With the current New York Mets just playing out the string in a second straight disappointing season I thought it would be fun to get peoples thoughts on their favorite obscure/part-time Mets players on Twitter.
For criteria I decided to go with players that played less than 162 MLB games with the Mets. Should also note that I was born in 1987 so the team will have some recency bias. Also tried to limit myself to players no longer active and leave guys off that had strong major league careers like Gary Sheffield.
Here are my position players:
- C: Omir Santos – Obviously quite a few names I could’ve went with here but his game-winning homer off Jonathan Papelbon in 2009 endeared him to me. He would hit .260/.296/.391 that season with seven homers and 40 RBI then spend the next season in the minors for the Mets before leaving in free agency.
- 1B: Mike Jacobs – Few players have ever had the type of start to their Mets career than Jacobs did in 2005. He blasted four homers in his first four MLB games and had a 1.085 OPS in his first pro season (30 games). He was traded in the package for Carlos Delgado in that offseason though he return to the Mets for seven games in 2010.
- 2B: Anderson Hernandez – I decided to go defense with this choice and that his superman catch will always be engraved in my brain. The slick fielding second baseman had 5 DRS in the majors at the position. The Mets traded Hernandez in August of 2008 to only get him back from the Nationals less than a year later in a trade. Both Damion Easley and Jose Valentin had too many games played to fit by bill, but obviously two names that come to mind.
- SS: Mike Bordick – This one has a personal connection for me given he played baseball in my home state of Maine (very rare for anyone with Maine connections to make majors). He did homer in his first at-bat as Met though that was one of very few highlights with the 2000 team. Melvin Mora (who could also be in this spot) was traded for Bordick and had a fine career.
- 3B: Mike Hessman – You might have completely forgotten his time with the Mets given it was only 32 games in 2010. The minor league home run king hit 433 in the minors, 14 in majors and 7 in Japan.
- OF: Tommy Davis – The Brooklyn native slashed .302/.342/.440 with 32 doubles and 16 homers in his one season with the Mets in 1967. At the time, he set a team single season record with 577 at-bats, 174 hits and 32 doubles. That offseason he was traded in a package for Tommie Agee and Al Weis.
- OF: Jason Tyner – Pretty obscure player despite being a first round of the Mets back in 1998. The speedster would play in only 13 games with the Mets before being traded to the Rays in in 2000 as part of the package for Rick White and Bubba Trammell.
- OF: Marlon Byrd – I remember the lazy, “Going to the World Series” reactions when the Mets gave him a minor league deal in 2013. All he did was hit .285/.330/.518 with 21 homers and 71 RBI before trading him with John Buck to the Pirates for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera.
This bench group was so tough to put together with the Mets using tons and tons of random guys off the bench from failed prospects to old veterans way past their prime.
- INF: Ruben Gotay – Dude hit .295/.351/.421 over 211 plate appearances in 2007 for the Mets, what’s not to like? The Mets got him in trade from the Royals for another guy that I had on my original tweeted list, Jeff Keppinger.
- OF: Chris Jelic – The former second pick of the Royals has the distinction of being the only Met player in franchise history with their only hit being a home run. He went 1-for-11 with the Mets in 1990 and was released that offseason. The home run is his only major league hit and it came in his final at-bat.
- C: Joe Hietpas – His Mets major league career consisted of catching one inning on October 3, 2004. That one inning ended up being the last of the Montreal Expos.
- OF: Eric Valent – Bet most fans wouldn’t remember Valent posting a .782 OPS during his 350 plate appearance Mets career. I’m sure most would remember when he hit for the cycle in 2004 against the Expos.
- INF: Desi Relaford – The switch hitter only played in one season for the Mets but it was the best year of his 11-season career with a 2.1 WAR and .836 OPS. He also pitched a perfect inning with one strikeout.
Plenty of other players that could’ve been on this list like George Theodore, Robinson Cancel, Harry Chiti, Doug Mientkiewicz, Omar Quintanilla, Xavier Nady and Collin Cowgill to name a few. Should note that Endy Chavez and Mike Baxter both played over 162 games as Mets though both of them were popular responses from fans on Twitter.
The second half of my Obscure Mets Team will feature pitchers next week!