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UltiMET of the Millennium Madness: The Elite Eight

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Voting has given us our top 8 Mets of the new millennium, and voting is open to figure out our Final Four!

New York mets catcher Mike Piazza (R) is congratul Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images

We just spent the better part of three weeks reliving some horrific memories from our New York Mets fandom as we voted on the biggest villain in franchise history (congratulations again to Fred and Jeff Wilpon. It was a truly well-deserved win.) We got tired of dwelling on the bad, so we thought it was time to turn our attention to better memories. As a result, we brainstormed some ideas over at Amazin’ Avenue HQ on how to participate in something far more pleasant. The idea of doing a bracket for all-time Mets seemed pretty obvious but also a little bit played out, so we instead turned our sights to focusing on recent players.

Introducing the UltiMET of the Millennium Madness tournament! Over the next three weeks, we will see who really was the best player to don the orange and blue since the year 2000 began. We came up with 68 players who have left a mark (big and small) on the team, and we’ll have the Amazin’ Avenue community vote to see who moves on each time.

For simplicity and for neatness, we broke down the brackets into four five-year spans: 2000-2004, 2005-2009, 2010-2014, and 2015-2019. Conveniently, this translated roughly to the Mike Piazza era, the early David Wright era, the later David Wright/early Citi Field era, and the Jacob deGrom/2015 NL Champions era. As a general rule, we tried to focus on players whose impact was felt within those years, so if a player made their mark mostly in 1997-1999, you may not see them in the 2000 bracket. We tried to stick players within the time frame where they made the most impact, but took some liberties in places in order to ensure we didn’t leave off players we wanted to see in the tournament.

There were no upsets to be found in the Sweet 16 round despite some close match-ups in certain regions. In the end, we got what we wanted: the top 8 Mets of the new millennium facing off against one another to figure out who can lay claim to the title of the UltiMET of the millennium. Now the fun begins.

Mike Piazza and Edgardo Alonzo cruised to victory with 93% and 84% of the vote, respectively. The wins set up a titanic match-up between the two top hitters from the 2000 NL Champions team. Piazza’s credentials do not need to be repeated, as he is a member of both the Mets Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame, not to mention only the first position player in franchise history to have his number retired by the club.

However, Alfonzo’s accomplishments with the team are often undervalued. In eight seasons with the Mets, he slashed .292/.367/.445 with a 113 wRC+ and a 28.8 fWAR. He ranks top-10 in franchise history with home runs (120) and doubles (212), and was set to enter the Mets Halll of Fame on May 17. Most recently, he led the Brooklyn Cyclones to a New York-Penn League Championship.

David Wright blew away Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez with 98% of the vote (281 to 6) to enter the Elite Eight as the favorite in the competition. Meanwhile, Carlos Beltran held off Jose Reyes with 60% of the vote (170 to 115) to set up a head-to-head of long-time teammates who held down the middle of the order for many years with the club.

In the most intriguing contest, ace Johan Santana (who defeated Lucas Duda with 86% of the vote) and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (who ended Bartolo Colon’s Cinderella run after winning with 60% of the vote) will square off in a contest of beloved pitchers, pitting the man who threw the lone no-hitter in franchise history against the 2012 Cy Young award winner.

We round out the Elite Eight with two of the most beloved stars on the current squad. Jacob deGrom will bring his back-to-back Cy Young awards and another dominant victory after defeating Michael Conforto with 97% of the vote (276 to 10) to face the newly-crowned franchise single-season home run leader Pete Alonso after he dispatched of Noah Syndergaard with 73% of the vote (208 to 77). Alonso will be looking to pull off a massive upset against one of the best pitchers in franchise history.

Voting in the Elite Eight is open until Monday, April 27!

2000-2004

Poll

1 vs. 2: Mike Piazza vs. Edgardo Alfonzo

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Mike Piazza
    (291 votes)
  • 13%
    Edgardo Alfonzo
    (46 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now

2005-2009

Poll

1 vs. 2: David Wright vs. Carlos Beltran

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    David Wright
    (318 votes)
  • 5%
    Carlos Beltran
    (19 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now

2010-2014

Poll

1 vs. 2: Johan Santana vs. R.A. Dickey

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    Johan Santana
    (168 votes)
  • 50%
    R.A. Dickey
    (169 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now

2015-2019

Poll

1 vs. 2: Jacob deGrom vs. Pete Alonso

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Jacob deGrom
    (318 votes)
  • 5%
    Pete Alonso
    (19 votes)
337 votes total Vote Now