The departure of David Wright leaves the New York Mets without a captain. Does anyone on the team have what it takes to fill the role?
David Wright was the only team captain in the majors this year, so while it is very unlikely that the Mets will be naming a new captain any time soon, here are a few current New York Mets that have the potential to one day be appointed team leader.
Though his tenure with the Mets has really just begun, Michael Conforto’s impression on the team has already been significant.
Conforto burst onto the scene in 2015 and was quickly humbled in 2016 when he really began to struggle for the first time. Since then, he has shown streaks of greatness, but that is not what makes him a good fit for captain. What has really stood out about Conforto’s time with the Mets is the way he composes himself during the times when things aren’t going his way.
Conforto is no stranger to slumping. He slumped his entire sophomore season in 2016, and most of the 2018 season, but he never showed his frustrations or emotions on the field. He kept his head down and did everything he possibly could to get himself back on track.
Incredible work ethic aside, Conforto is a really likable guy. He was embraced by New York immediately (probably because he was crushing home runs every other at-bat), which is something that doesn’t really happen in such a critical market.
While more stripes definitely need to be earned, Conforto could be a great captain of the New York Mets.
The man that Gary Cohen deemed the “happiest man in baseball” is surely a great fit for captain. How could he not be?
While it’s a shame, it seems it’s pretty rare to find players that so obviously love their job as Nimmo does.
Nimmo is constantly criticized for sprinting to first base on a walk or hit-by-pitch, or smiling as he rounds the bases after a home run — why? Why is it such a bad thing for Nimmo to love his job so much? All fans really want out of a player, other than performance, is for the player to love their team and want to win as much as fans do, right?
Even teammate Noah Syndergaard admires Nimmo for his love for the game:
Nimmo is what we all strive to be internally. #benimmo
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) June 17, 2018
Aside from his love for the game, he is also pretty good at it! Nimmo finished this year with the highest OBP on the Mets with .404. There is no keeping this guy off base.
Nimmo has it all — he’s likable and talented. He would make a great captain.
Obviously, if you’re looking for someone to lead by example, Jacob deGrom is the only option.
All deGrom cares about is excelling in his craft and winning ballgames. If more ballplayers had this mindset, there might be some tighter races among divisions. Clearly, it works for the Mets right-hander, coming off one of the best seasons of any pitcher of the modern baseball era.
Aside from being a master at his craft, he also conducts himself extremely well in front of the media. deGrom was put through the ringer this year in terms of lack of run support, and never once did he let his emotions get the best of him when he really had every right to.
Sure, he wasn’t always overjoyed about twenty people asking him the same question over and over after he pitched eight shutout innings and didn’t get a win, but he was never disrespectful or cold to reporters.
Anyone who is able to keep their composure through the season deGrom just had, deserves all of the recognition — Cy Young, captain, President of the United States, etc.
Jacob deGrom himself even said he hopes to have a career with the Mets just like Wright according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. While he didn’t mention anything about being captain, he really would be a great team leader.
There is really no chance that the Mets name a captain any time soon, as David Wright’s shoes are too big to fill yet. But if the Mets were going to appoint a captain, the choice would have to be between Conforto, Nimmo, and deGrom. All three of them have the chance to have Wright-like careers with the Mets, captain and all.