Mets Fan Favorite Tournament

Citi Bracket: First Round Complete

The first round in the Citi Bracket and the first round of the tournament are complete. There was no surprise with David Wright and Jacob deGrom advancing, but there were still some significant upsets at least as far as seeding is concerned.

The biggest upset of the tournament so far was Wilmer Flores over Jose Reyes. That made Flores the lowest seed to advance. That is likely due to a combination of Flores love of the Mets as well as Reyes’ domestic violence. The other upset was Pete Alonso over Noah Syndergaard, but that was likely driven by Alonso’s all-time great rookie season coupled with his off the field actions.

The second round of the Citi Bracket will feature 2015 postseason heroes deGrom and Curtis Granderson. We will also see Alonso and Carlos Beltran face off. They are 1-2 in the Mets single season home run totals.

Starting tomorrow, there will be the second round of the tournament which brings us back to the Miracle Bracket with Tom Seaver facing off against Rusty Staub.

Citi Bracket: (2) Jacob deGrom vs. (15) R.A. Dickey

(2) Jacob deGrom – 2014 Rookie of the Year winner. Two time All-Star who would’ve been three had he not stepped aside for Bartolo Colon in 2016. Struck out three batters on 10 pitches in 2015 All-Star Game. Had phenomenal postseason start in Game 1 of 2015 NLDS. Followed that up with gutsy win in Game 5. Was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA in the 2015 postseason helping the Mets win the pennant. First ever Mets pitcher to win back-to-back Cy Young awards. Only pitcher in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year and back-to-back Cy Youngs. Joins Tom Seaver and Justin Verlander as the only pitchers in MLB history to have a Rookie of the Year and two Cy Youngs. Arguably the second best starter in Mets history.

(15) R.A. Dickey – Best minor league deal in Mets history. Earned way into rotation with one hit shut out of Phillies in 2010. Shocked the baseball world in 2012. Became the first pitcher in Major League history to post back-to-back one hitters with 10+ strikeouts. Was an All-Star, and he surprisingly beat out Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young. Currently is the last Mets pitcher to win 20 games in a season. Was traded to the Blue Jays in a deal which changed the course of the franchise leading to the 2015 pennant.

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Citi Bracket: (7) Curtis Granderson vs. (10) Yoenis Cespedes

(7) Curtis Granderson – Upon signing with the Mets, said true New Yorkers were Mets fans. Started the fun We Follow Lucas Duda Instagram account. Had a great 2015 season and was true MVP of the team. Hit three homers in 2015 World Series and likely would’ve been MVP had the Mets pulled it out. Moved to CF to help team in 2016 and had a phenomenal finish to the season hitting .302/.414/.615 in September to help Mets grab Wild Card spot. One of the best people to ever wear a baseball uniform being the only man to win the Roberto Clemente Award in addition to multiple Marvin Miller Awards.

(10) Yoenis Cespedes – Was a sensation after joining the Mets helping them win the NL East. Nailed a player at the plate in Game 1 of the NLCS to help the Mets secure victory. Had a huge homer and epic bat flip in Game 3 of NLDS. Eschewed the Nationals to return to the Mets, and he repeated his 2015 greatness helping the Mets claim a Wild Card spot. Was always an interesting character with the cars, breakfasts, and ranch exploits. Forced to play one game on heels which needed surgery to DH against the Yankees and hit a homer. Lion King walk-up music was fan favorite.

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Citi Bracket: (3) Carlos Beltran vs. (14) Brandon Nimmo

(3) Carlos Beltran – Mentored David Wright and Jose Reyes from day one. By WAR, had the second best ever season a Mets player ever had in 2006. Tied then season season record for homers and extra base hits. Set team record for runs scored in a season. Hit three homers in NLCS against Cardinals helping Mets get to Game 7 before that final at-bat. Hit last ever homer for Mets player at Shea Stadium. Had great catch on Tal’s Hill. Was a five time All-Star and three time Gold Glove winner with Mets. Stood up to Wilpons and got surgery he needed to save career. Willingly moved to right field to help team. Played at Hall of Fame level and could one day be next player inducted into Hall of Fame and possibly have number retired by team.

(14) Brandon Nimmo – Instant fan favorite for always smiling and constant hustling. Will do anything he needs to do to get on base. Mets single season leader in HBP and is 10th all-time. If he qualified, would have third best OBP in team history. Was second best hitter in NL in 2018. Returned from neck injury to have strong finish to 2019 season to show he can once again play at that level.

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Citi Bracket: (6) Noah Syndergaard vs. (11) Pete Alonso

(6) Noah Syndergaard – As a rookie helped Mets win 2015 pennant. Pitched perfect inning in Game 5 of NLDS, won Game 2 of NLCS, and told the Royals he was 60’6″ away. First pitcher to win a World Series game at Citi Field. Was so great during his first year, he had Pedro Martinez screaming “THOR!” in honor of him. Beat the Royals again in the second game of the 2016 season featuring a nearly unhittable slider. Had two home run game against the Dodgers. Threw at Chase Utley. One of the few reasons Mets were able to claim top Wild Card spot in 2016 and out-pitched Madison Bumgarner for seven innings. Despite subsequent injuries remains in the top 10 in FIP among MLB pitchers. Fourth best Mets starter of all-time by FIP. Has had exceptional control with second best K/9 in team history and fourth best K/BB.

