3. 91 overall, Mets Mike Piazza, Second Half of 2001 card
Now, it’s not my fault. I was born in 1999. There’s nothing I can do about that. I don’t remember watching Mike Piazza play. It may have been possible, 5 or 6 year old me catching him at the end of his career but that was unfortunately just before the beginning of my conscious baseball fanship began. Mike Piazza was a legend though. No doubt about it. There is no better way to collectively bring people together, especially in challenging times, than sports. Mike Piazza helped ease the soles of hundreds of thousands, maybe more, when he hit the go-ahead home run in a post 9/11 game at Shea Stadium in New York. I didn’t consciously live it but the video on YouTube is iconic.
The game does Piazza justice. Listed on the market for 102,000 stubs, over 10,000 more than Tom Seaver, Piazza is currently the best catcher in the game, and by far, with the next most valuable catching option being a 1998 all-star Jason Kendall card on sale for 17,249 stubs. Piazza’s card is worth it too if you have hundreds of thousands of stubs lying around (I don’t).
Piazza has absolutely no weakness as a hitter. His contact and power ratings, the two most important hitting attributes, against righties and lefties are all above 90. His power against left-handed pitcher rating is an over-the-top 101! This is definitely a player I have on my dream team and I will have to keep playing to eventually, hopefully, be able to afford it. There is nothing better than a catcher who can really hit the ball.
4. 91 overall, Mets John Franco, 300 Save Club card
Now I am not going to say much about John Franco because once again due to my limited amount of time on earth I wasn’t always so aptly able to process his pitching performances with the Mets in the nineties and early 2000s; I was maybe 3 years old. The most I remember about John Franco was him being terrifically old (he pitched until age 45).
John Franco is one of the most clutch closing pitchers to ever be called from the pen. Having spent the majority of his career with the New York Mets, Franco is fifth all-time in MLB history with 424 career saves! Franco has terrific, all above 90 rated, H/9, K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 ratings, all the most important attributes for any pitcher. Franco’s highest rating is his PCLT or pitching clutch attribute of 104. This is the guy I would most want coming out of my bullpen too, too bad he is currently unavailable on the open market due to his elite pitching repertoire, highlighted by a ridiculous screwball!
5. 91 overall, Mets Jacob deGrom, Topps card
How could we get through a Mets top player list without including the man, the myth, the legend, shortstop turned Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom himself. Somehow down from his 94 overall ratings last year, 91 deGrom, with an asking price of 116,669 stubs, is currently the most expensive pitcher on the market (he’s that other guy from the Tom Seaver paragraph). deGrom’s value is largely in part to his blazing fast 99 MPH fastball. He also sports a 92 mph slider, a 88 mph changeup, an 84 mph curveball, and a 97 mph 2 seam fastball. Pick your poison, deGrom has plenty of weapons to choose from. Need I say more. If you can get more than two runs with him on the mound you should be good.
90 overall, Mets Jeurys Familia, 2016 50 Saves Club card
87 overall, Mets Francisco Lindor, Topps card