Countdown to Opening Day: 2
March 30th, 2011 by slangon

2 more. I can’t hardly take it.

Doning the tools of ignorance for the 1986 New York Mets is Hall of Famer Gary Edmund Carter.

The 1986 season was the Kid’s 2nd year in Queens and he certainly lived up to any expectations Mets fans had when the team traded for him. He hit .255 that year with 24 homers and drove in 105 runs. He also crossed home plate 81 times that year. He was, along with teammates Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, a starter for the N.L. All-Star team that year. He also came in 3rd in M.V.P. voting and won the Silver Slugger award. He had a relatively weak performance against the Astros in the NLCS, batting .148 with no long balls and only 2 RBI, but he rebounded quite nicely in time for the World Series. He batted .276 with 2 home runs and drove in 9. He got a 2-out single to left to jump start the now legendary 10th inning rally that culminated in Mookie Wilsons game winning hit between Bill Buckners legs. All in all, he was one of the key pieces on a championship team.

Carters 2011 counterpart will be the young Josh Thole.

Although Josh lacks the power of Carter and doesn’t figure to put up any sort of Hall of Fame numbers, I really like him as a player. What he lacks in power, he makes up for in consistency. At the end of the ’09 season he hit .321 in 17 games. He played in a little less than half the games of the Mets 2010 season and even then was able to put up a respectable .277 average against Major League pitching. I kind of like that he rocks the old-school Ty Cobb choked up, hands apart grip. He’s also shown pretty good growth defensively. Last year he threw out 44% of attempted base stealers. I also found it interesting that Josh was born the day after the Mets won the World Series.

I definitely have to give the advantage to the 1986 squad, which I feel is a little unfair to Josh. I mean, comparing a guy who’s getting set to play his first full season in the Majors to a Hall of Fame catcher who was in the prime of his career is a little lop-sided. That’s the way it goes though.

RF – 1986
CF – 2011
LF – 2011
SS – 2011
3B – 2011
2B – 1986
1B – 1986
C – 1986
P – ????

It’s all tied up at 4 and 4. One position to go.

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