New York Mets All-Decade Team 2010-2019
This decade started with the New York Mets really struggling as a franchise. The first three seasons were fourth-place finishes as the Mets were rebuilding around starting pitching. During the 2012-13 seasons, the Mets started a rebirth behind a must-see starting pitcher who turned New York City into Gotham City. When injuries cut short his dominance a pitcher with low expectations has now emerged to carry the Mets into the next decade.
The Mets were in the middle of a pennant race in 2015. Then a Cuban player was brought to Queens mid-season to provide the missing piece of the puzzle. That player provided the last spark which led the Mets to the World Series. The Mets did lose the World Series in 5 games to the Kansas City Royals.
After making the wild card game in 2016 it marked the second time in franchise history the Mets made the playoffs in back to back seasons. But in 2017 the Mets reverted back to their losing ways. Now as the 2019 season has completed the Mets have a new man in charge and that is former agent Brodie Van Wagenen. As the Mets fell short of the playoffs in 2019 they now have perhaps the strongest and youngest core of players in their history.
The All-Decade roster was created by taking the best individual seasons at each position to fill out a 25-man roster. Each player will be represented by their best season and cannot be used more than once. The Mets are a national league team with no Designated Hitter. I decided to use a six-man bullpen and utilize my bench with players that can play multiple positions. Here are the best Mets for the seasons of 2010-2019.
Starting Pitcher: Jacob deGrom (2018)
Jacob deGrom was never supposed to be the guy to lead the Mets starting pitchers. After all, deGrom was a shortstop in college who also had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and was out for all of the 2011 season. But “The deGrominator” has captivated the Mets fan base with his toughness and tenacity. There is no other player that Met fans trust more than deGrom. To put his season in perspective deGrom pitched 217 innings. In this day and age, not many starters pitch over 200 innings. His ERA was 1.70 and his WHIP was a minuscule .912. Oh and Jake also had 269 strikeouts. If not for the Mets inability to score runs or the bullpen not being able to preserve the lead in the games he started deGrom would have one of the best seasons ever. deGrom won the Cy Young award despite having only 10 wins.
Relief Pitcher: Jeurys Familia (2016)
Jeurys Familia will always be remembered for the games he could not save in the 2015 World Series. Such is life as a closer. While Familia was one of the biggest reasons the Mets failed to win the 2015 World Series what he did in 2016 can’t be ignored. Familia set a franchise record with 32 consecutive saves en route to his Mets team record of 51 saves. Familia also led the major leagues in saves and was an all-star for the first time in his career and finished 17th in the MVP voting. His record was 3-4 with a 2.55 ERA, 1.210 WHIP, and 84 strikeouts in 78 games. However, his season would end in horror as Familia gave up the game-winning three-run HR to Conor Gillaspie in the wild card game against the San Francisco Giants.
First Base: Pete Alonso (2019)
Pete Alonso lived up to the hype and then some. His 2019 rookie season was one of the best overall seasons any Mets offensive player has ever had. The Polar Bear won the National League Rookie of the Year by slugging a major league-leading 53 HR. Alonso’s 53 homers also are the most by a rookie player in major league history. Alonso also batted .260 driving in 120 runs and scoring 103. He also was an all-star and won the HR Derby. Alonso’s defense was much better than advertised. The best move the Mets made all year long was having Alonso start the season in the majors.
Second Base: Daniel Murphy (2015)
It was not a great decade for the Mets at the keystone position. But still, this is an easy selection. Daniel Murphy at age 30 finally started to blossom into the big hitter the Mets always hoped he would be. Murph batted .281 with 14 homers and 73 RBI. But more than his numbers Murphy was a symbol for the Mets. He was beloved for his regular-guy demeanor. While his numbers do not jump off the page Murphy had the kind of playoffs every kid dreams of.
Murphy became the first player to hit a HR in six consecutive playoff games and was the first player since Lou Gherig to have a hit, run scored, and an RBI in seven consecutive playoff games. Overall Murphy hit seven HR, drove in 11 runs and scored 13 runs with an NLCS MVP trophy for his mantle. He also collected 19 hits in 14 games. The Mets would let Murphy sign with their division rival Washington Nationals after the season. Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen famously dubbed Murphy as a Net Negative.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes (2011)
Jose Reyes is a no brainer choice for shortstop. Reyes was the spark plug of the franchise since his breakout 2005 season. The Mets had a very formidable left side of the infield with Reyes and David Wright. Reyes who batted leadoff led the league in batting average hitting .337. The 28-year-old free agent to be could do it all offensively. Reyes had 31 doubles, 16 triples and 7 HR driving in 44 runs and scoring 101. Reyes also swiped 39 bags in 46 attempts. The homegrown Met was an instant fan favorite. The “Jose Jose Jose Jose” chants rocked Queens every time he electrified the crowd. Sadly the Mets would let Reyes sign with their division rival Miami Marlins.
