In only two and a half seasons, Amed Rosario has done enough to land among the top five shortstops in New York Mets history.
Months ago I tried piecing together a list of the top five shortstops in New York Mets history. It’s a pretty easy list when you start from number one then head backward.
My trouble came after I put the first three names on the list. The number four and five spot wasn’t so easy to determine.
In the franchise’s history, the Mets have not had much luck at shortstop. It’s a position they have traditionally preferred defense over offense. Even then, there isn’t an abundance of superior defenders who have played shortstop for the orange and blue who stuck around long enough to make an impact.
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After only two and a half years as the shortstop, it’s time to start considering Amed Rosario for top five honors. We’re still in the early part of his career. However, a productive season at the plate in 2019 brings him to a place few Mets shortstops have gone before.
Easily the greatest shortstop in Mets history, Jose Reyes is also one of the franchise’s best offensive players, too. His first tenure with New York included some amazing feats with his bat and legs. Reyes is the only player in franchise history to win a batting title. He has also stolen more bases than any other player representing the team from Queens.
Rosario is a long way from reaching Reyes’ status. I would still place him behind Bud Harrelson. The longtime Met was a mainstay at the position throughout the late 1960s and into the 1970s. After him, it’s time to already consider Rosario.
Rey Ordonez is the only other guy who belongs in the top five with the other name up for debate. Jose Vizcaino performed well, but was he here long enough? Asdrubal Cabrera changed positions a little too frequently for me to even consider him a shortstop. Kevin Elster, Ruben Tejada, and others failed to contribute at the same level. They cannot possibly belong in the top five.
At the rate Rosario is performing, he’ll undoubtedly pass Harrelson—at least when we look at the numbers. He may even approach what Reyes did during his time in New York. It will take at least another half-decade in order for this debate to take place.
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Until then, Rosario deserves early admittance into the list of top five greatest Mets shortstops of all-time. His exact spot at the moment is not quite clear. One more season like the one he had in 2019 and I’m cool with putting him at number two.