5. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets, Starting Pitcher
Noah Syndergaard at just the age of 24 is making a case to be the Mets ace in their pitching rotation. In 2 seasons, he has a career ERA of 2.89, with 23 wins and 384 strikeouts. He has continued to improve every time he’s out on the mound with his 97 plus mph fastball. Last season, he impressed the baseball universe throwing 7 shutout innings in the National League Wild Card game with 10 strikeouts, but Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants would be too much for the Mets to handle, as they would go on to lose the game. Without him, the Mets pitching staff would be in trouble as he is the only one to stay healthy in each of his seasons so far. Don’t forget he’s also a threat at the plate. Last season, he hit 3 home runs, including 2 in 1 game. The sky is the limit for him, and I expect him to be the Mets best pitcher for years to come and lead them to a World Series.
4. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets, Starting Pitcher
As of now, Jacob deGrom is still the best pitcher the Mets have. In the 2015 postseason, he came up big time for the Mets, especially in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers where he started 2 games, winning both with a 1.38 ERA and 20 strikeouts. In his 2 starts, he picked up the wins against 2 of the best pitchers in baseball in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. deGrom’s season was cut short in 2016 due to injury, but for his career in 3 seasons he has 30 wins with a 2.74 ERA and 492 strikeouts. He also won the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year. He is a little older than Noah Syndergaard at age 27, and I expect Syndergaard will pass him at some point as the Mets number 1 starter. Right now, deGrom is still slept on in this Mets pitching rotation, and right now he is the best pitcher they have.
3. Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets, Outfielder
The turning point of the 2015 season for the Mets was at the trading deadline when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. He hit the National League by storm after that trade, hitting 17 home runs for 44 RBI’s with a .287 batting average in 57 games. At one point, he was in the discussion for National League MVP, as he proved to be very valuable to the Mets. He was the bat they needed, and he was a major part in why they won the National League East, and would later win the National League Pennant. In 2016, injuries definitely affected his season. However, when he came back from injury, he led the Mets offense to a Wild Card berth, however they were eliminated against the San Francisco Giants. Don’t forget he is a game changer in the field, with a cannon of an arm, being a threat to throw out baserunners at any time. In his time with the Mets which is about a season and a half, he has 48 home runs for 130 RBI’s with a .282 batting average. Without Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets offense would be very weak. He is perfect for them along with their talented young pitching staff. If he stays healthy along with the pitching staff, this team could be a dynasty. He arguably means more to them than any of their pitchers because he jumpstarts their offense and makes everyone around him better.
2. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, Wide Receiver
Odell Beckham Jr. is a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL. He hit the league by storm in his rookie season, catching 12 touchdown passes for 1,305 yards in 12 games, and winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He is a game changing player for the giants, with incredible speed and arguably the best hands in the NFL. He has sort of helped revive Eli Manning’s career with the Giants, and made them relevant again after it looked like they were on their way down. For his career, he has 35 receiving touchdowns for 4,122 yards with 288 catches, as well as being a 3 time Pro Bowler. Beckham Jr. is arguably the best athlete in the NFL and one of the league’s most exciting players. As he continues to make strides every year, he has the potential to be the league’s best receiver at any moment. Having the potential to be the best receiver in the NFL will certainly land him on this list, which is why he ranks in at number 2. The Giants have a solid core with a great defense, and some playmakers on offense to help out Eli Manning. It is very possible that they win a Super Bowl with Odell Beckham Jr., but he has to continue to improve every year and have his head in the right place on the field.
1. John Tavares, New York Islanders, Center
At the age of just 26, John Tavares tops our list as the best athlete in New York. Being on 1 of the smaller market New York teams, he does not always get the respect he deserves. The former number 1 overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft has been a superstar since day 1. He continues to come up with clutch goals for the team, especially in the postseason. Who could forget his numbers in the 2016 playoffs, where he had 6 goals for the team, including the tying goal in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Florida Panthers with under 1 minute remaining in the 3rd period. To add to that, Tavares would later score the game winning goal in overtime in that game, leading the Islanders to their 1st playoff series win since the 1992-93 season. Tavares is a top 10 player in the NHL, and the Islander captain continues to improve every season. This Islanders team will only go as far as he leads them, as the team rallies around him. For his career, he has 514 total points on 227 goals and 287 assists in 561 games, as well as being a 2 time All Star. He has never won it, but has been in the MVP conversation numerous times. He’s certainly the MVP for all of New York teams, as this Islanders team would not be nearly as good without him. He means more to his team, than any other player in New York, which is why he is number 1 on this list. Fans hope he will lead the team to a Stanley Cup, and he certainly has the skill to do it.