Left Field – Andrew Brown in 2014
For as badly as I want to put Jason Bay’s name here, the obscurity of Andrew Brown starting in left field for the Mets on Opening Day in 2014 wins out.
Brown’s MLB career lasted only 144 games with the final 87 taking place with the Mets. In 2014, he hit .182 and played in the final MLB game of his career later that season.
The Opening Day start for Brown did yield good results. He hit a three-run home run off of Stephen Strasburg in the first inning. It was pretty much downhill from there for the rest of the year.
Center Field – Gary Matthews Jr. in 2010
The worst center fielder to start on Opening Day for the Mets since 2010 is a competition between Colin Cowgill and my choice, Gary Matthews Jr. I’m fine with either. Matthews was the bigger disappoint so his name goes on this list.
The 2010 season wasn’t Matthews’ first stint with the Mets. He opened the year on their bench in 2002 but was traded on April 3 to the Baltimore Orioles for John Bale. Nearly a full decade later, he played his last big league season and started for the Mets on Opening Day.
Matthews started the season well going 2 for 3 in a win over the Florida Marlins. The season was a bad one, though, with Matthews driving in only 1 run in 65 plate appearances. Add this to a .190 batting average and you have yourself a guy ready to retire.
Right Field – Eric Valent in 2005
The Mets have had some really bad right fielders in their recent Opening Day history. In fact, the only one to start more than one year and deliver sustained success was Curtis Granderson. For the worst to start at the position, the dishonors go to Eric Valent from his 2005 start.
Valent played well for the Mets in 2004 in what turned out to be the only full MLB year of his professional career. However, in 2005, he hit only .186 in 50 plate appearances.
On Opening Day, Valent went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk. The intentional walk wasn’t out of fear. As the eighth-place hitter, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson was just trying to get to the pitcher’s spot.
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While the Mets have had plenty of bad players start on Opening Day, the good news is they rarely all appear in the same lineup together.