We're beyond the halfway point in our search to find the worst defenders in New York Mets history. Entering a new millennium, I don't expect to find too many worse defenders because of the way the game is played and scored.
When we previously looked at the worst Mets defenders of the 1990s, we came away with some brand new records. Howard Johnson's transition to center field in 1992 gave us brand new franchise worsts. His -25 Rtot and -2.7 WAR set a new standard. Rod Kanehl's 32 errors from 1962 remain the highest by any Mets player.
In the 2000s, will we see a defensive season so bad that it becomes memorable for the wrong reasons?
Worst defenders of the 2000 Mets
Robin Ventura 17 errors
Rickey Henderson -5 Rtot
Derek Bell -0.7 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2001 Mets
Robin Ventura 16 errors
Benny Agbayani -12 Rtot
Benny Agbayani -1.6 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2002 Mets
Rey Ordonez 19 errors
Mo Vaughn -16 Rtot
Mo Vaughn -2.5 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2003 Mets
Ty Wigginton 16 errors
Ty Wigginton -28 Rtot
Ty Wigginton -1.7 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2004 Mets
Kazuo Matsui 24 errors
Mike Piazza -12 Rtot
Mike Piazza -1.3 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2005 Mets
David Wright 24 errors
David Wright -10 Rtot
Mike Piazza -1.3 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2006 Mets
David Wright 19 errors
David Wright -8 Rtot
Carlos Delgado -1.1 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2007 Mets
David Wright 21 errors
Shawn Green -8 Rtot
Shawn Green -1.5 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2008 Mets
Jose Reyes 17 errors
Luis Castillo -12 Rtot
Carlos Delgado -2.1 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2009 Mets
David Wright 18 errors
David Wright/Gary Sheffield -14 Rtot
Gary Sheffield -1.3 WAR
We have a new record! Kanehl keeps his errors total and Johnson's WAR remains untouched. However, in 2003, Ty Wigginton played poorly enough at third base to have a -28 Rtot which sets a new Mets record.
Wigginton was hardly the lone offender of being a bad defender. We can exclude the errors statistic at this point because it seems like most season's leaders were good defenders who just had more chances.
I thought for sure Mo Vaughn might be able to get his name in the record books with a bad defensive season. He came close in 2002. His defense WAR was just a few points better than the worst in Mets history.
Many years for the Mets in the 2000s had their worst defender in the outfield. Benny Agbayani and veterans like Shawn Green or Gary Sheffield took several bad defensive awards in certain seasons. None were able to take the lead in any of the three categories we've been looking at.
With only the 2010s, a shortened 2020 season, and the most recent 2021 season to look at, we wrap up our search next week.