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2020-03-26 15:34:391 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Mets third baseman David Wright. (Image Source: MLB)
Having already posted my overall all-time MLB lineup (of players I've watched) and an all-time lineup made up of New York Mets, it’s time to get more specific. What would the Orange & Blue lineup be, if we took the best season by a player at each position? Here’s what it would look like:
1. SS Jose Reyes (2006)
I was tempted to go with his batting-title season of 2011, but Reyes was so electric in 2006 as he led the Majors in triples and steals while hitting 19 home runs with 81 RBI from the leadoff spot. It was a Rickey Henderson-esque performance.
2. 2B Edgardo Alfonzo (2000)
Batting second in the lineup in 2000, Alfonzo’s .425 on-base was only bettered by John Olerud and his offensive WAR was fifth-best in franchise history with a .967 OPS and a then team-record 123 runs scored. A table-setter and run-producer.
3. 3B David Wright (2007)
In 2007, Wright produced the highest-overall WAR (8.3) by a Met in a single season. He hit for average and got on base (career-highs .325 & .416) while providing power. The third baseman set the franchise record for runs created (146).
4. CF Carlos Beltran (2006)
He was the best player on New York’s division-winning team (8.2 WAR). The switch-hitting, gold-glove centerfielder was a juggernaut who tied the team record with 41 home runs while he posted a .982 OBP and broke Alfonzo’s record with 127 runs.
5. RF Darryl Strawberry (1987)
The Straw that stirs the drink posted a .981 OPS which went underappreciated in his time. However, his 39 home runs and 76 extra-base hits were not. A dynamic talent with a rare blend of pure power and speed.
6. C Mike Piazza (1998)
Arguably the best season a Mets hitter has ever had. Piazza batted .348 (2nd best in franchise history), with a .607 slugging (2nd), and a franchise-record 1.024 OPS. I don’t know if any Met ever hit the ball harder than Piazza in his prime.
7. 1B John Olerud (1998)
It was hard to leave Pete Alonso off this list but that’s how good Olerud’s 1998 season was. He set franchise records with a .354 batting average, a .447 on-base percentage, and was second in runs created (141). Plus, he had the sweetest swing.
8. LF Bernard Gilkey (1996)
The biggest anomaly in this lineup, Gilkey had a monster first season in Queens, as he tied the franchise record for RBI at the time (117) while smashing 44 doubles (still a team record) for an 8.1 WAR, behind only Wright and Beltran.
9. P Dwight Gooden (1985)
For a season, Gooden’s 1985 stacks up against anyone’s one-year run. His 12.2 WAR was well ahead of Tom Seaver’s best year, as Dr. K had a 1.53 ERA on his way to 24 wins with a franchise-record eight shutouts. Adjusted numbers are even better.
Pete Alonso (2019): Team record 53 home runs with 120 RBI; Gary Carter (1985): 6.9 WAR tied for ninth-best by a Met; Jacob deGrom (2018): Franchise-record 0.912 H+W per IP with a 1.70 ERA; Howard Johnson (1989): Team-record 8.0 offensive WAR with franchise-best adjusted OPS+; Lance Johnson (1996): Fifth-best overall WAR on his way to 227 hits; Tom Seaver (1971): Franchise-records 289 strikeouts and 21 complete games with a 1.76 ERA.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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