The New York Mets are that rare team where a pitcher has dominated the WAR leaderboards as of late. Jacob deGrom has been an absolute machine, and has a combined 17.5 WAR over the past two seasons to go along with his two NL Cy Young Awards.
He is a star, and it is not surprising to see him atop any leaderboard. Yet there are a few players throughout Mets history that have done enough to lead the team in WAR for a season without the attention given to someone like deGrom. Let's look at four players who stand out as surprising WAR leaders for the Mets in recent history.
4. Jeff Kent
Jeff Kent retired as a five-time All-Star and 2000 MVP Award winner, but did not gain national recognition until he joined the San Francisco Giants in 1997. Before that, Kent spent 1992-1996 with the Mets. His best season came in 1995 when he posted a 3.2 WAR, which led the team. That is actually a down year considering the rest of his career, but was his best year to date and helped launch his career.
3. Steve Trachsel
The 2003 Mets were a disaster that finished 66-95. One of the only positives was veteran pitcher Steve Trachsel going 16-10 with a 3.78 ERA. His 4.4 WAR was good enough to lead the team, and it was the only time in his career he eclipsed the 4.0 WAR mark. Al Leiter finished behind Trachsel with a 3.6 WAR, while Cliff Floyd was the closest position player that year at 2.7. Unfortunately, Trachsel was not selected to the All-Star Game and retired with just one appearance in the event.
2. Edgardo Alfonzo
Edgardo Alfonzo is a unique player in Mets history. He led the team in WAR three different times in 1997, 2000, and 2002, yet he only made one All-Star Game in his career and never won a Gold Glove. Alfonzo was with the Mets from 1995-2002 and compiled a 29.6 WAR in eight seasons. He earned 23.6 of that total in only four seasons. So while Alfonzo had great years, he could never piece it together for his entire career.
1. Angel Pagan
Angel Pagan had a good but not great MLB career. He lasted 11 seasons and spent four of those with the Mets. The team did not make the postseason during his tenure, but Pagan did post a 5.3 WAR in 2010 to help get the team close to the .500 mark. He was on the team during a forgettable time and used the 2010 season to finally earn some money in his next contract with the San Francisco Giants.