Third Base: David Wright (2012)
When people talk about David Wright they all say the same thing. What could he have been if not for the injuries? The Captain was well on his way to becoming one of the great players in baseball. With a career projected to be at least a borderline hall of famer Wright was shining under the bright lights of New York City. Wright batted .306 with 21 HR, 93 RBI and 91 runs scored. Wright also stole 15 bases.
You could make a case for his 2010 season but his 2012 season was his last big one with Wright finishing sixth in the MVP voting that year. The injuries started to pile up in the last half of this decade. Wright was able to play in the 2015 World Series but sadly his career was coming to an unofficial end. Wright now retired from playing is still a valued part of the Mets organization.
Catcher: Wilson Ramos (2019)
Remember when the Mets had Mike Piazza behind the plate? The Mets have been trying to fill the Hall of Famer’s shoes for what seems like forever. Piazza was regarded as the best hitting catcher of all time so those shoes likely will never be replaced. For this all-decade team, it really comes down to two catchers, Wilson Ramos, and Travis d’Arnaud. Both players were sub-par defensively.
Ramos is the choice here. While neither player had great seasons Ramos was extremely clutch down the stretch for the Mets in 2019. Ramos batted .288 with 14 HR and 73 RBI. Ramos and his bad knees played in 141 games which were a career-high. He can rake and when he gets hot he can carry a team as was seen this past season. Ramos was called out for his work behind the plate specifically for how he calls a game. He also has a hard time throwing out base stealers.
Left Field: Yoenis Cespedes (2015)
How many times does a team trade for a player at the trading deadline and that player catapults the team into the World Series? That is exactly what Yoenis Cespedes did in 2015. What “La Potencia” did in 57 games was remarkable. Cespedes had 17 HR, 44 RBI, and scored 39 runs. Cespedes proved to be the missing ingredient for a team that took off the second he walked into the clubhouse. You could have certainly picked his 2016 season and that would be a fine choice. But for what he meant to the Mets in 2015 and for what his presence in the line up did for the rest of the team that was truly magical.
Center Field: Michael Conforto (2019)
Michael Conforto burst onto the scene in 2015 with a lot of potential. After three years of inconsistent play and injuries, Conforto rebounded and finished the 2018 season strong. But in 2019 Conforto might have turned the corner. Conforto set career highs in HR with 33 and RBI with 92. With Alonso and Jeff McNeil and the surprise play of J.D. Davis Conforto did fly under the radar at times. At just 26 years old Conforto has yet to hit the prime of his career. Due to injuries, Conforto was pushed to play center field out of necessity. Better suited as a corner outfielder Conforto played well in center. The Mets might be looking for a natural center fielder this offseason which should push Conforto back to right field and ultimately McNeil to third base.
Right Field: Jeff McNeil (2019)
Jeff McNeil known as “The Squirrel” batted .311 across seven minor league seasons and in 1,617 at-bats. When McNeil finally got the call to Queens he hit .329 in 225 at-bats in 2018. That small sample left Met fans salivating for more squirrel. In 2019 McNeil did not let them down. McNeil batted over .330 for much of the season until injuries slowed him down in September. He finished with a batting average of .318 with 23 HR and 75 RBI and 83 runs scored.
It seemed like McNeil would get two hits in every game. McNeil wanted to play every inning of every game. Watching his at-bats it felt like McNeil was going to war. His pure passion was felt every time he did not get on base. McNeil is 27 years old and is part of the Mets young core of offensive players under 30. Just like Conforto, McNeil was forced to play an unnatural position in right field. McNeil was a little better than average in right but he could be returning to his more natural position of third base in 2020.
- SS-Jose Reyes (2011)
- RF-Jeff McNeil (2019)
- 1B-Pete Alonso (2019)
- LF-Yoenis Cespedes (2015)
- 3B-David Wright (2012)
- CF-Michael Conforto (2019)
- C-Wilson Ramos (2019)
- 2B-Daniel Murphy (2015)
- P-Jacob deGrom (2018)
- C-Travis d’Arnaud (2017)
- 1B-Ike Davis (2012)
- 2B-Neil Walker (2016)
- 3B/OF-J.D. Davis (2019)
- 2B/SS-Asdrubal Cabrera (2016)
- OF-Curtis Granderson (2015)
- SP1-Jacob deGrom (2018)
- SP2-R.A. Dickey (2012)
- SP3-Noah Syndergaard (2016)
- SP4-Matt Harvey (2013)
- SP5-Zack Wheeler (2018)
- CL-Jeurys Familia (2016)
- RP-Francisco Rodriguez (2010)
- RP-Seth Lugo (2019)
- RP-Addison Reed (2016)
- RP-Jenrry Mejia (2014)
- RP-Bobby Parnell (2013)
As the Mets head to the next decade they have the best core of young players they ever had. The starting rotation at least for the 2020 season is still among the best in baseball. Where the Mets are really lacking is in the bullpen. The bullpen single-handedly cost the Mets a playoff spot in 2019. With a brand new manager in former Mets player Carlos Beltran, he will have the same result as his predecessor did if Brodie Van Wagenen does not improve the bullpen.