As a lover of language and the Mets, I have been bouncing ideas around in my head for quite a while, playing with Mets players' names and their root meanings. I then read this nerd-tastic post in which the OP created trading cards reflecting Mets players' characteristics. So, I present here my Metymology, an etymology of Mets players old and new - some of this is rooted in linguistics, some is quite a stretch, but it's all out of fun for being a fan:
Granderson: Originally Grandisson, it literally means "son of Grand." In the second season of his second New York team, Curtis has enjoyed a second coming. This career resurgence coincided both with a return to his old hitting coach (Kevin Long) and a return to his once and future spot in the lineup as lead-off hitter. While still capable of grand home runs, he has grown into the team spark plug, gritting his teeth into a grin while glowing with grission. Setting a career high in walks helped lead the Mets in runs, all while flashing a grand smile.
Wright: From old English meaning "worker, workman," David had to work harder than ever last season. Not because of diminished skills, per se, but because of a rare condition that has become common parlance among Mets fans: spinal stenosis. The captain of the team most regarded for his work ethic, our third baseman had to work his way back onto the field. So far, his hard work has paid off, and the team looks forward to David displaying the right stuff for years to come.
Cespedes: From the Spanish for "lawn" or "grass," for Yoenis, the grass was greener in the big city. Coming in a deadline deal from Detroit, Yo stormed into Flushing like a flash of lightning, raining thunderous blasts throughout the month of August. Even though his bat cooled off in tandem with the weather, his hot hands and blazing arm kept the other guys from scoring. Mets fans were elated when Yo chose our grass over everyone else's, and we cannot wait for the next runner to make the mistake of challenging the charismatic center fielder.
Duda: Another Spanish last name, this means "doubt." It was not long ago that many doubted the first baseman's abilities, first as a defender, and persistently as a legitimate big league hitter. When Duda lines one up, however, there is no doubt about it - he led the team in total home runs, "no doubt" home runs, average home run distance and hit the farthest long ball (a whopping 462 feet). With a combined 57 homers in the last two seasons, the doubt has subsided and "the dude" has abided.
D'Arnaud: The French form of a name that is found across the Germanic branch of languages, we know it best in its English form: Arnold. Turns out, Arnold means Eagle Power, which might just be the coolest etymology on the list (at least, among position players; cf. Syndergard below). Certainly there is power in this catcher's mighty talons, as Travis ranked tops among all catchers in SLG with at least 220 AB's in 2015. Mets fans look forward to watching his homers soar for years to come, just as long as he can keep from falling off the DL cliff.
Conforto: From the Italian word for "comfort," this is an attribute so rarely exhibited in rookies, yet young Michael exudes it. He also managed to bestow comfort among Mets fans, which might be an ever rarer feat. Perhaps this is due to his precocious level of comfort in the outfield and in the batter's box. Mets fans take comfort in knowing he is a homegrown player whose time in Flushing has only just begun.
Flores: Spanish for "flower." We all know flowers need water to grow, so maybe we should have guessed that his maturity required some water works. After his emotional display following unsubstantiated trade talks, Wilmer's slugging percentage increased dramatically, and his surprisingly sure-handed defense led to no tears from the fans throughout the playoffs (if only the rest of our middle infield performed with equal dexterity).
Walker: Neil replaces someone who chose to walk as a free agent, but it is our hope that he takes his fair share of walks come Springtime. Unlike his predecessor, Walker manages to attain a respectable OBP while playing elementary second base. It doesn't hurt that he is a switch hitter, too.
Cabrera: While Cabrera is Spanish for goat farmer, it is his first name - Asdrubal - that stands out as worthy of etymology. Despite hailing from South America, "Asdrubal" has Phoenician roots, stretching all the way back to Hasdrubal, brother of Hannibal, the Punic general who marched on Rome. I don't have much to say about this, I just thought that was pretty cool.
Familia: Even Jim Breuer knows this means "Family," and Jeurys quickly proved himself worthy of joining that of the Mets. Ironically, he found himself in the position of closer because of the boneheaded move (now moves in the plural) of his near-family member (Mejia grew up in Familia's same neighborhood, and they have been teammates as well as friends for the past decade). Despite the English derivative "family," I agree with the fantastic tee-shirt at Athlete Logos, which says that Familia means GAME OVER.
Syndergaard: Old Norse (duh), Synder means "to split" or "divide, as in, "his mighty fastball tore the bat asunder." Gaard means world, home, farm (Midgard = Middle Earth, Asgard = Gods World). Perhaps the two parts of his name could have predicted his initial problem with home splits ("gard synders" if you will), but fortunately Thor has succeeded in conquering opponents abroad with equal fervor. Wielding a hammer curve, flashing 100 mph fastballs, and showing off blond locks only a Viking could get away with, fans pray to the gods that Thor will be guarding our home turf for ages.
Colon: Far from a Viking explorer, Colon takes the namesake of one of history's most (in)famous navigators: this is the Spanish form of the Latin name Columbus. The soon-to-be 43 year old ageless wonder seem to explore new territory with every start. But sticking to the strict etymology, Columbus means dove or pigeon. Indeed, this popular player could not be more dovish, more peaceful in the clubhouse; but he will not be pigeon-holed as a starter alone, as he has chosen to stick with the Mets even if that means evolving into a bullpen arm later in the season.
Harvey: From the Ancient Greek meaning Batma- wait, wait. This is from the Old English meaning Battle Worthy (still pretty cool). Matt certainly proved himself worthy of battle, fighting his way back with incredible resistance from Tommy John surgery. Not only physically, but mentally tough as well, Matt impressed everyone with his warrior mentality, and waved off any doubt of his commitment to the team's ultimate goal by staying in his final World Series start even when his manager questioned his durability (though none could question his ability). While that did not work out for the best, fans can agree Matt has proven his worth as a legend in the making.
Degrom: This could come from the same root as "groom," as in servant, but clearly that can't be. Anyway, the leading "de" implies it's French, yet Grom is rooted in the English groom, which has no place in the Romantic languages, so let's look elsewhere. Turning to his first name, "Jacob" comes from the Hebrew meaning "he supplants." Just as the Biblical twin took over his older brother Esau's position in their family, last year witnessed Jacob supplant Harvey as staff ace. Mets fans are titillated at the prospect of this competitive duo duke it out for top spot in a rotation full of intrigue.
I hope you enjoyed this exercise in wordplay. Much of my research came from etymonline.com - though I also scoured the internet's many "Name Meanings" websites - so please feel free to check out how much of the above can be substantiated and let me know if something is really inaccurate (as opposed to just playful). Please let me know in the comments section what you all think! I love language, and I love the Mets, and I hope you like this post.