Do not look now, but soon there may actually be a professional sports team in New York worth watching. In football, aside from Odell Beckham Jr, the Giants and Jets struggled for the majority of the season. The Knicks, well there are not many positive adjectives to describe them at the moment. In 2015, the New York Yankees will be without their captain, which leaves the team from Queens as the team to watch in the New York area, in my opinion. The New York Mets are developing one of the best young starting rotation in baseball, and are on the verge of having all of that talent at their full disposal.
Meet the Mets: First there is Matt Harvey. Two seasons ago, Harvey had one of the best first halves in all of baseball, and started the All-Star Game in New York for the National League. But unfortunately, the Tommy John bug bit him and he wound up missing all of last season. In 2015, he looks to regain his post as the ace of the staff going into his age 26 season.
Then there is 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom. At age 26, the right-hander at one point won five straight starts, and finished the year with a 2.69 ERA and a better than 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Right-hander Zack Wheeler is another young arm just starting to tap into his potential. Viewed as a mini version of Harvey, the 24-year old was once a top prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization before being apart of a trade deadline deal involving Carlos Beltran. Wheeler is a strikeout pitcher with an array of pitches that will miss many bats as he continues to develop.
Yet to make his big-league debut is Mets’ top prospect Noah Syndergaard. The power right hand arm is on the verge of potentially seeing a major league mound sometime in 2015. He is arguably the hardest thrower of the bunch with an upper 90s’ fastball that can run in on hitters. The 22-year old is developing into a three pitch, front line starter.
The one knock on the group is that they may be to right hand dominant. The lone lefty is 28-year old Jon Niese. With his best year coming back in 2012, Niese is the type of player that must continue to trend upward in order to stay within the mix. By being more of a pitch to contact player compared to the rest, Niese needs to continue to find ways to improve on his ERA, having yet to post an ERA under 3.40 in his early career. For good measure, at the back of the pen is also 25-year old Jenrry Mejia.
There is still some speculation that this group could potentially be broken up via trade to help improve the Mets’ lineup. A healthy David Wright and Curtis Granderson are an All-Star worthy duo in the middle of the lineup. However, to contend for a postseason spot, New York will need to score more runs on a consistent basis. They did add Michael Cuddyer and giving more at-bats to Lucas Duda in 2015 should help as well. But, like most teams, an extra bat to help lengthen out the order would always be a welcomed addition.
In 2015, and going forward the Mets, yes the New York Mets, will certainly be a team to keep an eye on. They are building from the mound up and developing a strong core of players within the rotation. It is almost a page out of the San Francisco Giants playbook, and all they have done is gone on to win three World Championships. It is why the Mets should be viewed as having one of the top-10 starting rotations in the game. Very soon, the core four of starting pitchers all under the age of 27 could put the Amazin’ back into the Mets.