Before they were World Series bound: Mets

Before they were World Series bound: Mets

The Mets are headed to the World Series for the first time since 2000, and here's the skinny on the origins of every player wearing the orange and blue.

Matt Harvey, RHP
Born: New London, Conn.
DOB: 3/27/89
HS: Fitch Senior (Conn.) High School
College: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Minors: St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA)
• Harvey was coached at Fitch Senior by his father, Ed, who played center field for the University of Connecticut in the 1970s.
• Imagine facing this rotation. Oakland A's pitcher Jesse Hahn took the ball for Fitch on days Harvey wasn't pitching.
• During his three years at UNC, Harvey played with future big leaguers Kyle Seager, Tim Federowicz, Dustin Ackley, Adam Warren and Alex White.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

Jacob deGrom, RHP
Born: DeLand, Fla.
DOB: 6/19/88
HS: Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.) High School
College: Stetson University
Minors: Kingsport (R), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• deGrom played shortstop until his junior year at Stetson, when coaches realized his strong arm and lanky frame could be an asset on the mound. In the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament in 2010, deGrom homered off Florida Gulf Coast -- and current Chicago White Sox -- ace Chris Sale. Only 10 Stetson players have made the Majors, including deGrom and Indians ace Corey Kluber.
• A total of 272 players were selected ahead of deGrom in the 2010 MLB draft, including rotation mates Matt Harvey (No.7 overall) and Noah Syndergaard (No. 38 overall to Toronto).
• deGrom tied a Major League record when he struck out the first eight batters he faced against the Marlins on Sept. 15, 2014. He set a career high with 13 strikeouts that night on his way to becoming the fifth Mets player to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. deGrom credits Johan Santana for teaching him his changeup.

Noah Syndergaard, RHP
Born: Mansfield, Texas
DOB: 8/29/92
HS: Legacy (Texas) High School
Minors: GCL Blue Jays (R), Bluefield (R), Vancouver (A-), Lansing (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Syndergaard was acquired with Travis d'Arnaud and John Buck from the Blue Jays for R.A. Dickey and two backup catchers in 2012. In an ironic twist, Dickey (40) and Syndergaard (22) both used the Game of Thrones theme song as their walk-up music in 2015.
• Syndergaard represented the United States in both the 2013 and '14 MLB Futures Games, earning a save in a combined two innings of scoreless work.
• A rabid fiction fan, Syndergaard names all his gloves after book, television and movie characters. He has a glove named "Thor" (a nod to his own nickname), and others named "Heisenberg" (Breaking Bad) and "Drago" (Rocky IV).

Postseason
Before they were postseason bound

Bartolo Colon, RHP
Born: Altamira, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
DOB: 5/24/73
HS: Puerto Plata (D.R.)
Minors: Burlington (R), Kinston (A+), Canton-Akron (AA), Buffalo (AAA)
• Colon's career impact spans tentacles more than half a century long. He pitched against Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in his first career start. Murray was born in 1956. This season, Colon sat two lockers down from infielder Dilson Herrera, who was born in 1994.
• Colon set two Mets franchise records in 2015. First, he threw 48 1/3 consecutive innings without walking a batter to pass Bret Saberhagen, who set the previous record in 1994. In June, Colon registered a decision for the 26th straight start, besting Dwight Gooden's franchise mark, also set in 1994.
• Colon is the last active player to have played for the Montreal Expos. He went 10-4 in 17 starts for a Montreal team in 2002 that also featured Vladimir Guerrero and former Mets Cliff Floyd and Scott Strickland.

Jon Niese, LHP
Born: Lima, Ohio
DOB: 10/27/86
HS: Defiance (Ohio) High School
Minors: GCL Mets (R), Hagerstown (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), New Orleans (AAA), Buffalo (AAA)
• Niese was born on Oct. 27, 1986, the day the Mets clinched their second World Series title. He was drafted by New York in 2005 and is currently the longest-tenured member of the Mets pitching staff.
• Niese was Little League and high school teammates with Phillies starter Chad Billingsley in Defiance, Ohio.
• Niese became the second Mets pitcher this season to miss the birth of a child because of a game. On July 24, his wife gave birth to a boy, Tatum Jeffery. In June, closer Jeurys Familia locked down a save while his fiancé gave birth to a son, Jeurys Jr.

