When talking about the New York Met’s 2017 season, a lot of words come to mind, injuries, heartbreak, defeated, and overall just disappointing. And in a lot of ways those are accurate ways to describe a season that really let down so many hopeful fans and a hopeful team for that matter. When Met’s ace Noah Syndergaard went down with a partially torn lat muscle in late April, it was evident that the Mets would need a miracle if they wanted to make it anywhere near the Postseason. Unfortunately, that miracle never came. Instead, the Mets had names being added to the DL list seemingly everyday. Between Cespedes, Harvey, Wheeler, Flores, Conforto, by the last game of the season only 10 guys from the Opening day roster were still on the roster. The rest had either been traded or put on the DL. Those who remained were Travid D’Arnaud, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Jacob deGrom, Robert Gsellman, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard (who had only just returned a week or so prior), Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles and Josh Smoker. And out of those 10, only 3 of them went the season without being put on the Disabled List. Those lucky 3 were Jacob deGrom, Jerry Blevins and Hansel Robles. Although Robles had spent some time down in AAA after poor performances.
While its easy to quickly say the entire 2017 season was a flop with the Mets going 70 and 92 (their worst record since 2009), there were some good moments throughout the year that get overlooked by all the injuries and games lost. Instead of beating a dead horse and hammering home how bad the 2017 Mets were, I’m going to look at some of the highlights of the season that put a smile on my face even if I knew my team’s season was a lost cause.
The first is an obvious one, Jacob deGrom’s performances throughout the season weren’t so much surprising as they were relieving. deGrom, a former All Star and former ace for the Mets took the mound each start with something to prove, that he was the same Jacob deGrom who went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in his rookie year, the same Jacob deGrom who struck out 3 batters on 10 pitchers in the 2015 All Star game and that 2017 was his year and that mound was his. And he proved all those things while posting a 15-10 record with a 3.53 ERA and 239 strikeouts. On top of that he also hit his first career home run, had 15 hits and drove in 4 runs AND stole a base. deGrom was the Met’s ace all of 2017 and proved he has a lot to offer the team going forward and I think the tradition of a different Opening Day Starter is going to continue in 2018 with deGrom starting the season off on the mound.
The second is also an obvious one, the debuts of top prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. Rosario, who debuted August 1st against the Rockies finished the season with a .248 Batting Average, four home runs, seven stolen bases and had 41 hits out of his 170 plate appearances. Rosario, who was mentored heavily by Jose Reyes showed the Mets that he has what it takes to be a big leaguer and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the opening day roster for 2018. Dominic Smith made his major league debut on August 11th against the Phillies and finished the season with a .198 Batting Average, 9 home runs and going 33 for 183 at the plate. While Dominic Smith might not have been as impressive at the plate as Amed Rosario was, he showed he’s a big league hitter and can hit homers off the best of them, including Sonny Gray during the 2017 Subway Series. Even though he hit under the Mendoza line, Smith proved he’s also very capable of being a Major League player and unless the Mets acquire another first baseman during the offseason, I’d expect to see Smith making the opening day line up as well.
Finally, there’s the all star Michael Conforto. I joked around saying Conforto was playing during the 2017 season with a big neon sign on his back that said “Do not send me back to Vegas”. And while of course that wasn’t literal, he did come to 2017 with a lot to prove after being sent back to Las Vegas in 2016. Conforto who originally started the 2017 season as a fourth outfielder, quickly proved what he had to offer the club and was given the job of being a starting player. Conforto was part of the 2017 All Star Game and finished the season with 27 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .279 batting average. His 2017 season was cut short on August 24th when he dislocated his left shoulder and tore his posterior capsule. Opting to have surgery on September 2nd and ending his season early, Conforto proved while he was playing that he has the potential to be an all time great for the Mets and when his surgery is taken care of, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the plate picking up right where he left off.
While 2017 wasn’t the season any Mets fan envisioned or hoped for, we were treated to some highlights that flew under the radar. The 2018 season is still a while away, but if the Mets can stay healthy, I think these highlights are just a preview of whats to come for the Amazin’ Mets.