New York Mets Mount Rushmore

CHICAGO - 1988: Right fielder Darryl Strawberry
CHICAGO - 1988: Right fielder Darryl Strawberry /
3 of 5
New York Mets
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 28: Dwight Gooden /

Dwight Gooden (1984-1994)

With his blazing fastball, Dwight Gooden took the National League by storm.

Selected with the fifth overall selection in the 1982 MLB Amateur Draft by the New York Mets, Gooden arrived in the majors after one minor league season. Although he was 19 years old, he was more than ready for the challenge, pacing the senior circuit with 276 strikeouts and a 1.073 WHiP. He finished second in the Cy Young vote and won the Rookie of the Year.

As impressive as that season was, 1985 was even greater. He won the Triple Crown, posting 24 wins, an incredible 1.54 ERA, and 268 strikeouts. He won the Cy Young and finished second in the MVP vote. Gooden appeared to have established himself as a superstar, the pitcher that would carry the Mets for the next decade.

Unfortunately, drug problems got in the way. Gooden still had some solid years but was never able to recapture the glory from those first two seasons. A four-time All-Star, he posted a 157-85 record, along with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.175 WHiP. In his 2169.2 innings, Gooden struck out 1875 batters while issuing only 651 walks. It was a solid run in New York, although it was not quite the performance the Mets had hoped for.

Dr. K was a bright young superstar before he turned 21. Unfortunately, he was never able to reclaim that magic from his first two seasons.