Off Day WAR: The Best And Worst Seasons By Mets Center Fielders

Center field is next up in the wins above replacement (WAR) series.  Here are the top 10 seasons in Mets history according to Sean Smith's WAR database:

Rank Year Player WAR
1 2006 Carlos Beltran 7.6
2 1996 Lance Johnson 7.3
3 2008 Carlos Beltran 7.0
4 1969 Tommie Agee 5.7
5 2007 Carlos Beltran 5.5
6 1979 Lee Mazzilli 5.0
7 1986 Lenny Dykstra 5.0
8 1970 Tommie Agee 4.7
9 1987 Lenny Dykstra 3.8
10 1978 Lee Mazzilli 3.7

And the bottom 10:

Rank Year Player WAR
38 1972 Tommie Agee 0.0
39 1976 Del Unser -0.1
40 2001 Jay Payton -0.1
41 1967 Cleon Jones -0.4
42 1980 Jerry Morales -0.4
43 1968 Tommie Agee -0.5
44 1974 Don Hahn -0.6
45 1992 Howard Johnson -1.1
46 1973 Don Hahn -1.3
47 1999 Brian McRae -2.7

Some quick notes:

  • Barring something bad happening, superstar baseball player Carlos Voltron should add a ~6.5 WAR season to this list.  UZR, TotalZone and +/- loved his glove each of the last 3 seasons, but he has been below average this season.  His offense has been incredible though, so his overall value hasn't suffered much.
  • The 1969 Mets and 1996 Mets both featured an outstanding CF/LF tandem.  Tommie Agee and Cleon Jones combined for 13.2 WAR in 1969, and Lance Johnson and Bernard Gilkey were worth 15.3 WAR in 1996.  Agee has the biggest gap between best and worst seasons on these lists, at 6.2 WAR. 
  • I have vague memories of Hojo in center field, and apparently that's for the best.  TotalZone has him at -25 runs defensively in 1992, including throwing arm runs.  It's no wonder that the Mets team FIP outperformed its ERA that season by 0.36.
  • Was Brian McRae really that bad?  His 1999 season ranks as the worst by a Mets position player in team history.  Note that he only played about a half season's worth of innings in 1999.
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