We've reached the finale! Our week's long search to find the worst defensive players in New York Mets history brings us to the 2010s and today.
While there is no one perfect statistic to measure a player's incompetence on defense, there haven't been too many major surprises as far as all-time worst totals are concerned.
Rod Kanehl's 32 errors from 1962 remain the most by any Mets player. The -2.7 WAR on defense Howard Johnson posted 30 years later in 1992 set a brand new low for this statistic. Finally, looking at Rtot, it was the -28 from Ty Wigginton in 2003 that lowered the bar.
Will anyone in the most recent seasons be able to top it?
Worst defenders of the 2010 Mets
David Wright 20 errors
David Wright -7 Rtot
David Wright -1.2 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2011 Mets
David Wright 19 errors
Angel Pagan -21 Rtot
Willie Harris -1.6 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2012 Mets
Daniel Murphy 15 errors
Lucas Duda -13 Rtot
Lucas Duda -2.1 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2013 Mets
Daniel Murphy 18 errors
Lucas Duda -11 Rtot
Lucas Duda -2 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2014 Mets
David Wright/Daniel Murphy 15 errors
Daniel Murphy -12 Rtot
Curtis Granderson -1.3 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2015 Mets
Wilmer Flores 14 errors
Ruben Tejada -9 Rtot
Ruben Tejada -1.2 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2016 Mets
Wilmer Flores 10 errors
David Wright -10 Rtot
Wilmer Flores -0.9 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2017 Mets
Asdrubal Cabrera 17 errors
Jose Reyes -22 Rtot
Jose Reyes -1.6 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2018 Mets
Amed Rosario 16 errors
Jay Bruce/Asdrubal Cabrera/Jose Reyes -7 Rtot
Jay Bruce -1.3 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2019 Mets
Amed Rosario 17 errors
J.D. Davis -16 Rtot
J.D. Davis -2.1 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2020 Mets
Pete Alonso/Jeff McNeil 5 errors
Dominic Smith -12 Rtot
J.D. Davis -0.9 WAR
Worst defenders of the 2021 Mets
Jonathan Villar 15 errors
Michael Conforto -13 Rtot
Dominic Smith/Michael Conforto -0.9 WAR
I made the list and I checked it twice. No new records were set from 2010-onward. It shouldn't come as a surprise. Players perform differently these days. Teams are less patient. Official scorers are kinder.
It wasn't a shock to see guys like J.D. Davis, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy get mentions. Angel Pagan was the biggest shocker of all. After such an amazing defensive season in 2010, he had one of the worst of any outfielder in club history the following year.
I suppose to put a bow on it all we need to come away with a final answer to the original question: who is the worst defensive player in Mets history?
Kanehl and Wigginton weren't around long enough. But what about HoJo? He struggled wherever it was the Mets played him. In 1992, it was the shift to center field that gave him his worst year of all.
I'd actually have to go in a different direction and give the honor to Rusty Staub. Although he didn't keep any major record, his -8 WAR on defense for the Mets is worse than the -5.8 Johnson ended his Mets career with. Johnson played much more difficult positions than Staub, too.