The third installment of our pre-season Starting Rotation analysis concerns the Mets. There are some fine options in the NL East as far as starting pitchers, and the Mets have their share of draftable players. Below is my analysis together with projections for the 2014 season.
Starting Pitching Rotation Analysis
New York Mets
Potential Rotation Alternatives
ADP designated by * indicates no reported ADP as of date of publication. Projections are based on a compilation of several sources (ZiPS, Oliver, Steamer, RotoChamp), given equal weight.
The Mets have a decent rotation, and I would use either Jon Niese or Dillon Gee as back end of the rotation picks, based on their ERA or WHIP projections. Bartolo Colon, if he can continue his resurgence, is a fine late round pick as well, and may indeed turn out to be the ace of the rotation. Wheeler is being drafted too early but if you can snag him in a keeper or dynasty league, I understand the ADP. Despite having an extra letter in his first name, Jenrry Meija has a high ceiling, but expect his innings to be limited, which affects his value.
It is amazing to me that Bartolo Colon has such a high ADP, but I can understand that name recognition and an excellent 2013 campaign for Oakland where his sub-three ERA, 4.03 K/BB ratio and 1.17 WHIP have to be enticing, along with the 18 wins he posted. Can he repeat those numbers is the question you should be asking if you are considering drafting the 40 year old pitcher. The Mets seem to think so, having handed out a 2 year, $20 million contract this winter.
Both Colon and Jon Niese have been plagued by health issues early on this spring, but are now poised to start tossing in exhibition games. Niese has been a late sleeper, but I am more in on him than Colon, I will admit. The projections detail a SP5, and he makes for an intriguing late round choice. Early reports indicate that he has the inside track to be the Mets' Opening Day starter, which doesn't do anything for his fantasy owners aside from providing a potential additional start this season, but it does indicate that he has the coaching staff's trust.
Dillon Gee is another pitcher you can get late, and he provides a stable if not entirely dependable fantasy starting pitching option, with decent strikeout numbers but the potential for an inflated ERA that can hurt your ratios if you just plug him in every start.
Matt Harvey will be out for all of 2014, at least that is the current prognosis, but Zack Wheeler is a nice young pitcher to target in your drafts. He had a very good season in 2013, getting stronger and more confident as the season wore on. His 97 MPH fastball and curve both grade out highly, and he is working on developing his changeup as a third pitch to make himself a complete starter.
Jenrry Meija could garner more innings if he develops as a fifth starter this season. The early word out of the Mets' camp is that he trails behind both John Lannan and Daisuke Matsuzaka for the final rotation slot, and coming off of surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, he may be a bullpen candidate to start the season.
Daisuke will not grace my roster again, after burning me in the past and he projects out to be a spot starter at best. Don't waste a pick on him this season. While Lannan may rack up some innings, his ERA and WHIP should scare you away on draft day. Be aware, though, that if either of these pitchers get the nod to fill out the fifth starter role, then their value goes up.
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If you disagree with my assessments, or just want to discuss starting pitching, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I enjoy comments and am more than willing to engage in discussion about fantasy baseball, so feel free to write.