The 2011 All-Star Mets

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.

5 comments for “The 2011 All-Star Mets

  1. TexasGusCC
    June 2, 2018 at 10:20 am

    You missed a 2011 All-Star, Jay Bruce. He was 24, and improvement was expected on his .256 average. Ah, no.

    Sandy Alderson hit on Cabrera, and kind of got something out of each player, but it’s the cumulative effect of having all these partial contributors that are a problem. Conversely, where do we start with the Nationals? All-Stars everywhere, mostly home grown or stolen from the dumb Padres with the right free agent signing mixed in.

    • June 2, 2018 at 10:33 am

      You hit on a theme that was first brought up here by Metsense several years back. Each of Alderson’s moves in isolation are fine. They solve a problem for a reasonable outlay of cash. But cumulatively they somehow add up to less than the sum of the individual parts.

      And it’s only made worse that consistently looking to solve problems with guys on the wrong side of 30 winds up with extended DL trips We’re at 24 days and counting with Frazier and 18 and counting for Cespedes.

    • TJ
      June 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      I agree with Brian that you point on the cumulative effect is spot on. For my two cents, I think this is a combination of Sandy’s philosophy and the Wilpon management method (or lack of method) that in some years put a hard cap on spending, and in other years, like this offseason, provided Alderson with ambiguity and additional spending approval on a case by case basis.

      Despite the differences in payroll resources, MLB is highly competitive, and with the exception of 2015, the Mets have been beaten and beaten badly. Luck is a factor that impacts all teams, and I can accept that the Alderson Mets have had more than their fair share of bad luck relative to others, but most agree that better performance enhances the likelihood of better luck.

      2018 has been a crazy season so far, even by Met standards, with a mind boggling start followed by various train wrecks. But, despite everything that has occurred, and the focus on age and injury, when looking at the Nats, they have been without Murphy, Eaton, Weiters, and lost Kendricks for the season…more or less their high injury risk thirty somethings. To me it boils down to the late inning collapses, drive by the overworked, undermanned, and partially mismanaged bullpen. 4 less collapses and despite all the trauma they’d be 31-24 and right at the top of the NL East, looking forward to the return of Cespedes, Frazier, and Swarzak, three key players.

      In a sport that has evolved whereby the bullpen is more important than ever, requiring multiple high end pieces, zero weak lines, and having 3-4 MLB capable players at AAA, Alderson’s bullpen results anecdotally seem to be among the worst of all the GMs in the game.

      • TexasGusCC
        June 2, 2018 at 1:38 pm

        TJ, I agree that this is the perfect marriage of a GM that hates long term deals and wants to win doing things on the cheap, and the Coupons who just want to just be competitive to sell tickets. Alderson continues to plug holes with a player he deems “is good enough”.

        Brian, you put it very well that it’s a cumulative effect.

        • Mike Walczak
          June 2, 2018 at 5:44 pm

          I agree with every thing everybody is saying.

          The real kicker is the farm system. It’s just not that good.

          Conlon is gone. Dodgers picked him up off if waivers.

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