It was 14 years ago that we watched with anticipation as the Mets promoted the highly rated, aggressive, speedy and charismatic Jose Reyes. The next year, Reyes was joined by the quiet, mild-mannered, smooth and sound David Wright.
The Mets have a similar dynamic about to hit the stage this August with prospects Amed Rosario (who was promoted to the Mets earlier this week) and Triple-A 1B Dominic Smith (who is expected to follow in Rosario's footsteps later this month).
During their first three years together with the Mets, Wright and Reyes scored more than 500 times, collected nearly 1,000 hits, won 205 games and got to the National League Championship Series, while also playing side-by-side during the 2006 All-Star Game.
Wright and Reyes from 2004-2007. Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Hopefully, history can repeat itself with Rosario and Smith, who have been teammates at various points during their minor league careers, including most of this season in Las Vegas.
Like Wright, I know Smith to be a calm and collected, fundamentally sound, true blue professional baseball player who has no problem being honest and making himself available to reporters. Dom is also laid back, but with a dash of swagger. He has significantly more showmanship and flare than David, but nearly not as much as Reyes and Rosario. Also like Wright, according to Smith's high school coach Wil Aaron, Smith has leadership in his DNA.
On the other hand, unlike Wright and Smith, but very much like a young Reyes, Rosario is flashy, vibrant, and quick.
"I'm always taking the extra base if I can,'' Rosario said Wednesday night. "I really trust my legs and when that ball is in front of me, I feel comfortable taking the extra base.''
Whereas Wright and Smith approach all aspects of the game in a disciplined and measured way, Reyes and Rosario are more reactionary, relying on instincts and hustle more than mindfulness.
"He almost moves fast to a fault," Neil Walker said of Rosario, according to the NY Post. "As far as the skill-set, though, it's all there.''
Reyes has been mentoring Rosario since Spring Training. According to multiple reports, they kept in contact by phone and through text messaging, with Reyes giving advice about life and baseball.
"He's the future of the organization and the future shortstop," said Reyes, who manned shortstop in New York for nearly a decade. "For me, it's not a problem at all. I'm going to be here to help him out with whatever he needs."
Meanwhile, as Smith continues to rake in Triple-A, Wright has resumed light baseball activity at the team's training complex in St. Lucie.
Wright's future on a baseball field may be in question. Reyes may or may not be retained by the Mets for next season. Thankfully, the torch that is two dynamic, homegrown position players is seemingly being passed on to Rosario and Smith.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!