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MLB Draft Preview

Draft Guide Preview: Saves & Steals - NL East

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: February 27, 2020, 5:10 pm ET

Spring is in the air! Pitchers and catchers have reported to Florida and Arizona, position players are set to join them in a matter of days and MLB Spring Training games will officially get underway in just one week.

That means there's no better time to partake in another spring tradition: preparing for and conducting fantasy baseball drafts! Here at Rotoworld, we're ready to help with everything you need to prep for and dominate them with our all-new 2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide.

Our guide is bursting at the seems with crucial content, from projections and rankings to tiers, mock drafts and exclusive expert columns. To prove that value, we're giving you glimpses at what's inside with preview columns such as this.

Today, we're offering a look at our Saves and Steals column. In particular, this breakdown of the New York Mets' bullpen.

 

New York Mets

Edwin Díaz
Dellin Betances
Seth Lugo
Robert Gsellman
Jeurys Familia
Brad Brach
Justin Wilson
Michael Wacha

The Mets have a fully realized relief corps, but much of it probably isn’t especially relevant to the late-innings picture. It’s really three guys we expect to fight for saves. After paying so much to acquire Diaz, it’s widely assumed he’ll be handed the closer role. As we all know, he posted a brutal 2019 campaign. This may be a case of the 2019 baseball ruining a pitcher’s bread-and-butter weapon. Pitchers claimed it was slick and difficult to grip. Diaz’s slider held the same spin rate, but the axis of spin shifted. Basically, it was the same pitch, but it moved differently – and probably in a way hitters were better able to identify. What this means for 2020 remains to be seen. And might depend on the baseball!

Lugo emerged as a multi-inning weapon for the Mets in 2018. If anything, he improved last season. He’s a closer-quality reliever, although he also looks like he could stick as a starting pitcher if given the opportunity. Unlike most relievers, he wields a five-pitch repertoire. Now entering his age 30 season, the Mets will likely plan to use him as a stopper.

Betances missed virtually all of 2019. He pairs an upper-90s fastball with one of the best curve balls in the game. His command can come and go. He also struggled with home runs at times, although it’s fair to wonder if the homer-prone venues of the AL East might not be to blame. A move from Yankees Stadium to CitiField is a big upgrade for a pitcher.

Familia and Brach both have a track record as fringe-closer quality relievers. Alas, they both completely lost their command last season en route to brutal seasons. If they don’t bounce back quickly, they’ll be sent packing. In both cases, the stuff remained consistent with past performances – they were just plagued with walks.

There was a time when Gsellman and Lugo were in the same cohort. While Lugo took strides forward, Gsellman has settled in as a typical volume reliever. Wilson is a lefty reliever whose stuff holds up well against right-handed hitters. He’s a good fit for the new three-batter-minimum rule. Wacha will be interesting to watch as a long reliever. He’s never really been given a chance to see if his stuff plays up out of the bullpen.

 

For the full NL East analysis and more from the MLB Draft Guide, you can purchase here! Take advantage of our package deals and gain access to our MLB Season Pass product, and be sure to grab our MLB DFS Toolkit as well!