In 2011, the New York Mets finished 77-85, good enough for a fourth place finish in the National League East. That year, Jose Bautista would go on to slug 43 home runs and drive in 103 runs for the Toronto Blue Jays. In the same division, Adrian Gonzalez would smack 213 hits and 114 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox. Had Bautista and Gonzalez, both All-Stars and top ten finishers in MVP voting, been on the Mets in 2011, I think that the record of the team would have improved dramatically. Seven years down the road however, and both Bautista and Gonzalez find themselves on the Mets. While they aren’t putting up 2011 numbers, they certainly are producing.
Gonzalez, who signed on with the Mets on January 18th, struggled to do much of anything during spring training. His .207 batting average concerned many, giving him the appearance that he had nothing left in the tank for the Mets. Despite the slow start, Gonzalez was slated as the Opening Day starter for the Mets at first base. Not only has he gone on to show that his spring training was completely misleading, but he has gone on to have a nice little season for the team. At the time this article was written, Gonzalez was batting .262 with six home runs and 24 RBIs. Based on his spring training results, this is more than I expected from Gonzalez, and I am happily surprised. Not only has he provided at the plate, but he has shown that his glove is still at the elite level that has earned Gonzalez four Gold Gloves.
With six home runs, Gonzalez has four more home runs than the man once known for some of the more towering home runs in all of baseball. Bautista, who was let go by the Braves on May 20th, was picked up by the Mets on May 22nd, and played the same night. Ever since he has joined the Mets, his bat has been a lightning rod. Since joining the team, he has batted a mighty .368. Not only has his effort at the plate been impressive, but he has shown great hustle in the field. He has proved that he has taken great care of his body and he moves around swiftly, whether he is stationed at third or in the outfield. He has been a tool to this team, and a solid pickup.
The Mets also have the 2011 National League batting champion on their team this year. Jose Reyes batted .337 that season, and then he left for a lucrative contract with the Miami Marlins. Back on the Mets with his fellow 2011 All-Stars, Reyes is doing the opposite of being productive. He has drawn the ire of many Mets fans this season, and a large portion of fans are clamoring for him to be removed from the roster. His time with the team is certainly running out, and he is even beginning to cloud some of the amazing times he had with the Mets earlier in his career with the image he is currently presenting.
The best performing 2011 All-Star however has been Asdrubal Cabrera. He has been the best hitter on the Mets so far this season, with a .307 batting average, 10 early home runs, and 34 RBIs. His health has played a large part in his season, as his knees have held up enough for him to be able to contribute the way that he has.
If all three of these 2011 superstars were on the Mets in 2011, the Mets certainly would have been a lot more competitive than they turned out to be. It is nice to see however, that Bautista and Gonzalez are still contributing at their age to a team with young guys like Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto.