This article which was originally published on January 25th by Mitch Petanick, is worth a second look in light of recent events.
Mark Simon did a piece on ESPN New York yesterday which ranked the top five infields in the team’s history, as well as the top five outfields. His rankings were pretty solid, although he had the 1999 Mets outfield ranked as No. 5 snubbing a very solid 2006 outfield. Let’s be honest, 2006 was more deserving of the No. 5 spot. Just as a reminder, that 2006 Mets team had Carlos Beltran, Cliff Floyd, Endy Chavez and Xavier Nady.
However, when looking at Simon’s rankings you can only come to one conclusion–the Mets have never been known for dynamite outfields.
Having an outfield ranked as the fifth best in team history that included the likes of Benny Agbayani, Roger Cedeno, an aging Rickey Henderson and Darryl Hamilton, with a sprinkle of Shawon Dunston, is proof positive that the Mets were never known for solid outfields.
It’s funny how some things change over time, but some things stay the same.
The Mets once again find themselves in a position to not only keep the tradition alive, but could quite possibly be putting the worst outfield that they have ever had in their history on the field in 2013.
The Mets have had solid outfielders through the years, but aside from a few teams, never had an outfield worth bragging about. Maybe it’s because the outfielders that they draft never seem to pan out–not since the 1980s anyway. The Mets often find their better outfield talent in the free agent market.
Here are some names of outfielders that the Mets have drafted that turned out to be absolute busts: Lastings Milledge, Jason Tyner, Alfred Shirley, Christopher Roberts and Robert Stratton. All of those picks were first round selections by the Mets, which brings us to the next point.
When looking up and down at the Mets’ first round selections since 1990, less than ten of those picks lived up to their first round pick status. Actually, one could argue that it’s less than five.
After looking at that list, you will notice that Burnitz, Wilson, Kazmir and Humber were all drafted by the Mets, but spent the majority of their careers with teams other than the Mets. And Humber probably wouldn’t have even made the list if not for throwing a perfect game in 2012. Harvey and Davis have barely spent enough time at the major league level to guarantee them not to be busts (although it certainly looks as if they won’t be).
Why is this important?
This is exactly why the Mets should not let a first round pick come between themselves, and getting an impact player like Michael Bourn to play in the outfield. It boils down to the simple fact that these first round draft picks that are treated like a bottle of water in the desert, turn out to be more of a bust than a boom the majority of the time.
Giving up the pick isn’t the end of the world. The Mets will be able to save the money that they would potentially be wasting by paying a first round draft pick millions of dollars before he ever steps foot on a professional baseball field. They can do that, and then improve the outfield at the same time. That’s smart.
Now the question is are the Mets willing to pay the price for a player that they can build their outfield around? Or is this just Sandy playing the part of One-Eyed Willie from the Goonies with another one of his tricks? Either way, the Mets shouldn’t let the loss of the first round pick get in their way. Maybe it’s time to start changing history.