One year wonders. They’re one of the most frustrating aspects of baseball. When a player comes in, plays really well, and they never reach expectations again, it’s so frustrating for the fans, the organization, and their teammates who are counting on them to stay consistent after a breakout year. These types of players become hated by fans often times because general managers don’t get rid of them.
The SNY broadcast the other day made me think of this. The broadcast crew was talking about Angel Pagan and the down season he is having. They were talking about Pagan like he was a star who is just having an off year. One year wonders are over-hyped and you can’t even recognize them until a year or two after their breakout seasons. Anyway, enough of my rant. I compiled a short list of one year wonders in the past decade for the Mets. There were no real qualifications other than having one very good season and then not producing with the Mets ever again (maybe one exception).
1999-2000 averages: 50 R, 15 HR, 51 RBI, .288 BA
Agbayani burst onto the scene in New York in early 1999, hitting .442 in the month of May. Agbayani also provided some power. He hit eleven home runs in May and June, and looked like he could be a legitimate power threat. However, an injury to his elbow hurt him for the rest of the season and he wasn’t as effective as he was in May or June. Agbayani bounced back in 2000 with a slightly better year, hitting three points higher and driving in 12 more runs. He played a vital role in the 2000 playoffs, hitting .320 while driving in six. After 2000, Agbayani never approached the numbers he put up in 1999 and 2000, hitting ten home runs for the rest of his career in the U.S. He went to Japan in 2003, where he became a star, hitting over 30 home runs in his first season.
2007: 15-10, 3.56 ERA, 174 SO, 177 IP
“Ollie” Perez had a terrific year in 2007, coming off an awful 3-13 one in 2006. Perez returned to his 2004 form, when he went 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA. However, despite Perez’s domination in 2007, he was never the same. He then went 13-16 with an ERA over five before being released this spring. He is now playing in the Nationals minor league system.
2007: 15-10, 3.91 ERA, 7.9 H/9, 180 SO, 191 IP
This is a hard story for me to tell. I was a huge John Maine fan. I don’t know what it was about him, but when he fell apart, literally, it was sad to see him go. He looked like the future of the Met rotation in 2007 and looked like a guy who might even compete for a Cy Young Award some day. However, that was not the case. Maine suffered a string of severe injuries and hasn’t pitched since last year, when he had the “Shortest Start in History” when he only faced one batter before being taken out and then going off to the media. He’s on the comeback trail again now. We’ll see what happens.
2009: 1 HR, 40 RBI, 20 SB, .302 BA, 77 R
Luis, after struggling in 2008, had a big year by his standards in 2009, hitting over .300 again after hitting .245 in ’08. Castillo remained a threat on the basepaths in ’09, despite his age, stealing a decent amount of bases. After that, however, it got ugly for Luis. He will always be famous for “… he dropped the ball!…” but he will also be known for his ugly 2010 (.235 BA) and his release in early spring of this season.
Well, what do you think? Maybe I’ll do a list of all-time Mets soon. Let me know what you think by commenting below…