Welcome to the annual series that provides both a review of your favorite teams’ 2016 season, as well as a early look toward 2017. It also serves as a helpful guide for keeper and dynasty leagues.
The Graduate: Steven Matz (LHP): The good news is that Matz had a solid freshman year in the Majors. The bad news is that he suffered through a litany of ailments and ultimately went under the knife for a bone spur in his throwing elbow. All signs point to him being healthy at the beginning of his sophomore year but some caution has to be had after a shoulder issue also caused him issues in 2016. The young lefty shows good command and control of a four-pitch mix — including an above-average heater — so he has the potential to develop into a No. 2/3 starter if he can avoid the trainer’s table.
The Riser: Amed Rosario (SS): I’ve been leading the Rosario parade for a couple of years now and it appears as though the young shortstop finally has enough supporters to rival the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After being more of a “toolsy” projection project prior to 2016, he erupted this past season and hit .324 with an .833 OPS in 120 games split between high-A and double-A. He doesn’t project to be a big power guy but the 20-year-old infielder should play excellent defence, hit balls into the gap and steal 15-20 bases to go along with the slick batting average. Look for him to be ready as soon as the second half of 2017.
The Tumbler: Marcos Molina (RHP): Things are looking rough for Molina now that the young right-hander has stumbled into the “Tumbler” category for two straight years. And it’s really no fault of his own. The right-hander just can’t stay healthy. After appearing in just nine games (eight starts) in 2015, he missed all of ’16 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. When healthy, he’s shown a low-90s fastball and an arsenal that includes three average or better pitches. But who knows how much rust he’ll have when he returns to the mound.
The ’16 Draft Pick: Justin Dunn (RHP): Predominantly a reliever at Boston College, Dunn switched to starting part way through his junior year and earned himself a hefty payday as the 19th overall selection in the ’16 draft. The right-hander has a couple of breaking balls to go along with his mid-90s fastball so it’s not a stretch to foresee him developing into a reliable No. 3 starter in the Majors. He has a short track record as a starter but his pro debut was fantastic so, with the Mets history of developing starters, Dunn remains an intriguing player to track in 2017.
The Lottery Ticket: Andres Gimenez (SS): If Amed Rosario isn’t appetizing enough, the Mets have another potential impact player for shortstop developing quickly. Gimenez, 18, is a deep-deep sleeper after spending the 2016 season in the Dominican Summer League and playing the year at the age of 17. He blew away the competition in his first pro season by hitting .350, posting a stunning BB-K rate of 46-22 and slugging 20 doubles in 62 games. He’ll make rookie mistakes but he has the athletic ability necessary to be a better-than-average fielder. Look for him to jump to short-season ball in North America in 2017.
For reference sake, here is the 2015 Review.
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