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2012 Mets Infield: Best Infield Ever?

By Mike Silva ~ August 3rd, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

Back in 1999, John OlerudEdgardo AlfonzoRey Ordonez, and Robin Ventura donned the cover of Sports Illustrated as “The Best Infield Ever.” Although they were, with the exception for Ordonez, a solid offensive group, they are better known for setting the Major League record for fewest errors with 33 total that season. At this time next year, will we be arguing about whether the 2012 Mets infield is superior to their ’99 brethren? Better yet, do they have the potential to be considered one of the elite offensive infields in league history?

If the Mets sign Jose Reyes this offseason the 2012 Mets infield could be Ike Davis at first, Daniel Murphy at second, Reyes at short, and David Wright at third. This group certainly won’t be equal to their ’99 counterparts in defensive stature, but it has the potential to be one of the most potent offensive infields since the 1970s Big Red Machine.

The obvious standouts are Wright and Reyes. Someday both will be debated as to who is the best offensive player in team history. Wright’s performance (using Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement), puts him on pace to one day be in the same statistical mention as Hall of Fame third baseman such as Wade BoggsBrooks Robinson, Eddie Mathews, and Mike Schmidt). Reyes’s offensive exploits have been on par with Honus Wagner at a similar point in his career. His combination of speed and defense has rarely ever been seen at the position.

The left side of the infield is only potential right now, but 2011 has shown that both Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis could be well above average big league starters, with Davis potentially becoming an All Star. Before the ankle injury, Davis was on pace for 30 homers/100 RBI season with a OPS above .900. He also is very likely to be in the Gold Glove discussion throughout his career. Murphy is the wild card since we do not know if he could handle the defensive demands of second base every day. Although his offense at first puts him towards the middle of the pack, at second he can be mentioned with Chase Utley and Robinson Cano, without the power. If Murphy continues to develop, one could see him contend for a batting title in the future.

Obviously, this is a very aggressive projection for the Mets infield. Two major “ifs” have to transpire. Reyes must re-sign with the club, and both Murphy and Davis need to reach their ceiling for potential. In the 50 years of Mets history they never have been blessed with such good fortune. Losing Reyes makes this conversation moot, almost comical. Personally, I believe there are many good indicators he will stay in New York past this season. Even if Davis turns out to be a very good fielding version of Lyle Overbay, and Murphy plays more Jeff Keppinger than a poor man’s Chase Utley, it certainly is a better offensive infield than the 1999 “Best Infield Ever.” It most certainly will be asked to carry the offensive load of the 2012 Mets.

Baseball-Statistics listed the Top 10 Infield’s in Baseball History. The potential of this Mets group to be mentioned with some of these teams is not out of the question.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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4 Responses to 2012 Mets Infield: Best Infield Ever?

  1. Lawrence Alvarez

    The 1999 Mets infield won 3 gold gloves, a rare feat; and Alfonzo should have won one as well.

    But, hope you’re right about next year’s potential infield offense.

  2. Lawrence Alvarez

    I have to correct my post:

    Olerud won his gold gloves in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
    Bad memory on my part.

    But I still feel that he and Alfonzo should have both won in 1999.

  3. Chuck Johnson

    No matter how much Murphy hits, I don’t ever seeing it being enough to play everyday, especially at second base.

    If he can stay healthy, I like Reese Havens to take over at second full time, probably by mid 2012.

  4. Harvey Castellano

    That is the infield that the Mets organization should focus on keeping together for a long time.

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