As far as yielding excellent first round talent, the MLB Amateur Draft has been inconsistent for the New York Mets. The Mets up and down draft day success could be comparable to a roller coaster.
Great first round picks have come and gone for the New York Mets in between even more mediocre to below average first round selections. But when the Mets have experienced successful first round selections, those players flourished.
Here is a compilation of the best first round draft picks in Mets history. These are the guys who have turned in successful seasons for the team and hold a special place in the heart of the Mets community.
Pelfrey deserves a mention because he has quickly blossomed into a mainstay in this Mets rotation. On the other side, he doesn't quite make the top 10 because he hasn't proven to be that consistent future ace that the Mets had hoped for.
Shawn Abner never even played in a game for the Mets, despite being drafted as the number one overall pick in 1986. Abner became worth it when they traded him to the Padres that year. He went on to do nothing in his big league career, having hit only 11 home runs over the course of six years.
The Mets acquired outfielder Kevin McReynolds in return for Abner, who hit 122 home runs for the organization. Smart work by General Manager Frank Cashen.
It might be premature to toss Ike onto this list, but Mets fans right now probably wouldn't object to it.
The 23-year-old first baseman was drafted in 2008 and hasn't looked back. In his rookie year, he currently has 15 home runs and is certainly looking capable of developing into a promising power hitter who already looks advanced beyond his years. It also helps that the Mets fan base loves him already.
The very best years in his career did not quite arrive until he left the Mets, but still, he was very serviceable for the Mets in his early years.
The switch-hitting infielder could play multiple positions and was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 1985 amateur draft. He received consideration for Rookie of the Year twice in a Mets uniform, meaning that it didn't take him long to have an initial impact.
In just 29 games in 1988, Jefferies hit six home runs and stole five bases while batting .321. This helped him finish sixth in Rookie of the Year voting, impressive for such a brief period of time.
Again in 1989, he finished highly in the ROTY voting; this time in third. In a full season, he hit 12 home runs and stole 21 bases. He also led the league with 40 doubles in 1990.
He ended being a key piece in the deal that landed the Mets pitcher Bret Saberhagen, and made the All-Star team in 1993 and 1994 as a St. Louis Cardinal. Nonetheless, he was effective when he wore a Mets uniform.
Payton is another example of a player who had a brief, but successful early stint with the New York Mets. Mets fans know and love him as a member of the 2000 NL Champion team.
The Mets selected him in the first round of the 1994 draft, and after a handful of years of developing, he broke through as a starter in 2000 as a rookie, a year in which he hit 17 homers and hit .291. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and was a key piece in the Mets outfield for a team that made a run at the World Series.
A first round supplemental pick in the 1991 draft, Jones serviced the Mets very well throughout the 90s into the 2000 season. He started 30 games four times, and was an All-Star in 1997 when he went 15-9 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.
Jones also received Rookie of the Year consideration in 1994 after going 12-7 in 24 starts with a 3.15 ERA.
He had his ups and downs, but he was a regular presence in the middle of that Mets rotation for about seven years and finished off his Mets career in 2000 as a part of the Mets World Series roster.
The scrappy infielder was drafted by the Mets in 1977 in the first round. He was a member of the 1986 Championship team, and was a Met starter during the two years prior to their big year. By the end of his Mets career, he had played on the team for 10 seasons.
He emerged as a base swiping fiend, stealing 30 bases in 1984 and 1985. He hit .320 in 1986. His hard work ethic and fiery attitude has earned him a special place in the hearts of all Mets fans. He's currently serving as the manager of the Mets minor league affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones, and may have his sights set on managing the major league club in the future.
The Mets drafted Lee Mazzilli back in 1973 and he served as a starter in the Mets lineup during four seasons of play. He hit 68 home runs over the course of ten seasons in a Mets uniform.
The Mets brought him back in 1986, helping him earn a World Series ring. He also was an All-Star in 1979, a season in which he hit .303 with 15 homers, 79 RBI, and 34 stolen bases. He stole a career-high 41 bases in 1980.
Mets fans knew Mazzilli well for his great plate discipline and aggressive personality.
Matlack, the fourth overall pick in 1967, became a very accomplished pitcher over the course of his career. He didn't see action with the Mets until 1971, but he had an early impact.
Matlack was named Rookie of the Year in 1972 at the age of 22. He sported a 15-10 record and 2.32 ERA. The three-time All-Star (all as a Met) started games for the Mets for seven years. He won 82 games in a Mets uniform as well as putting together a 3.03 ERA overall.
By the end of his career, or at this rate in a few years, David Wright could easily be sitting atop this list. From the moment he took field in 2004, the Mets faithful knew they were witnessing the next big star for the Mets.
Since his breakthrough, he's received MVP consideration on a yearly basis, and is a perennial All-Star, having played in the Midsummer's Classic for the last five years.
He's already third on the Mets list of all-time home runs, and with 157 already he's poised to make a run for taking over first place on that last. He's the cornerstone of this modern-day Mets lineup and is the whole package in terms of speed, power, and fielding (two gold gloves, two silver slugger awards).
Often described as freakishly athletic, Doc Gooden was one of the most phenomenal young arms the Mets organization has every seen.
Selected in the first round of the 1982 draft, the Mets saw him jump to the pros in 1984 where he grew into a complete-game throwing, strikeout machine. His rookie year was nothing short of freakish and amazing. He was an All-Star and won Rookie of the Year. As a 19 year-old, he went 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and led the NL in WHIP and strikeouts with 276.
His dominance continued into 1985 where he was again an All-Star, and he won the Cy Young Award. He won the Pitching Triple Crown, leading the NL in ERA (1.53), wins (24), and strikeouts (268). This doesn't even take into account his 16 complete games that year. Gooden was another key component to the 1986 World Champion Mets as well.
Freshly inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, Doc Gooden's 11 years on the field were very memorable .
In 1980, the Mets drafted an outfielder by the name of Darryl Strawberry with the first overall pick. Little did they know that he would develop into one of the biggest sluggers in franchise history.
It started off in 1983 when he slugged 26 home runs and was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award. He went on to hit at least 26 home runs in each of the remaining seven seasons he played for the Mets, each of which he was an All-Star.
Strawberry hit a career high 39 home runs in 1987 and 1988, leading the league during the 1988 season. He also stole a career high 36 bases in 1987 as well. His 27 home runs and 28 steals in 1986 undoubtedly propelled that Mets team to its World Series Championship.
Strawberry is the Mets all-time home run king with 252. He's also the all-time Mets leader in RBIs.
Just inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, Strawberry has gone down in history as one of the biggest, if not the best, bat in Mets franchise history.