Homegrown lineup source of pride for Mets

Homegrown lineup source of pride for Mets

Homegrown lineup source of pride for Mets
NEW YORK -- Before becoming Mets manager prior to the 2011 season, Terry Collins served one year as the organization's field coordinator -- a sort of Minor League supervisor. Among the players under his custody for parts of that summer were Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Josh Thole and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Those six took the field Monday alongside third baseman David Wright and pitcher Mike Pelfrey, marking the first time in nearly 22 years the Mets have fielded a starting lineup with eight homegrown players. The only exception was left fielder Jason Bay, who actually spent a brief portion of his Minor League career in the organization.

"The Mets should be pretty proud of this lineup tonight," Collins said.

Other than Wright, Pelfrey and Davis, none of that bunch ever garnered significant attention in the Minors as future stars. And yet the Mets, who boast two other homegrown starting pitchers and one homegrown reliever on the roster, managed to cull nearly an entire starting lineup from their farm.

"I think it's a tribute to the scouting system, the player development system, to get homegrown players to the big leagues," Collins said. "I think it's really quite a tribute to the organization."

Not counting September and October games that allow for expanded rosters, the Mets had not put eight homegrown players in their starting lineup since April 19, 1990, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That lineup included Greg Jeffries, Keith Miller, Darryl Strawberry, Mark Carreon, Dave Magadan, Barry Lyons, Kevin Elster and Dwight Gooden, homegrown players all. The lone exception was third baseman Howard Johnson, who came to New York in a trade from the Tigers.

Of the eight lifetime Mets in Monday's lineup, Wright was the only one not drafted or signed under former general manager Omar Minaya's watch.

"A lot of these guys came up together that are in this lineup today, and I think there's more to come," Collins said. "This organization has been ridiculed for not having a very good Minor League system. Well, we're running a pretty good lineup out there tonight, and they're all Mets."