Steven Matz, LHP
Born: Stony Brook, N.Y.
DOB: 5/29/91
HS: Ward Melville (N.Y.) High School
Minors: Kingsport (R), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• As a high school senior, Matz battled current Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman in one of the most anticipated high school baseball games on Long Island in living memory. With scouts from all 30 Major League teams on hand, Stroman threw a three-hitter. Matz struck out 12 in a one-hit, 1-0 win.
• Matz was named the Mets' Organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2014 after going 10-9 with a 2.25 ERA in 24 starts between St. Lucie and Binghamton.
• Matz's historic Major League debut made him a folk hero on his native Long Island. The Se-Port Deli in East Setauket, N.Y., named a chicken-cutlet hero after Matz the next day. Shortly after, Matz and Jacob deGrom walked into the eatery and ordered something else.

Jeurys Familia, RHP
Born: Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
DOB: 10/10/89
HS: Liceo Analilian Miranda (D.R.)
Minors: GCL Mets (R), Brooklyn (A-), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Named the Mets' Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after posting a 2.69 ERA in 23 starts for Savannah (A). Familia was used mostly as a starter throughout his Minor League career.
• Familia played for the World Team in the 2010 All-Star Futures Game, along with future MLB teammate Alex Torres. Other future big leaguers on that squad included Henderson Alvarez, Julio Teheran, Yonder Alonso and Brett Lawrie.
• Familia's fiancé gave birth to the couple's first son June 12 as Familia wiggled out of a bases-loaded situation to lock down a save against the Braves. Familia's 27 saves were the third most in baseball before the All-Star break.

Tyler Clippard, RHP
Born: Lexington, Ky.
DOB: 2/14/85
HS: J.W. Mitchell (Fla.) High School
Minors: GCL Yankees (R), Battle Creek (A), Charleston (A), Tampa (A+), Trenton (AA), Columbus (AAA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA), Syracuse (AAA)
• As a teenager, Clippard was a member of the Palm Harbor team that won the Senior League World Series that toppled a team featuring Troy Tulowitzki for the national championship in 2001.
• Clippard twice represented the Washington Nationals on the National League All-Star team in 2011 and '14. Clippard pitched to a 10-4 record and a 1.99 ERA in 158 2/3 innings out of the bullpen over the course of those seasons.
• Clippard came up as a starting pitcher with the Yankees, starting six games in their 2007 rotation that also featured Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Ian Kennedy.

Addison Reed, RHP
Born: Montclair, Calif.
DOB: 12/27/88
HS: Los Osos (Calif.) High School
College: San Diego State
Minors: Great Falls (R), Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+), Birmingham (AA), Charlotte (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Saved 20 games for a San Diego state rotation led by Stephen Strasburg in 2009. Entered the rotation a year later and went 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 11 starts.
• Became the youngest pitcher in White Sox history to record 40 saves in a season when he notched 40 in 2013.
• New York acquired Reed from Arizona on Aug. 30 for Minor League pitchers Miller Diaz and Matt Koch.

Sean Gilmartin, LHP
Born: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
DOB: 5/8/90
HS: Crespi Carmelite (Calif.) High School
College: Florida State University
Minors: GCL Braves (R), Rome (A), Surprise (AZFL), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA)
• Gilmartin is the fifth player from Crespi Carmelite to reach the Majors, joining Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe and recently retired Jeff Suppan.
• An All-American during his junior season, Gilmartin became one of Florida State's now 22 first-round picks in program history. Gilmartin's company includes Buster Posey, J.D. Drew and Stephen Drew, Cardinals farmhand Luke Weaver and Indians prospect James Ramsay.
• Gilmartin pitched and also played outfield for FSU. He took those two-way talents to the USA Baseball's 2010 Collegiate National Team, where Gilmartin shared the dugout with future big leaguers like Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, George Springer and Anthony Rendon.

Hansel Robles, RHP
Born: Bonao, Monsenor Nouel, Dominican Republic
DOB: 8/13/90
HS: Escuela Basic Sonador (Bonao, D.R.)
Minors: Kingsport (R), Brooklyn (A-), Mets (Gulf), St. Lucie (A+), Scottsdale (AZFL), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Robles began his career as a starter, and was named a Sterling Award recipient at Brooklyn after leading the New York Penn League in ERA in 2012. Robles compiled a 45-inning scoreless streak during the stretch run.
• Robles was born and still resides in the town of Bonao, where current and former Major Leaguers Juan Francisco, Carlos Marmol, Joel Peralta and Wilin Rosario are also from.
• Talk about being thrown into the fire. The first hitter Robles faced in his MLB debut in April was Alex Rodriguez with two men on. Rodriguez managed an infield single before Robles recorded the next three outs to strand the bases loaded.

