Former Mets players I’ll be pulling for in 2021 and beyond
By Allen Settle
The 2021 baseball season is officially upon us! New York Mets pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp on February 19th. The full team is scheduled to join them by February 22nd.
As Mets fans around the globe eagerly await what promises to be an exciting campaign, there are also many former New York players reporting for other franchises across the league.
Among all the Mets alumni across the sport, there are two names in particular that I will be pulling hard for as the fresh season begins:
Former Mets shortstop Amed Rosario
The former #1 prospect was a roller coaster ride during his time with the Mets. At his best, Amed Rosario was a budding generational talent. He had the game-breaking speed and power potential to make him a future star. At the height of his mania, he gave off vibes of what Padres’ shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr has become.
However, despite the pedigree, Rosario was never able to fulfill his immense potential. His career in Flushing came to a lackluster close when he was included as a centerpiece of the blockbuster trade that sent MVP candidate Francisco Lindor to NYC.
After four years with the Mets, Rosario failed to surpass 24 steals or 15 home runs in any individual season. While he was a serviceable starter, the now-25-year-old was never able to round into the “five-tool” player and “top shortstop” he was scouted to be.
Rosario will now get a fresh start as the starting SS for the Cleveland baseball team. The opportunity to play in a smaller market with a franchise that has a reputation for developing talent may prove to be the perfect landing spot for his career.
I, like many Mets fans, will be routing for Rosario to recapture a portion of his former glory. Rosario now plays in the American League, where he can do little to no damage to the Mets and their postseason aspirations. Regardless of his level of production, New York has also established itself as the clear winner of the trade.
Unlike former players like Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud, who signed with divisional rivals, Rosario represents the perfect situation for Mets fans to pull for a former star. Infielder Andrés Giménez also fits into this category.
Former Mets ace Matt Harvey
What can I say? I’ve been a Matt Harvey apologist since his career in Queens ended in an unfortunately dysfunctional fashion.
Despite the media circus and constant questions about his commitment to excellence, prime- Harvey was a positive memory that will stick with me forever. The Harvey Day and Dark Knight personas were an absolute blast!
Memories of Harvey starting the 2013 All-Star game and leading his team on an improbable 2015 World Series run gave Mets fans a legitimate reason for hope and optimism.
Since his six years in orange and blue, Harvey has become a shell of his former self. The career journeyman posted a 4.50 ERA in a season with Cincinnati, a 7.09 ERA win a year with the Angles, and a dreadful 11.57 ERA during a stint with the Royals. He has also bounced around the minor leagues in recent years.
While his career was thought to be over, the 31-year-old was recently signed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles. This represents what may be the final opportunity for the Dark Knight to resurrect his MLB career.
I may be in the minority, but I will be pulling hard for Harvey to piece together another stint in the major leagues. I would love to see him rebound and carve out a spot for himself as a serviceable pitcher in Baltimore.
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What former Mets are you rooting for in 2021 and beyond?