New York Mets: Is Edgardo Alfonzo the best second baseman in the team history?

Andres Chavez
Simeon Woods-Richardson
Mar 23, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A view of the Grapefruit League logo on the hat of New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, play is suspended until further notice. There is an idea currently being discussed that would have all 30 teams playing out the season in Arizona, but talks are reportedly in the preliminary phase and several hurdles would need to be cleared for the New York Mets and the other 29 teams to fulfill that plan.

In the meantime, we can talk about other things about our beloved Mets. How about discussing the best second basemen in the club’s history? MLB.com held a survey on the subject in the past few days, so why not weigh in?

The New York Mets, with that name, were born in 1962. Lots of people have defended the keystone and provided thump to the lineup, but few of them, if any, can match what Edgardo Alfonzo did.

The Venezuelan infielder played for the Mets from 1995 to 2001. He was often among the most feared batters in the lineup.

He retired in 2006 after playing the bulk of his 12-year career with the New York Mets. In total, he batted .284/.357/.425 with a 107 wRC+ and 30.1 fWAR. Alfonzo’s peak was between 1997 and 2000, as he averaged 5.2 fWAR per season in that span. He was a fantastic offensive and defensive contributor, and his hits were timely, as well: in fact, his .318 average with runners in scoring position is highest in Mets history.

MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo had this to say about Edgardo: “Alfonzo might be the trickiest Met to rank because he appeared in 524 games for the team at second base and 515 at third, spending three full seasons as the starter at each position. Playing second, third and even a little shortstop, Alfonzo racked up 120 home runs in eight seasons in New York to go along with a .292 average and .812 OPS. His 1999-2000 campaigns, both spent exclusively at the keystone, resulted in the two highest WAR totals by a second baseman in franchise history. Overall, Alfonzo compiled 29.6 WAR with the Mets — more than the next two most prolific second basemen combined.”

Over the summer, the Mets announced that Alfonzo would enter the club’s Hall of Fame in 2020, which he called “a dream come true.”

“The Mets have had so many great players in their history, and I’m so proud to receive this honor,” Alfonzo said after the induction announcement. “This is something I never thought would be possible when I started out. I was never much for individual goals, I just wanted to help us win.”

Other Mets’ greats in the position

However, he may have competition to be the best in Mets’ history. Daniel Murphy’s insane 2015 postseason run, in which he had six straight postseason games with a home run, puts him high in the list as well. Murphy was never much of a glovesman, but he was a consistent, dangerous offensive contributor.

Wally Backman, who played with the Mets from 1980 to 1988 and hit .333 during the 1986 World Series, is another candidate.

Jeff Kent played like a Hall of Famer for six seasons in the San Francisco Giants. His time with the Mets came and went too soon, but he still managed to hit 67 home runs with a .780 OPS over five years with the team.

Who would be your candidate? Do you like any of the names listed here, or do you have a darkhorse option? Feel free to contribute in the comments section.