Carlos Torres, RHP
Born: Santa Cruz, Calif.
DOB: 10/22/82
HS: Aptos (Calif.) High School
College: Kansas State University
Minors: Bristol (R), Great Falls (R), Kannapolis (A), Winston-Salem (A+), Birmingham (AA), Charlotte (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Torres originally attended San Jose State before transferring to Kansas State, where he became the highest-drafted Wildcat since Pat Hertzel in 1998.
• Torres played one season for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League, posting a 6.26 ERA in six starts on a team that also featured former White Sox infielder Josh Fields.
• Back in the Majors, Torres led all relievers with 92 innings pitched in 2014. No Mets reliever had thrown that many since Terry Leach in 1988.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 17 NYM 4, CHC 2
Gm 2 Oct. 18 NYM 4, CHC 1
Gm 3 Oct. 20 NYM 5, CHC 2
Gm 4 Oct. 21 NYM 8, CHC 3

Eric O'Flaherty, LHP
Born: Walla Walla, Wash.
DOB: 2/5/85
HS: Walla Walla (Wash.) High School
Minors: AZL Mariners (R), Everett (A-), Wisconsin (A), Inland Empire (A+), San Antonio (AA), Tacoma (AAA), West Tennessee (AA), Gwinnett (AAA), Sacramento (AAA)
• O'Flaherty is the first player from Walla Walla High to reach the big leagues since Tony Criscola in 1942. A light-hitting outfielder, Criscola played until 1945.
• The Mariners drafted O'Flaherty in the sixth round in 2003, five picks ahead of a high school outfielder named Matt Kemp.
• O'Flaherty became the first pitcher in Mariners history to begin his career by winning seven consecutive games. Later, in 2011 with Atlanta, O'Flaherty became the first reliever to post a sub-1.00 ERA with at least 70 appearances.

Dario Alvarez, LHP
Born: Santiago, Dominican Republic
DOB: 1/17/89
HS: Liceo Herminia Perez (D.R.) 
Minors: DSL Phillies (R), Brooklyn (A-), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Alvarez has pitched professionally in Japan (2010), Panama (2010-2011) and Venezuela (2012).
• He is one of three Mets players to leap from Class A to the Majors in the same season over the last two years. Dilson Herrera and Akeel Morris also accomplished that feat.
• Alvarez posted a 2.63 ERA in 45 appearances across two levels in 2015, including a 0.90 mark in 13 games for Las Vegas.

Erik Goeddel, RHP
Born: San Mateo, Calif.
DOB: 12/20/88
HS: Bellarmine College Prep (Calif.)
College: UCLA
Minors: GCL Mets (R), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Goeddel reached the College World Series in 2010 with UCLA, where he didn't allow an earned run in two appearances.
• He was teammates with Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole at UCLA.
• Goeddel is the 14th alumni of Bellarmine Prep to reach the Majors, a group that includes Eric Thames and Pat Burrell.

Jerry Blevins, LHP
Born: Johnson City, Tenn.
DOB: 9/6/83
HS: Arcadia (Ohio) High School
College: University of Dayton
Minors: Boise (A-), Peoria (A), Daytona (A+), Midland (AA), Tennessee (AA), Sacramento (AAA)
• Blevins, who is out for the season with a broken left arm -- went from walk-on at Dayton to the school's seventh Major Leaguer. He pitched with Nationals reliever Craig Stammen in college, and the two were reunited as teammates in Washington in 2014.
• Blevins won a Gold Medal with Team USA in the 2007 World Cup in Taiwan, and he represented USA again in 2014 at the All-Star Series in Japan, where he was teammates with Lucas Duda.
• The inquisitive, professorial lefty says he's been mistaken on the street for actor David Schwimmer, who is famous for playing Ross Geller on Friends.

