This series was on a brief hiatus because of some personal matters I had to attend to (such as finally graduating college and moving). So, while I might be late to the game and the injured Kyle Freeland has already been barely outdueled by the injured Jacob deGrom, let’s get into some of the best Colorado Rockies/New York Mets players in history.
Total Number of Shared Players: 83 (third-most behind the Padres and Cardinals)
Players to play exclusively for the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets:
Here are the top 5 players to play for the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets.
5. Jose Reyes
The first two players to make this list do not make it necessarily because of their performance as a Colorado Rockies player, but how their addition immediately changed the direction of the franchise.
Jose Reyes is the epitome of this. He was the centerpiece of the Rockies’ much-maligned trade of Troy Tulowitzki in 2015. Reyes was in the Mets system for 12 years before being signed by Miami and then Toronto. His numbers were still good despite how old he was getting, and the Rockies used him as a key piece of the return in the Tulo trade.
One suspension later, Reyes only played 47 games for the Rockies before being released.
The trade represented new GM Jeff Bridich blowing up the old guard and beginning a quick rebuild. Tulowitzki and Reyes being gone opened up the shortstop position to a young Trevor Story, who has blown away the league since.
4. Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy is again a player who will go down as “what could have been” in Rockies history.
Signed in 2019 to an identical contract as DJ LeMahieu signed with the Yankees, Murphy was an aging player who was hobbled by injuries during his two years with the Rockies. Murphy was the only Major League free agent that Jeff Bridich signed in the 2019 offseason after promising to build a team around Nolan Arenado and extend Colorado’s playoff window. The Rockies built nothing and the playoff window was slammed closed, and this signing can be pointed to as a possible point where it all went wrong.
While not great in a Rockies uniform, Murphy was indeed a great member of the Mets. Drafted by the Mets in 2006, he made his way through the system and was the NLCS MVP during the Mets’ great run to the World Series in 2015. The following year he would join the Nationals, which was a great run to be told in a different article.
3. Mike Hampton
Mike Hampton was in the Rockies rotation for two seasons and in the Mets rotation for only one. The reason he makes this list is that he made the most of his time with both clubs.
With the Rockies, Hampton was an All-Star and earned two Silver Slugger awards. He earned both by hitting a .291 batting average with an impressive seven home runs in 2001 (before then he had never hit an MLB homer). That was followed by a .344 batting average and three homers in 2002.
While his pitching was not as impressive as it was with the Astros or the Mets, Hampton truly found his bat at Coors Field. Now before you yell “Coors!” into the computer, I want to point out that Hampton had a very good bat throughout his career, making him a threat from both sides of the ball.
This was also experienced in his time with the Mets, where not only did he win the Silver Slugger during his single season, but he also is the second person on this list to be a NLCS MVP, winning the title with the Mets in 2000, when they would lose to the Yankees in the World Series.
2. Eric Young Jr.
More from Colorado Rockies All-Time Lists
- The top 5 best trades in Colorado Rockies history
- The 10 worst contracts in Colorado Rockies history
- Colorado Rockies: The top 5 home run hitters in franchise history
- Colorado Rockies: What are Trevor Story’s top 5 moments?
- Top 5 players to play for the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers
Eric Young Jr. was a legacy draft pick for the Colorado Rockies in 2003. His father was a Rockies legend, and taking him in the 30th round meant that he would have to work his way from the bottom to make the team. It took Young Jr. six years to make it to the majors in 2009, which would be the only playoff appearance of Young Jr.’s 17-year career.
In 2013, the only season of his career in which he played over 100 games, Young Jr. was traded to the Mets. That 2013 season, Eric Young Jr. was the National League steals champion. Unfortunately for Young Jr., he was traded to the Braves in 2015 in the middle of the season that would lead to the World Series appearance for the Mets.
While he never broke out past that 2013 season, Eric Young Jr.’s story is seared into the minds of Rockies fans, descended of one of the franchise greats, always hoping it would be his year. As a final note, I will say it is a shame we never saw Eric Young Sr. and Eric Young Jr. play on the field together. There was a three-year overlap in their careers as Young Sr. didn’t retire until 2006. Another note is that it is also a shame that Young Sr. was brought on as a Rockies’ first base coach just months after Young Jr. was traded, meaning that we just barely missed seeing them both on the field in their Rockies attire. Ah, well, maybe I was just the only one who cared. Anyway, onto number one.
1. Michael Cuddyer
Not only was Michael Cuddyer the National League batting champion, Silver Slugger, and an All-Star Game starter for the Colorado Rockies, the All-Star Game was in New York, hosted by the team he would retire with, the New York Mets. That factoid may seem useless on the surface, but it sure applies to the article at hand.
Cuddyer’s 2013 season with the Rockies was nothing short of fantastic. After injuries in 2014, the Rockies released him, and the Mets picked him up in 2015. You might guess what that means, we have yet another Mets starter on this list from the 2015 World Series appearance.
He was a starter for the campaign similar to Daniel Murphy. He was not as productive on the Mets as he was during his time with the Twins and Rockies, but he was there through it all that season, seeing the glory of making it, just to stumble at the last mark.
Cuddyer was a great Rockie and was a starter in one of the greatest moments in recent New York Mets history, perfectly fitting of the number one spot.
Note: Data for this article was found using Baseball Reference