Creating the best New York Mets roster of all-time? Jeff McNeil and Seth Lugo both belong on it.
From the current New York Mets roster, there’s only one man who has a spot as an all-time great. You’ve guessed it. Ace starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is the only player climbing onto the list. His talent on the mound matches up with everyone. An argument can even be made that he has passed Dwight Gooden and is now the second greatest pitcher in franchise history.
Other Mets players haven’t been around long enough to join deGrom on this fictional roster of all-time greats. However, if we look at things a little differently, we can fit a pair in.
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Neither man is a top guy at their respective positions quite yet. They are too new to the game and what position does either even play?
McNeil moves all over the field and Lugo has spent enough time as a starting pitcher in the earlier part of his career. For those exact reasons, I think both could win a spot on an all-time great Mets roster.
McNeil is the super-utility player you want. He isn’t like other versatile defenders who put up part-time player numbers. Sorry, Joe McEwing. I’m taking the other J-Mac.
The Flying Squirrel would be useful at a variety of positions. This isn’t something too many former Mets have done with the amount of success he has in his young career. McNeil’s greatest weapon is still the flexibility he gives his manager. Which, by the way, this team would be captained by Gil Hodges as the skipper.
Then there’s Lugo. While the bullpen for this fictional squad of great Amazins could get loaded up with closers, we have seen plenty struggle when they are not in the ninth inning. Plus, to have him as a long-man who can also start when needed, he’s an asset few can match.
Lugo will need a few more years of excellence to join the conversation of greatest Mets relievers of all-time. The team has been fortunate to have John Franco, Tug McGraw, and Jesse Orosco pass through.
A topic like this is about as subjective as it gets. We’ll never see McNeil come in as a pinch-hitter for Tom Seaver nor will we see Lugo come into the game the next inning to take over on the mound.
Even so, when putting together a fictional roster of franchise greats, it’s important to consider all of the factors. You wouldn’t want to carry more than two first basemen even though the franchise has had multiple notable guys at the position. Because the club is rather light in the shortstop department, I would probably only carry Jose Reyes and use someone like Howard Johnson as the emergency backup.
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McNeil and Lugo may still be short for any all-time greats list involving this organization. However, if you give me 162 games to win a pennant, I want to carry these two.