The New York Mets have always been known for their starting pitching. It’s because of the starting pitching that they have seven Cy Young award winners. What has alluded the Mets in their 60-year history is an MVP award winner.
It’s crazy to think that with some of the big-name stars that have graced the baseball field in Queens over the years that not one of these Mets has been named Most Valuable Player.
Several Mets have come close to finishing as close as 2nd in the balloting, but how is this all determined? The BBWAA has its voting system, but do they follow it the same way every year. It certainly doesn’t feel like so.
Not only have some everyday players gotten the snub but even a couple of starting pitchers as well. We are going to take a look at what I believe to be the top 5 MVP snubs in franchise history, but in the end, I want you to be the judge if you agree with me or not. Let’s start off with some honorable mentions.
Keith Hernandez - 1984
Midway through the 1983 season, the Mets made a blockbuster deal to bring 1B Keith Hernandez to Queens. After signing a big deal in the offseason, Hernandez had a huge 1984 season finishing the year with a .311BA, 15HR, and 94RBI. These stats were good enough for him to place 2nd on the MVP voting. Problem is that Ryne Sandberg had a better year and beat him out in almost every category including WAR (8.6, to Hernandez’s 6.3). It also didn’t help that Sandberg led the Chicago Cubs to a playoff berth.
Mike Piazza - 2000
As the Mets were making their 2nd straight playoff appearance for the first time in franchise history, the team was led by all-star catcher Mike Piazza, who followed up a stellar 1999 season with an equally as good 2000. He finished the year with 38 HR & 113 RBI’s (.324BA/.398OBP/.614SLG). Even with these stats, he finished 3rd behind two San Francisco Giants, Jeff Kent & Barry Bonds. You would think both would cancel each other out when it came to votes but Kent took home the prize. The player that really may have gotten snubbed is Todd Helton who finished 1st in seven categories.
5. David Wright - 2007
I wonder if things would have been different if the 2007 Mets didn’t have one of the most epic collapses in baseball. This is a case where the team really screwed over this MVP opportunity for one of its players.
That player is David Wright. You see while things were falling apart at Shea Stadium, Wright was doing his best to keep his team in the hunt. He had quite arguably the best season of his career finishing in the 30-30 club (30HR, 34SB). That still wasn’t enough as the Mets failed to make the playoffs and fell apart in the final month of the season losing out the division lead on the last day of the season to the Philadelphia Phillies.
I mention the Phillies because the eventual MVP winner came in the form of Jimmy Rollins. Now Rollins had a good season but I don’t think it was better than Wright’s. Wright beat him out in WAR (8.3, to Rollins’ 6.1), RBI’s (107, to Rollins’ 94), and batting average (.325, to Rollins’ .296).
The problem is Wright didn’t lead the league in any categories at all and there is that thing I mentioned earlier about the Mets collapse, which I am sure had a lot of influence on the voting. Even with that, I still don’t think Rollins did enough to beat out Wright who eventually fell to 4th in the voting.