Bobby Parnell, RHP
Born: Salisbury, N.C.
DOB: 9/8/84
HS: East Rowan (N.C.) High School
College: Charleston Southern University
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), Hagerstown (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), New Orleans (AAA), Buffalo (AAA)
• The longest-tenured member of the Mets' bullpen, Parnell is one of 10 members of the New York staff to have undergone Tommy John surgery. He missed most of the 2014 season recovering.
• An animal and outdoor enthusiast, Parnell owns seven dogs. He also played goalie and free safety for his high school's soccer and football teams.
• Many relievers come up as starters. Parnell came up as a hybrid, starting eight games and making 60 relief appearances during his rookie year in 2009. He became just the fourth rookie in the modern era to make at least 60 appearances and seven starts, along with Scott Bailes, Rollie Fingers and Fergie Jenkins.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 9 NYM 3, LAD 1
Gm 2 Oct. 10 LAD 5, NYM 2
Gm 3 Oct. 12 NYM 13, LAD 7
Gm 4 Oct. 13 LAD 3, NYM 1
Gm 5 Oct. 15 NYM 3, LAD 2

Travis d'Arnaud, C
Born: Long Beach, Calif.
DOB: 2/10/89
HS: Lakewood (Calif.) High School
Minors: GCL Phillies (R), Williamsport (A-), Lakewood (A), Dunedin (A+), New Hampshire (AA), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA),
• d'Arnaud was twice traded for a Cy Young Award winner as a prospect. Besides being dealt with Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey, d'Arnaud was also sent from the Phillies to the Blue Jays in a package for Roy Halladay in 2009.
• d'Arnaud played for Team USA in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Panama, along with future Major Leaguers A.J. Pollock, Drew Smyly and Matt Shoemaker.
• After breaking his hand April 19, d'Arnaud used MLB.com's At Bat app to keep up with Mets happenings while on a rehab assignment.

Kevin Plawecki, C
Born: Carmel, Ind.
DOB: 2/26/91
HS: Westfield (Ind.) High School
College: Purdue University
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Plawecki became the first player in Purdue history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year after leading the conference in doubles and runs scored and making 49 starts behind the plate. Plawecki was also Purdue's highest Draft pick since 2002.
• The Mets chose Plawecki with the No.35 pick in 2012, as compensation for losing Jose Reyes to free agency.
• Plawecki is set to marry fiancé Tayler Francel in San Diego in November, when Mets prospect Matt Reynolds will serve as one of the groomsmen.

Anthony Recker, C
Born: Allentown, Pa.
DOB: 8/29/83
HS: Catasauqua (Pa.) High School
College: Alvernia College
Minors: Vancouver (A-), Kane County (A), Stockton (A+), Midland (AA), Sacramento (AAA), Tennessee (AA), Iowa (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Recker finished his college career second on the Alvernia list in home runs (44) and RBIs (210). Mets farmhand Zach Lutz is the only other player from Alvernia to reach the Majors.
• He totaled 108 career Minor League home runs, including 17 in 2007 across two levels in the Oakland organization.
• Recker is an avid Harry Potter fan.

Lucas Duda, 1B
Born: Los Angeles
DOB: 2/3/86
HS: Arlington (Calif.) High School
College: University of Southern California
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Over an eight-game stretch between July and August, Duda became the first MLB player with eight straight hits to go for homers since Detroit's Marcus Thames in 2008.
• Duda was college teammates at USC with future Major Leaguers Ian Kennedy, Tommy Milone and Ryan Cook.
• Duda went 4-for-10 with an 1.100 OPS in four games for the United States during the 2014 All-Star Series in Japan. Duda was the lone Mets representative.

Daniel Murphy, 2B/3B/1B
Born: Jacksonville, Fla.
DOB: 4/1/85
HS: Englewood Senior (Fla.) High School
College: Jacksonville University
Minors: Kingsport (R), Mets (Gulf), Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), New Orleans (AAA).
• Murphy was a four-year letter winner in swimming at Englewood, but excelled like he has everywhere else, at the plate. He hit .395 his senior year, the last of three consecutive All-Gateway-honored seasons.
• Murphy became the third Mets second baseman to make an All-Star team when he was selected in 2014, joining Edgardo Alfonzo (2000) and Ron Hunt (1964, '66).
• This season, Murphy passed Howard Johnson, Jose Reyes and Ed Kranepool to jump into second place on the Mets' all-time doubles list.

Wilmer Flores, SS/2B
Born: Valencia, Venezuela
DOB: 8/6/91
HS: Inra (Venezuela)
Minors: Kingsport (R), Brooklyn (A-), Savannah (A), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• Flores twice played for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game, in St. Louis in 2009 and in Kansas City in '12.
• He became the second Mets player to debut on his birthday, doing so on Aug. 6, 2013 in Colorado, joining right-handed pitcher John Pacella in 1977.
• Call it a family name. One of five children, Flores has two brothers also named Wilmer. They're all named after their father, Wilmer Sr.