(11) Pete Alonso – Had rookie season so great people are already envisioning him as the next captain of the Mets. Near unanimous NL Rookie of the Year. Set Mets and MLB rookie record for homers. Also set Mets single-season record for total bases and extra base hits. Won the 2019 Home Run Derby and provided portion of winnings to charity. When MLB once again denied the Mets request to wear the first resopnders’ caps, he took it upon himself to get cleats honoring the first responders.

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Citi Bracket: (4) Jose Reyes vs. (13) Wilmer Flores

(4) Jose Reyes – One of the most exciting and dynamic players in Mets history. Set team records for single season and career stolen bases. Mets all-time leader in triples. By WAR, best Mets SS and fifth best position player. Only Mets player to win a batting title. Four time All-Star. Returned to Mets after domestic violence suspension to take over third base. Hit bit homer against Phillies to help Mets claim Wild Card.

(13) Wilmer Flores – Player who loved being a Mets player so much, he cried on the field when he thought he was being traded. Came back to hit a walk-off homer to beat the Nationals. That was one of many walk-off hits, and he would become the Mets all-time leader in that category. Handled shortstop well defensively after Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Joined Edgardo Alfonzo as the only Mets players to go 6-for-6 in a game. Played all four infield positions in effort to do whatever team asked of him to help them win.

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Citi Bracket: (5) Johan Santana vs. (12) Matt Harvey

(5) Johan Santana – Had first huge moment of Mets career taking ball on three days rest to pitch a complete game three hit shutout to keep Mets hopes alive. Was the last ever Mets pitcher to win a game at Shea Stadium. Was probably cheated of Cy Young that year with his leading league in ERA and IP while being narrowly second in WAR and ERA+. All Star in 2009. Threw the only no-hitter in Mets history after coming off of shoulder surgery. Took 134 pitches to do it, and it was effectively the end of his near Hall of Fame career.

(12) Matt Harvey – Dubbed the Dark Knight. Set Mets record for most strikeouts in debut. Had great 2013 season which saw him pitch near perfect games and no hitters and start the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field. Had the best K/BB for any Mets pitcher in a non-strike shortened season. Was a sensation featured on Fallon, ESPN the Magazine, and Sports Illustrated. Threw more pitches than anyone in MLB history post Tommy John. Had great postseason winning pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS, setting the tone in Game 1 of the NLCS, and having an epic Game 5 start.

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Citi Bracket: (8) Michael Conforto vs. (9) Daniel Murphy

(8) Michael Conforto – Already ranked in the top seven in WAR among Mets outfielders. Has willingly played all three outfield positions to help the team and has been much better than advertised at all three positions. Barely played in Double-A before getting called up in 2015 to help save that season. Hit three postseason homers including two in Game 4 of the World Series. Had great All-Star season in 2017. Has rebounded from shoulder injury to have a very good 2019 where he has emerged as a team leader. Ranked in the top 10 in Mets history in SLG, OPS, and OPS+.

(9) Daniel Murphy – Burst onto the scene in 2008 to help push the Mets into contention. Career as a clutch hitter began there. Had streak of 27 consecutive steals which was second best stretch in team history. Overcame all comers to establish himself as the team’s second baseman. Led team in homers in first season in Citi Field. Was an All-Star in 2014, the same season he missed Opening Day to attend the birth of his child. Had perhaps the greatest postseason in Major League history setting a Major League record by homering in six straight postseason games. Joined Lou Gehrig as the only players to have a hit, run, and RBI in seven consecutive postseason games. Mets lose the NLDS without him having perhaps the greatest game any Mets position player ever has. Only one of three Mets players to be named NLCS MVP. Seventh best batting average in team history with the third most doubles.

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Citi Bracket: (1) David Wright vs. (16) Jeff McNeil

(1) David Wright – The franchise leader in nearly every offensive category and is widely considered to be the best position player in franchise history. Only homegrown Met to be named team captain. Dubbed Captain America for his exploits in the World Baseball Classic. Once named by Bill James as the perfect baseball player. Seven time All-Star, two time Gold Glove winner, and two time Silver Slugger. Hit the first Mets homer in Citi Field, and he hit the first ever World Series homer in Citi Field. Had perhaps the most emotional good-bye game we have ever seen a player in sports history ever have. A lifetime Met who had a hand in helping ensure Jacob deGrom does the same.

(16) Jeff McNeil – Has exhibited an Ichiro Suzuki like ability to make contact at a high rate and put the ball where the fielders aren’t. Despite being called just a second baseman, he has played nearly everywhere on the diamond, and he has played well defensively. Named an All-Star in his first full season. Nicknamed the Flying Squirrel and is part of both the famed Cookie Club and is part of a bromance with Pete Alonso.

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Mojo Rising Bracket: First Round Complete

The first round of the Mojo Rising Bracket is complete, and so far, this bracket had the clotsest match-up this far with Benny Agbayani knocking off Todd Hundley by ONE VOTE! With that, Agbayani joins Tommie Agee as the other 10 seed to knock off a seven seed. That means through the first round of three brackets, there have been just two upsets.

This next round will have Robin Ventura and John Olerud not only on opposite ends of the greatest defensive infield of all-time, but also seeing who can advance to the Sweet 16. Agbayani and Edgardo Alfonzo can also see who was the bigger hero in 2000.

In the final bracket, we will lead off tomorrow with David Wright against Jeff McNeil.