According to FanGraphs, the New York Mets are ranked fifth in projected WAR for the upcoming 2020 campaign.
FanGraphs — one of the most trusted and comprehensive sites for baseball analytics — has updated its 2020 list of projected “wins above replacement.” For those who don’t know, WAR is a complicated metric used to measure players’ contributions to their team. And surprisingly, the New York Mets are listed at No. 5 in those regards with a WAR of 44.
This comes as a shock to most because, despite the Mets’ talent, few would consider them to be one of the very best ballclubs in the league.
The total number that FanGraphs posts for each team is a calculation of the combined WAR of each position, which includes both offensive and defensive aspects.
Here is a breakdown of FanGraphs’ WAR for each of New York’s positions:
Of all non-pitching positions, the ones that stand out the most are first base and right field. Pete Alonso is to thank for the 3.4 WAR at first base after setting records during his rookie season in 2019. He was decent enough with the glove, but that 3.4 would’ve been higher if he showed more talent in that area.
A 3.4 WAR in right field is the sixth-best in the league. The Mets have more than one capable right fielder but because Brandon Nimmo missed a good chunk of the 2019 season with a neck injury, it was mainly the Michael Conforto show.
Conforto’s been a solid outfielder throughout his career and came through for the Mets even more in 2019. He was second on the team in home runs behind Alonso with 33. Additionally, he’s one of the team’s top defensive players.
What really takes the Mets to the next level for FanGraphs is the pitching. With a total pitching WAR of 23.1, FanGraphs places the Mets at second behind their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees.
It’s no surprise that the Mets rotation possesses this ranking. Nonetheless, the team’s bullpen coming in fourth is head-turning. This can definitely end up becoming an overstatement for a relief-pitching staff that was one of the worst in the league last season.
But the Mets have made moves to bolster the pen and are relying on multiple relievers to bounce back from underwhelming campaigns. The bullpen could make or break the Mets’ year, not only in terms of WAR but in helping the team reach the postseason as well.
In spite of the surprising projected WAR, fans should show encouragement that the numbers are on the Mets’ side.