Was there a New York Mets team in recent history with a more frustrating result than the 2017 squad? After two straight seasons of making the postseason, everything came off the rails.
Players were injured, veterans were traded, and several players put together career-worst seasons. There wasn’t much to like at all about the 2017 team. So to compare them in any way to the current season feels like a real knock against the present day.
There is one detail about the 2017 team that the 2021 Mets have in common. Through much of the mid-to-late-2010s, the team from Flushing had a Rookie of the Year candidate on the roster. We saw Jacob deGrom win it in 2014 and Pete Alonso follow up with another victory in 2019.
The 2017 Mets had nobody to receive votes for the award. The 2021 Mets are unlikely to see it happen either.
Where have all of the amazing Mets rookies gone?
Mets fans may have gotten used to seeing someone promoted to the big leagues. Players from the farm system helped build them into one of the National League’s best. Many of the key players were once highly-regarded rookies who either did win or at least received some consideration for the ROY.
Last year, it was Andres Gimenez’s turn. In a very distant tie for seventh place with only a 1% share of the vote, Gimenez kept the modern Mets legacy alive. Although he didn’t receive any consideration, we should also tip our caps to the performance from David Peterson in 2020. In a full season with a little more normalcy (what’s that?) maybe he could have also received some votes.
Many of the best Mets rookies have either already made it to the big leagues by now or been traded away. In 2021, we’re at the gap year between guys making their debuts and others still on the farm sitting there ready to make their next leap.
As exciting as it can be to see a newcomer shine in the major leagues, I think most fans understand the benefit of having experience on the roster. For every well-prepared prospect that gets promoted, there are plenty more who seem to flounder quickly.
This doesn’t mean the 2021 season will be void of guys making their MLB debut and seeing regular action. With the IL practically filled with all of the most familiar names within the franchise, we’re seeing it right now.
There are spots available some players can grab due to injury or poor performance. However, I’m not so sure any of them will become a viable Rookie of the Year candidate.
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The 2021 Mets were built to withstand 162 games and contend for a title. Sometimes, clubs with this mission in mind also have a little help from freshmen. Not the orange and blue this year. Any contributions they get from rookies will likely be temporary. Fortunately, unlike the 2017 Mets, the arrow is pointing up and not down for the rest of the franchise.