Spring Training - No two words elicit such feeling hope, excitement and anticipation for a baseball fan. Every spring training brings with it players hoping to "bounce back" and who are in "the best shape of their lives". In addition every spring training brings position battles, aging veterans trying to hold on and yes rookies trying to make the team or showcase their skills and show that they deserve their "top prospect" or "future star" label that they felt they had earned.
It is with this last point in mind that i write this post. I have been a Mets fan for 20 + years. Thats 20 + years of hope, excitement and anticipation. Its also 20 + years of aging veterans and "cant miss prospects", some of who have stuck but most of who have not.
Ive been putting together an all-over-hyped Mets team of the last 20 years. You know the type im talking about - the type that the team wont include in the trade for the superstar. The type the team talks about in terms of when not if.
So now without further ado i (with some help - thank you Dov) present to you ......
The All Over-Hyped/BUST Mets Team Of The Last Two Decades
1) Paul Wilson
2) Bill Pulsipher
4) Grant Roberts- Do you realize that in 2002 he didnt give up a run until his eighth game! In June his ERA was 0.59!! And then BOOM! rotator cuff surgery and effectively his career came to an end. Oh! he was also way ahead of his time as he was suspended for violating the minor leagues steroid policy.
5) Aaron Heilman
In 2003 he was the 45th rated prospect in all of baseball! He teased us both as a starter (i still remember his one-hitter in 2005 against the Marlins - broken up by none other than Louis Castillo) and a reliever. In 2006 he was actually quite good. Until he was quite bad. And then he was very bad.
In addition ill add Octavio Dotel for long relief/spot starter
Remember the hype in 2000 about Dotel and about how he was going to be the secret weapon out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
C - Brook Fordyce - I pick him only because there is nobody else. In 1991 he was the 47th rated prospect in baseball
1B - Rico Brogna - Again not much comes to mind - but remember that summer of Rico. I actually cheated quite a bit here as Rico was actually a product of the Tigers and got traded to the Mets. Still - what a tease.
2B - Gregg Jeffries - He may be the captain of this team.
SS - Rey Ordonez - still think hes the greatest defensive SS ive ever seen and as such almost didnt put him on this list. But to look back and remember how people would compare him and Jeter is just funny - or sad
3B - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET IT NOT BE DAVID WRIGHT!!
OF - Alex Escobar - He was the one finally included in the deal that brought Roberto Alamor to the Mets. He was named the organizations top prospects for three straight years! He finished his career with a total of 125 games in four seasons
OF - Lastings Millidge - twice named the organizations top prospect - the guy they wouldnt include in a deal for Manny. Are you kidding me?!? The worst part is that they then shipped him off for Ryan Church!
OF - Victor Diaz - "The next Manny Ramirez" - need i say more?
A couple of notes: 1 - I did not count Kaz Matsui although i saw many people who did.
2 - This list is unscientific and not quite complete so please comment, ill reviews and change if i feel like it
3 - Im going to give Mike Pelfry and Fernando Martinez some more time.
Let me know what you think!!