5 worst Mets players in a single season according to WAR

According to WAR, these are the five worst seasons a Mets player has ever had.
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Mike Zarrilli/GettyImages

What’s the worst single season a New York Mets player has had? WAR doesn’t completely tell the story because so many didn’t get a chance to see their value drop enough. 

The all-encompassing measure of a player’s value compared to a replacement level player attempts to measure how many wins a player is worth. In these five instances, the Mets player had negative value. They’re the five worst WAR seasons in Mets history.

5) Doug Flynn, -2 in 1977

Doug Flynn is known for two things in Mets history. The first is being one of the players traded to New York for Tom Seaver. The other is his 1980 Gold Glove as a second baseman. He also happens to have one of the five seasons of being worth -2 WAR or worse. It came in year one with the Mets.

Flynn accomplished this in only 90 games following the trade from the Cincinnati Reds. Homerless with only 6 doubles in 300 plate appearances, he batted just .191/.220/.220 for the ball club. He’d end up worth a total of -3.9 WAR as a member of the Mets. His 1980 season was the only positive WAR season of his time in New York.

3) Willie Montanez, -2.1 in 1979 & Paul Wilson, -2.1 in 1996 – TIE

We have a tie for our next spot at -2.1. Let’s go back to 1979 for the first. This is where we find Willie Montanez produced very little at the plate while having a terrible year on defense. A negative defender for most of his career and even so in 1977 when he was an All-Star for the Atlanta Braves, the difference here was he didn’t add much on offense. Montanez hit .234/.277/.317 with 5 home runs in 442 plate appearances.

In 1996, hyped pitching prospect Paul Wilson was given the opportunity to take the mound regularly. It would end up as his one season with the Mets in the big leagues. The results weren’t good. At 5-12 with a 5.38 ERA, high walk and low strikeout totals doomed him in the WAR department. 

2) Brian McRae, -2.2 in 1999

A unique pattern with these worst WAR seasons is how three hitters on this list only played a partial season. The two pitchers did. The case was the same with Brian McRae in 1999. After a strong 1998 campaign, McRae was much less himself in 1999. A .221/.320/.349 slash line as the team’s starting center fielder was a big disappointment. 

What really dragged him down was the defense. It was and remains one of the worst defensive seasons by a Mets player. Although he made only a single error in center field, his range was completely gone. He was worth -38 runs allowed.

1) Craig Anderson -2.7 in 1962

The crown for the worst WAR in Mets history goes to Craig Anderson Dating all the way back to the beginning, his -2.7 WAR has gone unchallenged. It’s a Mets record nobody wants that will probably never get broken.

Anderson’s record that year was 3-17. Neither the losses nor winning percentage being the worst on the roster. An ERA of 5.35 was closer to average on the team. What really hurt Anderson was walking one more batter than he struck out. This is a statistical nightmare when measuring a player’s value. There were a lot of bad seasons by Mets pitchers in particular in those early years. When looking only at WAR, none was as bad as Anderson.