Looking back at the 2006 New York Mets you will find a powerhouse team. They had a great lineup full of power and speed. Jose Reyes and David Wright on the left side of the diamond sucked balls up like a vacuum. They had a lock down bullpen that threw heat. They ran over the National League that year and by the end of their postseason run they were merely only one pitch away from the World Series.

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This 2017 Mets team has potential. They potentially can be great if they are healthy and everything is clicking on all cylinders. However, potential isn’t reality. The reality of things is that the Mets are babying their starting pitchers early in the season to avoid injury in the long run. There is nothing wrong with that. Terry Collins pulled Jacob deGrom out of a game last week against the Miami Marlins on 97 pitches heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.  Bottom line: that cost them the game. He went to his already burnt out bullpen when the 8th inning should have been deGrom’s. He avoided using Jerry Blevins to face the lefty Christian Yelich, but ultimately used him two batters later. Two batters too late.

Lets look at the 2006 Mets and the 2017 Mets and compare them:

Starting Pitching:

2006:

  1. Tom Glavine: 32 games, 15-7 record, 3.82 ERA, 198.0 IP, 131 SO
  2. Steve Trachsel: 30 games, 15-8 record, 4.97 ERA, 164.2 IP, 79 SO
  3. Pedro Martinez: 23 games, 9-8 record, 4.48 ERA, 132.2 IP, 137 SO
  4. Orlando Hernandez: 20 games, 9-7 record, 4.09 ERA, 116.2 IP, 112 SO
  5. John Maine: 16 games, 6-5 record, 3.60 ERA, 90.0 IP, 71 SO

2017:

  1. Noah Syndergaard: (FanGraph Projections) 31 games, 15-8 record, 2.67 ERA, 197 IP, 235 SO
  2. Jacob deGrom: (FanGraph Projections) 29 games, 13-7 record, 2.89 ERA, 184.0 IP, 190 SO
  3. Matt Harvey: (FanGraph Projections) 27 games, 12-7 record, 3.34 ERA, 160.0 IP, 156 SO
  4. Robert Gsellman: (FanGraph Projections) 26 games, 9-7 record, 3.34 ERA, 142.0 IP, 124 SO
  5. Zack Wheeler: (FanGraph Projections)  N/A on website

Winner: 2017 Mets

The Mets 1 through 3 starters in 2017 is way better than the ones of the 2006 Mets. The 4-5 starters on the other hand need to develop more into the starters they can be and the ones they briefly showed in their short stints in the Majors.

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Bullpen Arms

2006:

  • Billy Wagner: 70 games, 2.24 ERA, 40 saves, 72.1 IP, 94 SO
  • Aaron Heilman: 74 games, 3.62 ERA, 87.0 IP, 73 SO
  • Chad Bradford: 70 games, 2.90 ERA, 62.0 IP, 45 SO
  • Pedro Feliciano: 64 games, 2.09 ERA, 60.1 IP, 54 SO
  • Duaner Sanchez: 49 games, 2.60 ERA, 55.1 IP, 44 SO

2017:

  • Jeurys Familia: (FanGraph Projections) 59 games, 2.70 ERA, 29 saves, 59.0 IP, 62 SO
  • Addison Reed: (FanGraph Projections) 72 games, 2.61 ERA, 15 saves, 75.0 IP, 80 SO
  • Fernando Salas: (ZiPS Projections) 68 games, 3.80 ERA, 64 IP, 65 SO
  • Hansel Robles: (ZiPS Projections) 66 games, 3.49 ERA, 69.7 IP, 80 SO
  • Jerry Blevins: (ZiPS Projections) 48 games, 3.62 ERA, 32.3 IP, 38 SO

Winner: 2006 Mets bullpen

Although the 2006 Mets starting rotation wasn’t dominating the NL, the Mets could always count on their slugging offense and shut down bullpen to get the win. Lefty workhorse Feliciano had an outstanding 2.09 ERA in 60.01 inning that year.

Position by position:

First base

Carlos Delgado vs. Lucas Duda

  • Carlos Delgado: 144 games played, 89 runs, 139 hits, 30 doubles, 38 home runs, 114 runs batted in, .265 average
  • Lucas Duda: (FanGraph Projections) 122 games, 69 runs, 111 hits, 24 doubles, 76 runs batted in, .250 average

Winner: Carlos Delgado

In 2006 Delgado solidified the Mets offense batting cleanup. It was the perfect spot for him to drive in a ton of runs. He also posted an outstanding .994 fielding percentage.

Second base

Jose Valentine vs. Neil Walker

  • Jose Valentine: 137 games played, 56 runs, 104 hits, 24 doubles, 18 home runs, 62 runs batted in, .271 average
  • Neil Walker: (FanGraph Projections) 135 games, 66 runs, 140 hits, 24 doubles, 19 home runs, 66 runs batted in, .272 average

Winner: Neil Walker

In 2016 Walker showed an increase in power totaling a career high 23 home runs. He also showed that in 2016 he could hit left handed pitching, something he struggled with in previous years.

