David Wright and Jose Reyes both facing career crossroads reminds Mets fans how relatively few outstanding homegrown position players the team has developed historically.
Here are the best, based solely on their respective Met careers:
Catcher: Todd Hundley
An All-Star in 1996 and ’97, including a catchers’ record 41 home runs in ’97, Hundley’s bad elbow led to a disastrous outfield experiment and Mike Piazza’s arrival.
First base: Lucas Duda
One of the position’s few 30-homer men, no one’s approached his 57 homers over 2014-15. Backup: John Milner, who averaged 20 homers from 1972-74 but only 57 RBIs.
Second base: Edgardo Alfonso
Batted at least .304 four times, averaging 26 HRs and 101 RBIs in 1999 and 2000 before a bad back led to a sharp decline. Backup: Postseason hero Daniel Murphy over the first Met All-Star starter, Ron Hunt in 1964.
Third base: David Wright
By 27, Wright was an All-Star five straight years before becoming injury ravaged. Backup: Disappointing Gregg Jeffries over Hubie Brooks, whose best contribution was being traded for Gary Carter.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Despite unfulfilled potential, Reyes was a four-time All-Star who won a batting title in 2011, led the National League in hits in 2008 and topped the league in stolen bases from 2005-07. Backup: Bud Harrelson, who started for the 1969 world champions and 1973 NL champs.
Outfielders: Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson and Lee Mazzilli
Strawberry, with a club record 252 homers, and the speedy Wilson are easy picks. The solid Maz gets a slight nod as third outfielder. Backup: Lenny Dykstra (only three full Met seasons) over inconsistent Cleon Jones.
Only Strawberry, Wright, Reyes and Alfonso were among the best at their position with any longevity. Time will tell if top prospect Dilson Herrera becomes more like Wright or bust Lastings Milledge.