Since the Mets won’t be playing anytime soon. I am starting a series called “The Best of the Mets”. I will talk about the Mets’ best players of all time at certain positions, and if this is popular, I may branch out to other teams. The first position is third base. This position has had the most players in the history of the franchise. According to ultimatemets.com the number is 177! That includes one game that Travis d’Arnaud played there.
My criteria are simple. If you played more than two seasons at the position you are in consideration. Even David Wright could lose the top spot under these circumstances. I will name the top three at each position taking into account offense and defense. Not every stat has to be derived from that position if it’s for more than two seasons in length.
Here is the list of contenders:
Robin Ventura – He had the grand single. The 1999 infield was the best I’ve ever seen. They only made 33 errors. He was sixth in MVP voting in 2000. His 120 RBI is the four away from the Mets’ single-season record at the position. Two homers and 10 RBI in the postseason were decent. Ventura won one Mets Gold Glove Award in 1999. He was a tremendous clutch hitter.
David Wright – He has the Mets’ all-time records for almost everything at the position. His .325 average, 33 home runs, 124 RBI, and 390 OBP are also incredible marks for the position that he reached in different seasons. “The captain” was fourth in MVP voting in 2007. He won two Gold Glove Awards in his career.
Wayne Garrett – He has a World Series ring. He was good for double-digit home runs and a good on-base percentage as well as some clutch hitting. “Red” had three home runs and six RBI with nine walks in the postseason. According to www.baseballreference.com, he was in the top ten, three times for range at the position per nine innings. In 1975, he ranked third behind Darrell Evans and Mike Schmidt.
Howard Johnson – He has a World Series ring. He had three 30-30 seasons. Willie Mays was the first NL player to do it, and he had two. “HoJo” was the first NL third baseman to do it and the only one until David Wright did it in 2007. No other NL third baseman has done this since Wright. In 1989 he led the league in runs scored and in home runs and RBI in 1991. He was voted Top ten in MVP voting three times. Top five twice. He was an average fielding third baseman with a good arm.
Hubie Brooks – He had a nice career with the Mets, but he got better when he left. His potential was always there. His 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 1984 were good. Good enough to get him traded.
Ray Knight – He has a ring and 1986 was his year. He was the World Series MVP and then he signed with the Orioles.
Bobby Bonilla – “Bobby Bo” could hit the long ball. In five seasons, he had 95 home runs and 295 RBI. He played 205 games at 3B. He was a functional third baseman.
Edgardo Alfonzo played a lot of games at 3B, but he played more at 2B so that’s where he will be ranked.
1 – David Wright
2 – Howard Johnson
3 – Robin Ventura
Honorable mention: Wayne Garrett