Who were the best Mets players between 1962-1970?
Over the past week, as we’ve waited for a new CBA to get the 2022 MLB season open for business, ESNY has taken time to look back at the best players in each decade for the New York Mets.
In this series we’re looking back at the top ten players ranked by their WAR (per Baseball Reference). Thus far, we have looked back at the top ten Mets from the following decades:
Now, let’s head back to the 1960s when the Mets were born — and won their first championship.
Tom Seaver – 25.9 (1967-70)
Four seasons for The Franchise to start his career fit into this time period. How did Seaver open his career? Rookie of the Year in 1967, National League Cy Young Award in 1969, a 75-44 record with 69 complete games in 144 appearances. And four All-Star Games between ages 22-25. He started great and remained Terrific during his career. The GOAT for the franchise.
Jerry Koosman – 14.7 (1967-70)
Koosman arriving at the same time as Seaver changed the Mets’ rotation. He was 19-12 in 1968, earning the runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year, and was an All-Star in ’68 and ’69.
Cleon Jones – 13.3 (1963-70)
Jones was a fun leftfielder who was a huge part of the Mets’ early years. He appeared in his only All-Star Game in 1969 when he batted .340 with a 151 OPS+.
Tommie Agee – 10.5 (1968-70)
Agee came to New York after back-to-back All-Star seasons with the Chicago White Sox in 1966-67 but struggled in his first season with the Mets. However, he hit 50 home runs the next two seasons and won a Gold Glove award in 1970. Agee finished sixth in NL MVP voting in 1969.
Ron Hunt – 8.2 (1963-66)
Playing second base primarily, Hunt was the runner-up for the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year Award and represented the Mets in two All-Star Games (1964, ’66) during his four years with the club. He was traded to the Dodgers after the 1966 season for for Tommy Davis and Derrell Griffith.
Bud Harrelson – 7.4 (1965-70)
Never a big offensive threat for the Mets, Harrelson appeared in his first of two All-Star Games for the club in 1970. Across 2,331 plate appearances in this time frame, Harrelson’s OPS+ was only 75 with only two home runs.
Ron Swoboda – 7.0 (1965-70)
Swoboda will forever be remembered for his incredible catch during the 1969 World Series (above). He, like so many early Mets, wasn’t a dynamic offensive threat; he drove in 304 runs in 737 games in this time frame.
Jerry Grote – 6.3 (1966-70)
Grote was an All-Star in 1968 and accumulated 584 total bases in 603 games during this time frame.
Art Shamsky – 5.9 (1968-70)
Shamsky was acquired from Cincinnati after the 1967 season and slashed .277/.347/.440 during this window of time for the Mets. He posted a 120 OPS+ over these three seasons.
Ron Taylor – 5.3 (1967-70)
Taylor was a big part of the Mets’ bullpen during his time with the club. He finished 159 of the 224 games in which he appeared during this time frame with 48 saves.