How the New York Mets built the World Series team that’s shocking baseball

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The New York Mets have had one of the most stunning turn-arounds in recent baseball history.

On July 24, the Mets were 49-48, three games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East.

Then, over the next week, the Mets swung two trades that helped turn around their season, acquiring Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, and most importantly, Yoenis Cespedes.

As the team got healthy, their offense exploded to one of the best in MLB – previously their biggest weakness – and a young, elite pitching staff suddenly had support.

The Mets cruised into the playoffs, finishing 90-72, with little competition from the Nationals. They went down to the wire with the Dodgers, winning the NLDS 3-2, and then swept the Cubs in the NLCS.

Now, the Mets are in the World Series for the first time since 2000. Here’s a look at how they built the team that got them there.


For a team that doesn’t spend much money, drafting has been hugely important to the Mets.

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Drafted Daniel Murphy in 2006.

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It’s fair to say the Mets might not even be in the World Series without Murphy. While Murphy’s always been a solid, steady hitter, he exploded in the playoffs, batting .421 with seven home runs, 11 RBIs, a .436 OBP, and 1.462 OPS.


Drafted David Wright in 2001.

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Wright’s been the face of the Mets since being drafted. An All-Star several times, Wright has struggled with injuries, but helped push the Mets to the playoffs with a strong second-half of the season and a solid NLCS.


Drafted Lucas Duda in 2007.

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Duda’s one of the Mets best power hitters, 27 home runs with a .486 SLG in 2015. Though he struggled through much of the playoffs, he dominated in Game 4 of the NLCS, coming up with a home run and five RBIs to push the Mets to the World Series.


Drafted Michael Conforto in 2014.

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Conforto got called up to the Mets halfway through the season, shortly before their big turnaround. At just 22 years old, he showed promise in his first season, hitting .270 with an .840 OPS.


The Mets have also had phenomenal success at drafting pitchers.


Drafted Matt Harvey in 2010.

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Harvey’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last four years, and he’s only 26. He’s due for arbitration this offseason, and will surely get a deserved payday.


Drafted Jacob deGrom in 2010.

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deGrom has been a revelation in the majors. He’s the Mets’ go-to pitcher (started Game 1 of the NLDS and Game 5), with a 2.57 ERA, 4.7 WAR, and .97 WHIP. And my goodness, that hair is gorgeous.


Drafted Steven Matz in 2009.

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Perhaps the least-heralded of the Mets’ big pitchers, Matz still had a great rookie season in 2015, with a 2.27 ERA in the regular season. He also gives the Mets a depth advantage, allowing them to go with a four-pitcher rotation in the playoffs.


While the Mets aren’t known for being big spenders, especially for a New York team, they’ve invested in a few players who have had big impacts.

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Signed Curtis Granderson in 2014.

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The Mets made a big free agency splash in 2014, signing former Yankee Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million deal. He hit 26 home runs in the regular season, and has been a steady performer in the playoffs, hitting .294 with seven RBIs.


Signed Bartolo Colon in 2013.

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Colon, at 42 years old, is an ageless wonder as a reliever. While his numbers aren’t as impressive, Colon has great control over the ball, can still hit low 90s on his fastball, and gives the Mets some insurance from the bullpen.


Signed Wilmer Flores as an amateur free agent in 2007.

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Flores had a wild season. He was nearly traded in July and cried during the game, and only to find out he wasn’t traded. A week later, he hit a walk-off home run, and went on a hot streak, batting .280 with a .480 SLG after the All-Star break. He’s hitting .292 in the playoffs.


Signed Jeurys Familia as an amateur free agent in 2007.

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Familia has become the Mets’ dominant closer, adding even more firepower to the pitching rotation. He has six strikeouts and has allowed just two hits and no runs in nine innings in the playoffs.


This season may always be remembered by the crucial trades the Mets made mid-season, but they’ve made other successful trades in seasons past, too.

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Traded for Noah Syndegaard in 2012.

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The Mets traded former Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey for Syndegaard, just a prospect at the time, in 2012. Syndegaard is just 23 and had an outstanding first season, with 9-7 record, 3.24 ERA, 1.047 WHIP. In the postseason, he has a 2.77 ERA and 20 strikeouts in two starts.


Traded for Travis d’Arnaud in 2012.

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The Dickey trade also netted the Mets catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud has become a solid hitter, and batted .268 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs in just 67 games. He has three home runs in the postseason.


Traded for Kelly Johnson in 2015.

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Johnson was part of the Mets’ first round of midseason trades. While his role has diminished as the season has gone on, he was part of the Mets’ turnaround this year. In September, he hit .317 with a .908 OPS with two home runs and seven RBIs.


Traded for Tyler Clippard in 2015.

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Clippard has been a reliever and a closer and further bolsters the Mets’ pitching staff. He had a 3.06 ERA in 32 games with the Mets, though he’s struggled a bit in the playoffs.


Traded for Yoenis Cespedes in 2015.

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And the big trade that may forever represent this Mets season. The Mets acquired Cespedes at the last minute of the trade deadline, and he turned around their season. He hit 17 home runs and 44 RBIs with a .604 SLF and .941 OPS in 57 games with the Mets. He has a .453 SLG with seven RBIs in the postseason.

The big question hanging over the Mets is if he’ll be with the team after this season when he becomes a free agent in the offseason.


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