go back to back to back and that is one reason why Walker fits well in the fifth spot. He is similar to Granderson as he provides power and he provides speed. In his first season with the Mets, he ended up leading the team in batting average (.280) which is very good. As long as he stays injury free this season or doesn’t miss significant time, then I don’t see why he can’t be a key contributor in the 2017 season.
6- David Wright, 3B: While David Wright should probably be higher on this lineup, I put him down here because you don’t know if you are going to get a full season out of him. In less than forty games in 2016, he had less than ten homers. If he can actually stay healthy, I still see him doing well in this part of the order.
7- Lucas Duda, 1B: As I mentioned with Wright, Duda is someone else that I am just not too sure about. He ended up being out for a majority of 2016 and you don’t know how well he will do in 2017. However, I can guarantee that if he ends up not doing well in 2017, I could see the Mets benching him and bringing back someone like James Loney who did very well in 2016. If Duda actually does play a full season and stays healthy, then he could be a 25/85 type of season and in that spot could become deadly for teams.
8- Travis d’Arnaud, C: It seems that the biggest question mark for the New York Mets coming into the 2017 season is what the back end of the lineup will be like. You have three guys in Wright, Duda, and d’Arnaud who all flopped in 2016. However, it seems that Travis is pushing to get better in 2017 as he has been working with the catchers coach.
This is my projected starting lineup for the 2017 New York Mets. Let us know in the comments below how you see the Mets lineup looking in 2017 and stay locked into Inscriber Digital Magazine as the baseball department gets you prepared for the 2017 season.