David Wright and the 9 Best Position Players in New York Mets History
On the heels of SNY's recent unveiling of the Mets All-Time Team, let's take a look at our own top Mets.
We'll exclude pitchers and the coaching staff, focusing only on position players.
Truth be told, SNY kind of nailed it, but we will examine some other possible choices as well.
Offensive numbers are certainly important, but defense skills and value to the club will also be factors.
Let's take a look, shall we?
Third Base: David Wright
The title gives this one away a little bit.
There could actually be a strong argument that Wright is the greatest player to don the Orange and Blue.
He is the franchise's all-time leader in WAR, runs, total bases, doubles and RBIs.
He is second in batting average, hits and walks, and third in OBP and slugging. He is fourth in home runs, as well, which is not too shabby.
He is also a five-time All-Star, and has twice won Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers.
Runners up: Howard Johnson, Robin Ventura.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Looking at the numbers, this is another no-brainer.
Reyes played nine years in Flushing, and amassed quite a career, leaving an indelible mark on the franchise.
Reyes is the franchise leader in stolen bases and triples. He ranks second in runs, third in hits and doubles, fourth in total bases, and fifth in WAR and batting average.
A four-time All-Star and winner of a Silver Slugger, Reyes became the Mets' answer to the Hall of Fame shortstop on the other side of town.
Runners up: Bud Harrelson, Rey Ordonez.
Second Base: Edgardo Alfonzo
While Mets fans of another generation have a soft spot for Wally Backman, the numbers assert Alfonzo's superiority in the Mets pantheon.
Here are some of Alfonzo's ranks in franchise history: fourth in WAR, tied for fifth in batting average, fifth in runs, hits and doubles, seventh in total bases, OBP and walks, and ninth in home runs.
By all measures, Alfonzo is a top-10 Met, and therefor must be included as part of this list as the best second baseman in franchise history.
Runner up: Wally Backman.
First Base: John Olerud
This is where the controversy begins.
Olerud played only three seasons in a Mets uniform, but to this day may be the best pure hitter to ever wear the uniform. OK, so Willie Mays put the uniform on as well, but that wasn't the real Willie Mays.
Olerud is still the franchise leader in batting average, OBP and OPS. An anchor on the greatest defensive infield New York has ever seen, Olerud helped launch the Mets to their first playoff appearance in 11 years.
If you want to make the argument that Keith Hernandez is the greatest first baseman in Mets history, that's fine. There is certainly a strong point to be made in his favor.
But there has never been a Met to have the impact Olerud did in such a brief stint with the club.
Runners up: Keith Hernandez, Ed Kranepool.
Catcher: Mike Piazza
It's not really all that close.
Franchise ranks: first in slugging, second in home runs and OPS, third in RBIs, fourth in batting average, fifth in OBP and total bases, seventh in doubles and 10th in runs.
Gary Carter, although a fan favorite, does not rank in the top 15 in any of the above categories.
Piazza is also six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger with the Mets. He is the game's all-time leader in home runs by a catcher.
Runners up: Gary Carter, Jerry Grote.
Outfield: Darryl Strawberry
He exploded onto the scene faster than many could believe. He fizzled out nearly as fast.
Still, Strawberry maintains hallowed esteem among Mets greats.
Franchise ranks: first in home runs and walks, second in WAR, slugging and RBIs, third in total bases and runs, fourth in OPS and steals, sixth in triples, eighth in doubles, ninth in hits and 10th in OBP.
He won a Rookie of the Year, two Silver Sluggers, and was an eight-time All-Star with the team.
Outfield: Carlos Beltran
It's funny how throughout his tenure with the Mets, it seemed as if Beltran always struggled to be accepted by the fanbase.
In retrospect, all Beltran was doing was becoming one of the best Mets of all time.
Franchise ranks: third in WAR, fifth in OPS, sixth in OBP, sixth in slugging, doubles, runs, and home runs, eighth in runs, ninth in walks and 10th in total bases.
He was a five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, and two-time Silver Slugger with the Mets.
Outfield: Mookie Wilson
This was a tough one, but trust me, it works out in the end.
A fan favorite in the 1980's, Wilson was a key in the 1986 World Series championship season.
Franchise ranks: second in steals and triples, sixth in hits and runs, ninth in total bases and WAR, and 10th in doubles.
While his most memorable moment as a Met came by a reach-on-error, Wilson still deserves this spot in Mets lore.
Bench/Utility: Cleon Jones
The third outfield spot came down to a toss up between Jones and Wilson.
Jones put together an impressive resume with the Mets, and deserves to be mentioned among the franchise's greats.
Franchise ranks: fourth in hits and triples, seventh in runs, and eighth in total bases and RBIs.
Jones was an All-Star in 1969, and a key to the Mets' first World Series season.
So there you have it. The greatest Mets position players of all time.
Disagree? Of course you do. Let's talk about it.
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