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Short Stop

Jose Reyes vs. Asdrubal Cabrera

  • Jose Reyes: 153 games, 122 runs, 194 hits, 30 doubles, 17 triples, 19 home runs, 81 runs batted in, 64 stolen bases, .300 average
  • Asdrubal Cabrera: (FanGraph Projections) 135 games, 61 runs, 142 hits, 29 doubles, 16 home runs, 66 runs batted in, .266 average

Winner: Jose Reyes

In 2006 Jose Reyes was the table setter for the big boys. When he got on base their was a high chance the Mets were going to score. Gary, Keith and Ron used to call it a “Reyes run” or in baseball terms a manufactured run.

Third Base

David Wright vs. Jose Reyes/Wilmer Flores/ David Wright

  • David Wright: 154 games, 94 runs, 181 hits, 40 doubles, 26 home runs, 116 runs batted in, 20 stolen bases, .311 average
  • Jose Reyes: (FanGraph Projections) 116 games, 64 runs, 131 hits, 25 doubles, 9 home runs, 64 runs batted in, 18 stolen bases, .273 average
  • Wilmer Flores: (FanGraph Projections) 114 games, 50 runs, 116 hits, 20 doubles, 15 home runs, 54 runs batted in, .268 average
  • David Wright: (FanGraph Projections) 73 games, 37 runs, 71 hits, 14 doubles, 10 home runs, 43 runs batted in, .265

Winner: David Wright (2006)

This one is a no brainer. Wrights break out season was in 2006. His young talent brought energy to the Mets as he helped them capture the NL East crown.

 

Catcher

Paul Lo Duca vs. Travis d’Arnaud

  • Paul Lo Duca: 124 games, 80 runs, 163 hits, 39 doubles, 5 home runs, 49 runs batted in, .318 average
  • Travis d’Arnaud: (FanGraph Projections) 105 games, 48 runs, 97 hits, 20 doubles, 12 home runs, 48 runs batted in, .257 average

 

Winner: Paul Lo Duca

Lo Duca was the perfect number 2 hitter. When Reyes got on base he would steal second and lo duca would either move him over or drive him in. The perfect 1, 2 punch at the top of the lineup. Both guys batted .300 clips.

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Left Field

Cliff Floyd/Endy Chavez vs. Yoenis Cespedes

  • Cliff Floyd: 97 games, 45 runs, 81 hits, 19 doubles, 11 home runs, 44 runs batted in, .244 average
  • Endy Chavez: 133 games, 108 hits, 22 doubles, 4 home runs, 42 runs batted in, .306 average
  • Yoenis Cespedes: (FanGraph Projections)  148 games, 97 runs, 166 hits, 36 doubles, 32 home runs, 97 runs batted in, .287 average

Winner: Yoenis Cespedes

The Mets signed Cespedes to a 4 year/ 110 million dollar contract in the off season. Cespedes is locked in as the number 3 hitter. He already has a 3 home run game in Philadelphia this season.

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Center Field

Carlos Beltran vs. Curtis Granderson/ Michael Conforto

  • Carlos Beltran: 140 games, 127 runs, 140 hits, 38 doubles, 41 home runs, 116 runs batted in, .275 average
  • Curtis Granderson: (FanGraph Projections)  145 games, 86 runs, 133 hits, 25 doubles, 24 home runs, 78 runs batted in, .240 average
  • Michael Conforto: (FanGraph Projections) 111 games, 58 runs, 107 hits, 26 doubles, 16 home runs, 58 runs batted in, .266 average

Winner: Carlos Beltran

Beltran had a MVP type season in 2006. He holds the record for most home runs in a season with 41. As the number 3 batter he drove in an outstanding 116 runs.  My favorite memory of Beltran was when he hit a walk off 2 run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Right Field

Xavier Nady/ Shawn Green vs. Jay Bruce

  • Xavier Nady: 75 games, 37 runs, 70 hits, 15 doubles, 14 home runs, 40 runs batted in, .264 average
  • Shawn Green: 34 games, 14 runs, 29 hits, 9 doubles, 4 home runs, 15 runs batted in, .257 average
  • Jay Bruce: (FanGraph Projections) 130 games, 65 runs, 121 hits, 27 doubles, 22 home runs, 71 runs batted in, .246 average

Winner: Jay Bruce

When Bruce arrived to the Mets after the trade deadline he suffered a dreadful slump. The streaky left hander did not blame it on his transition to New York. He has been a streaky guy his whole career but boy can he hit a ton of home runs!

Overall winner: The 2006 Mets.

The Mets dominated the National League in 2006. From start to finish they were fun to watch. They were at the top of  many statistics in the NL such as team batting average, home runs and bullpen ERA. If the 2006 Mets versed the 2017 Mets it would be a very close game but I think with timely hitting and a lock down bullpen, the 2006 Mets would come away with the victory.

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