Ruben Tejada, SS
Born: Veraguas, Panama
DOB: 10/27/89
Minors: Mets (VZSL), Mets (Gulf), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA)
• Tejada represented Panama multiple times in international tournaments. He played in the 2000 Little League World Series with his Santiago de Veraguas team and in the '09 World Baseball Classic.
• Tejada's WBC teammates include Major Leaguers Carlos Lee, Carlos Ruiz and Bruce Chen. Forty-five players have made the Major Leagues from Panama. Tejada grew up idolizing Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel, who is from Venezuela.
• He was the youngest player in the Majors when he made his debut April 7, 2010. Tejada was also the youngest player in all of Double-A when he hit .289 for Binghamton in 2009.

Juan Uribe, INF
Born: Palenque, Dominican Republic
DOB: 3/22/79
HS: Abel Uribe (D.R.) High School
Minors: AZL Rockies (R), Asheville (A), Salem (A+), Carolina (AA), Colorado Springs (AAA)
• Uribe and teammate Michael Cuddyer were born five days apart in 1979, and both signed by Colorado in 1997 (Uribe as a free agent, Cuddyer as a first-round Draft pick). Although they combined to play six seasons for the Rockies, Cuddyer and Uribe were never teammates until the Mets traded for Uribe on July 25. Just more than two weeks later, Uribe and Cuddyer recorded their 1,500 career hits -- on the same night.
• Juan is the nephew of former infielder Jose Uribe, who played for the Cardinals, Giants and Astros from 1984-1993.
• Uribe won World Series titles with the White Sox in 2005 and Giants in '10, compiling seven RBIs in nine career Fall Classic games.

David Wright, 3B
Born: Norfolk, Va.
DOB: 12/20/82
HS: Hickory (Va.) High School
Minors: Kingsport (R), Capital City (A), St. Lucie (A+), Peoria (AZFL), Binghamton (AA), Norfolk (AAA)
• Wright played amateur travel baseball with Justin Upton and Melvin Upton Jr. in the Hampton Bays area of Virginia, often carpooling to games. Michael Cuddyer, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Zimmerman and Justin Verlander are also from the region.
• New York drafted Wright during the supplemental round of the 2001 Draft, with the compensation pick earned for losing pitcher Mike Hampton to free agency. Hampton went 21-28 with a 5.75 ERA in two seasons for Colorado, while the Mets found their franchise cornerstone.
• Wright was named the fourth captain in Mets history in 2013, joining Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and John Franco as the only men to don the "C" in franchise history.

Yoenis Cespedes, OF
Born: Campechuela, Granma, Cuba
DOB: 10/18/85
Minors: Sacramento (AAA)
• Cespedes grew up idolizing retired slugger Manny Ramirez, but he credits his mother for his love for baseball. His mother, Estela Milanes, is a former pitcher for the Cuban national softball team.
• Cespedes starred for the Cuban national team that placed sixth in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. That team also featured future Major Leaguers Aroldis Chapman, Leonys Martin and Hector Olivera.
• Cespedes was traded from Oakland to Boston at the 2014 Trade Deadline for Jonny Gomes and Jon Lester, and to Detroit that offseason for starter Rick Porcello. The Mets acquired him in July for Minor League pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

Michael Conforto, OF
Born: Seattle
DOB: 3/1/93
HS: Redmond (Wash.) High School
College: Oregon State University
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA)
• Conforto comes from athletic roots. His father, Mike, played linebacker for Penn State in the 1970s. His mother, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, won two gold medals in synchronized swimming at the 1984 Olympics.
• Conforto homered while representing the Northwest Region in the 2004 Little League World Series. In the same game, Conforto watched three home runs hit by now-Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk sail over his head. Conforto's Redmond Little League was eliminated by a Kentucky team led by ace Cole Sturgeon, who is now a Red Sox farmhand.
• When he was promoted after just 113 Minor League games, Conforto became the quickest Oregon State alum to reach the Majors. Jacoby Ellsbury is another notable former Beaver.

