As a younger New York Mets fan, when thinking about Mets who have worn number 3 I immediately thought of Curtis Granderson. The Mets signed Granderson in free agency expecting him to be an important piece on a team that might contend. He ended up being a great player as a Met with a lot of big moments.
Even with my loyalty to Granderson as one of my favorite players ever, Bud Harrelson is the best Met to have worn number 3.
Harrelson might not have been the home run hitter Granderson was, but an argument can be made that nobody was better in the field than Harrelson.
Bud Harrelson is the best Mets player to wear number 3
Bud Harrelson was not a good hitter. He never hit higher than .258 in a season as a Met. He never hit more than one home run. He never drove in more than 42 runs. His highest WRC+ as a Met came in 1974 when he had a 95 WRC+. That is still five points below average.
Harrelson's impact in the field is why he's on this list. He only won one Gold Glove Award for some reason but he's without a doubt one of, if not the best defender this team has ever had. Harrelson had one of the best individual defensive seasons in 1971 when he had a 3.1 dWAR and won the Gold Glove Award. That 3.1 dWAR is the third highest in a season in Mets history. He's the leader in Defensive WAR with 13.7, over 2 WAR higher than second place Jerry Grote.
Harrelson wasn't a good hitter but the impact he had in the field and on a team that won the World Series in 1969 is worthy of him being the representative for those who have worn number 3.