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Mets All-Decade Team: Third Base

Num Player Seasons PA WAR
1 David Wright 6 3,665 27.1
2 Edgardo Alfonzo 1 562 5.3
3 Robin Ventura 2 1,100 4
4 Ty Wigginton 2 972 -0.3

I switched up the methodology a bit on this one. In the previous posts in this series I was including anyone who played for the Mets from 2000-2009 who appeared at the respective position in at least 50% of his games over that span. This was the easiest method to be sure, but it lumped all of a player's contributions into the pot for that position, even if he spent one or more seasons at a different one (e.g. Edgardo Alfonzo played primarily second base in the aughts but he spent 2002 at third base). This time around I applied the 50% filter to individual seasons, so now we have any player who appeared at third base in at least 50% of his games in any particular season, and the WAR totals (and plate appearances) are from only those seasons.

Robin Ventura was the Mets' principal third-baseman when this past decade began, and after ending the nineties with a wRC+ of 133 and a sixth-place finish in the MVP voting in 1999, he fell off considerably, posting wRC+ marks of 97 in 2000 and 108 in 2001. Most of his value those years came from his glove, which was still above-average, and the positional adjustment for playing third base. The Mets traded him to the Yankees for David Justice following the 2001 season and Ventura stung the Mets by a) getting in shape, and b) notching a four-win season with the Bombers.

Pursuant to the Mets' inauspicious acquisition of Roberto Alomar prior to the 2002 season, Edgardo Alfonzo shifted positions, again, this time moving from second to third to make room for Alomar. Alfonzo followed up a shabby 2001 with a wRC+ of 135 and the fourth -- and final -- five-plus WAR season of his career.

The Mets elected not to resign Alfonzo after the 2002 season, so while he accepted a three-year offer to play third base for the Giants, the Mets began grooming Ty Wigginton to be their third-baseman of the then-present, with an assist from journeyman infielder Jay Bell. The young Wiggie was underwhelming offensively and historically inept defensively in 2003, kicking the ball around to the tune of a -27 TotalZone runs rating with the glove. Wigginton was traded to the Pirates midway through the 2004 season in the deal that brought Anna Benson to New York.

After Wigginton's departure, a 21-year-old David Wright was called up and registered 1.4 WAR in just 280 plate appearances. Wright rarely took a day off over the subsequent five seasons, collecting more than 27 WAR by the end of the decade, all before his 27th birthday.