I've had better: A look at the current Mets best seasons


Around here we all tend to crack a lot of jokes about how many of our players were good years ago, or had a good season once.  I decided to compile data on all of the best seasons each player on our roster has had, and tried to determine what the value of that team would be.  Think of it as a Greatest Hits version of the currents Mets roster.  The WAR values have all been scaled to take into account the amount of playing time each player will theoretically get according to my back of the envelope calculations compared to their optimal seasons, and I have included a few stats to help demonstrate what this once mighty band of warriors was capable of in their prime.

Pitchers best year WAR FIP ERA
WAR scaled
Manny Acosta 2007 0.1 4.25                      2.28
Pedro Feliciano 2006 0.9 3.36                      2.09
John Maine 2007 2.7 4.18                      3.91
Jenrry Mejia 2010                           0
                    4.46                      1.38
Jon Niese                    2009 0.6                     3.25
Fernando Nieve          2009/2010 0.1               3.88/4.9             8.44/2.95
Mike Pelfrey 2008 3 3.96                      3.72
Oliver Perez 2004 4.5 3.55                      2.98
Francisco Rodriguez 2004 4 1.64                      1.82
Johan Santana 2004 7.7 2.92                      2.61
Hisanori Takahashi 2010 (Projected) 3.45 1.86                      3.38
Raul Valdes

2010 (Projected)

1.73 2.68                      3.55

Total WAR: 29.2

First a few notes on pitching.  The first thing to notice is a few of these players greatly undershot their FIP in ERA, which is usually unsustainable. For example, the Acostalypse managed 0.1 WAR while undershooting his FIP by nearly 2 points.  Furthermore he had a BABIP under 0.2 that season in 20 games.  This suggests that his "best" performance (0.1 WAR isn't much to write home about) wasn't even a sustainable level for him, which I'm sure comes as a great shock to anyone reading this.  Similarly Mejia is currently pitching over his head when comparing FIP to ERA, although his groundball tendencies help to explain some of the discrepancy.  Still it would be greatly preferable for him to get his experience in AAA instead of keeping up his currently stellar pace of 0.0 WAR this season (He's here to help the team win now, not in 3 days!). The projected WAR for Tak2 and Valdez likely greatly overshoot their actual end of season worth, since their arms are likely to fall off long before the season ends, and both are based on limited data from this season.  One encouraging note is that the FIP/ERA ratios are fairly close to unity for all of our starting pitchers during their most productive years.  This suggests these likely weren't strictly functions of luck (their BABIPs were all pretty reasonable as well) but were sustainable performances based on their ability.   Where this ability has vanished to in Oliver Perez and John Maine I know not (Rick Peterson took it with him?), but hopefully they will find it again.  Note that half of our pitching staff in general posted their best season prior to 2008, which means nobody who has been around for more than 2 years has show signs of improving with the exception of Big Pelf, who is on pace for a 3.5 WAR season if he can keep his current performance up.  This of course hinges on this new injury concern being largely overblown, as well as his ability to resist eating his delicious, delicious fingers.  BB-rod posting a WAR of 4 is nearly unheard of at this point, given that we would need to give him leads going into the 9th inning consistently to accomplish this, a feat Jerry seems to be actively trying to prevent.  On top of this he would also need to not walk half of the opposing teams batting order when given the chance.  At least this means his option is less likely to vest.  Overall the talent level of our pitching staff at their best looks only slightly better than some actual pitching staffs which exist today.

atchers Best Year WAR wOBA UZR WAR scaled
Rod Barajas 2005 2.4 0.331 n/a 2.3
Henry Blanco 2006 1.1 0.309 n/a 0.77

Luis Castillo 2003 4.6 0.341 10.7 4.6
Alex Cora 2002 2.4 0.354 2.5 1.47
Ike Davis 2010 0.2 0.36 -0.2 1.15
Jose Reyes 2008 5.9 0.366 0.4 5.9
Fernando Tatis 2009 1.9 0.338 5.9 1.666
David Wright 2007 8.6 0.42 6.7 8.6

Jason Bay 2005 5.6 0.413 -13.7 5.6
Frank Catalanotto 2007 2.6 0.355 8.2 0.67
Jeff Francoeur 2007 4 0.337 21 4
Gary Matthews 2006 4 0.367 -1.1 2.50
Angel Pagan 2009 3 0.358 7.5 3

Total WAR: 42.2

Whoo boy, this section brings some interesting points to my attention.  The first, and most striking thing I realize is 10 of the 13 position players on our roster had their best season prior to 2008, and 9 of these were prior to 2007.  Alex Cora posted his best season in 2002, and as a reference this is the year the first Spiderman movie came out.  It's been a long time since he was mediocre, posting a WAR just north of replacement level.  And yet here we are 8 years later... Castillo gave his best performance just one year later.   One thing to note is that pretty much everyone on this team could hit at least at an average level when they were at peak efficiency, with the catchers unsurprisingly trailing the pack in wOBA.  Bay and Wright both posted stellar wOBA in their prime and still have the potential to do the same again if we can get them to start ignoring Hojo.    Frankie Cats was even once able to put up replacement level numbers over the better part of a season, hitting reasonably well and fielding competently (I know, i'm scared too).  Now the best he can do is bat cleanup from time to time.  David Wright has posted the highest single season WAR of any player currently on the Mets by no small margin.  Reyes and Bay have both also posted a WAR north of 5.0 fairly recently.  Frenchy's best year had the lowest wOBA of any of those by a non-catcher, however his stellar defense helped to define the season for him, and his reputation as a free swinger was well earned that year.  Spending a few years bulking up hurt his defensive prowess greatly however, and his free swinging ways continued unchecked for quite a while, leading to a precipitous decline in value.  This season has shown some improvements in both regards, which I hope continue.   On the plus side, Angel Pagan finally found his way into some playing time last year and made the most of it, giving impressive production from a previously relatively unknown player.  Similarly, Fernando Tatis (stretch of unlucky double plays notwithstanding) had a great 2009 as well, making him a useful and fairly versatile bench piece.  Ike Davis also continues to be a source of excitement this season, even amidst the maddening choices this team has made.  On the minus side, GMJr is still living off of credit from his decent 2006 campaign (a year which saw him catch one ball really really high in the air).


The grand total for team WAR for pitchers and hitters combined is a rather enviable 68.5, projecting 116.5 wins over the course of the season. This doesn't take into account the eventual return of Beltran (7.4 WAR, 2006) or Murphy (1.0, 2008, bats third).  So cheer up guys, theoretically this team has the potential to win 116+ games this season.  They're off to a slow start, but all the pieces are there.  You just gotta believe!  Also if you've got a time machine, that would really help.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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