Since I was unfortunately not alive to see the 1986 Mets or the teams that made up the years around that championship season, the 2006 squad is one my favorites of all time, and arguably one of the best Mets teams ever.
But for a guy that actually played on that team, these 2017 Mets have the potential to be even better.
“If it’s not the best, it’s one of the best,” Jose Reyes told Newsday’s Laura Albanese. “We had a very good one in 2006, but talent-wise, I think this one is the best team that I’ve ever had, to be honest with you.”
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That 2006 team was really, really good though. Not only did you have a middle of the order that could absolutely crush the ball Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and David Wright in his prime, but you also had two future Hall of Famers in Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez anchoring the rotation. While these two weren’t with the team during their greatest individual seasons, they were still really good that year.
In 2017, the focus will undoubtedly be put on the team’s starting rotation. If healthy, the Mets have the potential to put up historic numbers with their young studs. It’s not completely inconceivable to think that both Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom could be in the running for the Cy Young award.
Even though the pitching will be dominant, that doesn’t mean anyone should sleep on the offense either. While this lineup may not be as balanced as the 2006 one (the 2017 will still strike out a ton), it can still put up some serious numbers.
Not only can we expect that Yoenis Cespedes will have another Yoenis Cespedes-like year in 2017, but there’s really no reason why Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker can’t have repeats of their fantastic years at the plate. And on top of that, if Lucas Duda and Jay Bruce can produce as they have in years past, you might be looking at one of the best scoring offenses in the league.
While the 2006 team will always have a special place in all Mets fans’ hearts, they didn’t win the World Series. Hopefully Reyes is right in his assessment that this team is better than that one. If they bring back a championship to Queens in 2017, I think we would all be able to agree on that.