Jose Reyes is arguably the most valuable fantasy player on a loaded Mets squad.
Projected Lineup (2006 stats)
Paul Lo Duca
Projected Rotation (2006 stats)
Chan Ho Park
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The Magic is Back! The Mets' slogan from the mid-'80s holds true again, as New York is one of the best teams in the NL and also has some of the most attractive players in the fantasy game in Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner.
You hit pay dirt if you drafted Jose Reyes last season. You knew he was going to steal a bushel of bases, but did you imagine that Reyes, whose previous career high in home runs on any level was eight, would clout 19 to rank third behind Miguel Tejada and Jimmy Rollins among shortstops? Reyes is a special talent who doubled his walks and raised his OBP 54 points in 2006. You can expect more production at the plate and on the bases as his selectivity creates more on-base opportunities.
The Next Big Thing
This is a tricky one since Lastings Milledge may not be a Met when he becomes an everyday fantasy producer, but the five-tool outfielder will one day be a quality major leaguer. Right now he's more of a gap hitter but shows signs of being a capable 20-25 home run hitter. He's a gamble to draft for your active team because barring a trade he'll likely start the season at Triple-A due to a veteran-heavy Mets roster.
Following a dismal start to the 2006 season while languishing with the bottom-dwelling Diamondbacks, Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez was traded to New York in the midst of a pennant race. Then with his juices flowing Hernandez returned to the form that made him one of the most effective postseason pitchers in recent history. Now he's being counted on to provide front-of-the-rotation innings, but his spring training bout with arthritis in his neck (sure, he's 36 ... wink, wink) raises more doubts about his durability.
Do You Feel Lucky?
Speaking of legendary pitchers who are a big gamble this season, it's doubtful that Pedro Martinez will rejoin the Mets rotation until late July at the earliest, after missing nearly all of the last two months of the '06 season. However, should he recover from right rotator cuff surgery and be even a shadow of the pitcher who had a 0.95 WHIP in 2005 or even the one who had 137 K's in 132 innings in an injury-plagued '06, he's worth rolling the dice on, either for the stretch drive or a potential keeper trade late in the season.
Steals Come From...
The Mets have lots of team speed, mainly in the legs of Jose Reyes, MVP candidates Carlos Beltran, David Wright and fourth outfielder Endy Chavez. If you're reaching, take a chance on universal fill-in David Newhan, who could be more aggressive on the go-go Mets than he was with the Orioles last year.
If Something Should Happen To Billy Wagner
The Mets have high hopes for Ambiorix Burgos, acquired from the Royals for starter Brian Bannister. Pitching coach Rick Peterson has to help Burgos, who throws in the high 90s with great movement, to harness his talents. Should his mechanics be fixed, Burgos, formerly the closer in Kansas City (20 career saves, including 18 last year), stands to be the next man in line for Wagner's job.
You Need Them Too
Moises Alou, Carlos Delgado, Tom Glavine, John Maine, Duaner Sanchez, Jose Valentin
Better Left as Someone Else's Problem
Shawn Green, Paul LoDuca, Chan Ho Park, Oliver Perez