Francisco Lindor will go down as the most underappreciated player in Mets history

It's a torch no one likes to carry.
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game Two
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game Two / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

It's possible that Tom Seaver, despite being the greatest player in New York Mets history, is also one of the most underrated. His numbers are out of this world. He's one of the game's greatest and an argument could be made among the top ten pitchers in MLB history. Seaver’s numbers belong more in the Dead-ball era than they do in the 1970s.

Everyone loves Tom Terrific. Not everyone feels the same heartfelt way toward current shortstop Francisco Lindor. Not even close.

Lindor and Seaver don't belong in the same conversation as far as impact on the game goes. But based on the way some fans think, Lindor isn't even worth naming in the same breath as Rey Ordonez. Underappreciated by a large chunk of fans, only a championship will ever convince some he's worth the contract. Therein may lie the issue.

Francisco Lindor is a bad scapegoat for the Mets

It's understandable why some fans haven't warmed up for Lindor after three seasons. Strictly based on fandom, he misses a lot of the check boxes we look for when searching for a favorite player.

Lindor isn't homegrown. He won't win a batting or home run title. He hasn't even represented the Mets in an All-Star game. His lone major award in three seasons was a 2023 Silver Slugger. So how has he been a top ten finisher in the MVP vote twice now?

All-Star appearances are nice. A Gold Glove is sweet, too. What Mets fans desire most are gaudy numbers. Flashy and memorable moments. Lots of winning.

Because of his huge contract, Lindor doesn't get any breaks from the fans. He did very little to help the reputation in 2021 when he was a ring leader behind giving the fans a thumbs down. The immaturity was a terrible way to begin the relationship. It’s equivalent to asking a first date if they’re planning to get a gym membership during a discussion about an entirely different topic.

There’s already a basis of knowing where Lindor’s place in Mets history could land him. His career in New York started off similarly to that of Carlos Beltran, Widely hyped before a disappointing first year, the parallels were too obvious to ignore. Each bounced back with huge seasons in year two with the Mets and as time has passed, Beltran has been a much more appreciated player than he often was during his playing days.

The shared experience continues with both being a centerpiece on playoff teams in year two while having huge years. Beltran would never make it back to the playoffs again with the Mets after 2006. The hope is Lindor is far from a one-and-done when it comes to Mets postseason trips.

This is where the narrative can shift for even those who steadfastly deny how good Lindor is in 2024. A championship is the prize at the end of a winning size. If Lindor can get the Mets there, only then will his continued haters turn. Anything short and he’ll be the one they blame.

Even an MVP and Mets championship in the same year will have some devaluing what he brings. We can hear it already. “One good year, big whoop!” 

Fans who haven’t embraced Lindor yet probably never will.