Many New York Mets fans know by now that when the front office brings in a new acquisition there is always a chance that the player may or may not pan out under the bright lights of New York City. There are multiple factors that play into that narrative including the media, the passionate fans, and the sky-high expectations that sometimes make it impossible for a player to get acclimated immediately.
On the other side of the spectrum, it's always tough for players to change cities as it comes with new environments, new teammates, and new routines, but it seems to be especially difficult for players when transitioning to New York City. We've seen many flounder under the bright lights, and we've seen players succeed as well, especially when they have had time to get their footing under them.
There are three players who came to Flushing with almost impossible expectations to meet in their first season with the Mets, but they somehow figured it out and turned it around in their second season with the club. This is a bit of a feel-good list and I wanted to take a look at three of those players who turned their first-year misfortunes in Flushing into a productive rebound season and began meeting expectations.
1) NY Mets player who redeemed himself: Carlos Beltran
The first player on this list is none other than arguably the greatest center fielder in team history in Carlos Beltran. It's a shock to hold Beltran in such high regard and yet have his presence on this list but Beltran was put into such an unrealistic position his first season in Queens that many were calling him a bust a first year into his contract.
Beltran at the time signed the biggest contract in franchise history prior to the 2005 season as he signed a seven-year $119 million deal in what seemed he would be the poster child for a new era of baseball kicking off in Queens. Unfortunately, in 2015 he would battle a nagging quadriceps injury and then would suffer one of the ugliest collisions in baseball history with Mike Cameron that resulted in him suffering a concussion and two broken cheekbones.
Despite the injuries, Beltran would put up a .266 batting average with 16 home runs and 78 RBIs which was a far cry from the player that Mets fans thought they were getting when the Mets shelled out over $100 million for his services. Beltran was also coming off a historical postseason run with the Houston Astros in which he hit .435 with 8 home runs and 14 RBIs.
While the Mets didn't get the potential 40/40 player they thought they were originally receiving in 2005, in 2006 he would bounce back in a huge way and slug 41 home runs with 116 RBIs with a .275 batting average, and become a huge part to the Mets successful NLCS run that season. The rest is history from there as Beltran's elite defense and consistent bat would etch him into the Mets' hearts for years to come.