Michael Cuddyer, OF/1B
Born: Norfolk, Va.
DOB: 3/27/79
HS: Great Bridge (Va.) High School
Minors: Fort Wayne (A), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Edmonton (AAA), Rochester (AAA)
• Cuddyer was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 1997, when he starred in baseball (as well as football and basketball) for Great Bridge. Cuddyer was also a student government president and member of the National Honor Society. He went back to substitute teach at Great Bridge after his rookie year and still lives in the area.
• After Cuddyer signed with the Rockies in 2011, he chose to wear No. 3 to honor Twins legend Harmon Killebrew, with whom he grew close with during his 11 years in Minnesota.
• Cuddyer is one of just three players to hit for the cycle in both the American (2009, with Twins) and National Leagues (2014, with Rockies). He is also a former batting champion (2013, with Colorado).

Curtis Granderson, OF
Born: Blue Island, Ill.
DOB: 3/16/81
HS: Thornton Fractional South (Ill.) High School
College: University of Illinois at Chicago
Minors: Oneonta (A-), Lakeland (A+), Erie (AA), Toledo (AAA)
• Granderson ranked second among all NCAA Division I players with a .483 average as a junior at UIC. He holds the school's single-season marks for hitting, runs and hits, and the all-time record for runs scored (178).
• Known for his charitable nature and charismatic personality, Granderson has represented MLB in various international endeavors. He served as an ambassador on baseball's ventures to Europe, South Africa, China and Taiwan.
• A three-time All-Star and former Silver Slugger, Granderson also won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2009. The award honors the individual who best combined on-the-field play with off-the-field community contributions.

Kelly Johnson, INF/OF
Born: Austin, Texas
DOB: 2/22/82
HS: Westwood (Texas) High School
Minors: GCL Braves (R), Macon (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Greenville (AA), Richmond (AAA), Gwinnett (AAA)
• Johnson joined the Mets in July after spending parts of five of his 10 Major League seasons with the Braves. Johnson came up with Atlanta in 2003, when Atlanta -- not yet Philadelphia -- were the Mets' biggest rivals. But don't blame Johnson. He was traded to New York, just as he was from the Yankees to the Red Sox in 2014.
• Boston then traded Johnson to Baltimore after a month, making Johnson the only player to play for every AL East team since MLB went to six divisions in 1994. Johnson played for Toronto from 2011-2012, and Tampa Bay in 2013.
• Johnson keeps three different gloves in his locker. Much of his value comes from his versatility. The veteran has appeared in at least 50 games at four positions, and 30 more at designated hitter. He was drafted as a shortstop, but never appeared there in the big leagues until this season.

Juan Lagares, OF
Born: Constanza, La Vega, Dominican Republic
DOB: 3/17/89
HS: Centro Educativo Juan Pablo Duarte (D.R.)
Minors: DSL Mets (R), Savannah (A), Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• The talent that earned Lagares a 2014 Gold Glove Award was foreshadowed early. In 2012, he set the Binghamton Mets record for most putouts by an outfielder (353) in a single season.
• Yet that potential didn't always seem so guaranteed. Lagares played shortstop as a prospect, where he made 69 errors in his first three seasons before shifting to the outfield.
• Lagares' Gold Glove Award made him the 10th Mets player to earn such hardware, and third in center field. Lagares joined Tommy Agee (1970) and Carlos Beltran (2006-2008) in the exclusive outfield club.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Born: Santa Monica, Calif.
DOB: 7/7/87
HS: Denver Christian (Colo.) High School
College: Azusa Pacific University
Minors: Brooklyn (A-), St. Lucie (A+), Binghamton (AA), Buffalo (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• A two-sport athlete in high school, Nieuwenhuis won a Colorado state title at running back for Denver Christian in 2004.
• Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt is also an alumni of Azusa Pacific, a NAIA program located in suburban Los Angeles.
• No Mets player had ever hit three home runs in a home game until Nieuwenhuis shocked the world with three blasts against the D-backs on July 12. 

Eric Young Jr., OF
Born: New Brunswick, N.J.
DOB: 5/25/85
HS: Piscataway (N.J.) High School
College: Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Ariz.)
Minors: Casper (R), Asheville (A), Modesto (A+), Tulsa (AA), Colorado Springs (AAA), Gwinnett (AAA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• The son of former Major Leaguer Eric Young inherited his father's speed. The junior Young owns 144 career stolen bases, compared to his dad's 465.
• This is Young's second stint with New York. He became the second Mets player to lead the NL in stolen bases when he swiped 46 (38 with New York) in 2013.
• Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is also an alumni of Chandler-Gilbert.