Throughout the 2000’s, the NL East has been one of the most polished division in the MLB, including two world championships and five world series appearances.
Along with having postseason success, this division has also produced a significant amount of talent. Since 2011, seven different players from the NL East have been inducted into the hall of fame.
Although the NL East hasn’t lived up to its standards within the past couple of years, it’s back on track to be one of the most competitive divisions in the MLB for a long time. With that being said, let’s take a look at the all 2000’s NL East Team.
Catcher – Mike Piazza
The most decorated hitter in Mets franchise history, Mike Piazza is no surprise to be the starting catcher for the all 2000’s NL East team. Piazza was not only a slugger offensively, but he was a hero to the city of New York. Nobody ever had a problem with Piazza, as he was easy to get along with in the clubhouse. Just recently elected into the hall of fame in 2016, Piazza can go down as the best hitting catcher of all time.
1st Base – Miguel Cabrera
Although Cabrera is mostly known for being a Tiger for the majority of his career, he was a feared middle of the lineup hitter from 2003 to 2007. At just 20 years old, Cabrera won a World Series with the Marlins. The most memorable at bat of his season that year was when he hit a home run off of Cy Young winner Roger Clemens in the World Series. He also had three seasons with them in which he batted over .300 and hit over 30 long balls.
2nd Base – Chase Utley
Perhaps the most famous player in franchise history and currently the most hated player in New York due to his dirty slide in the 2015 postseason, Chase Utley is no surprise to be the starting second baseman for the all 2000’s NL East team. Utley and Rollins up the middle were the most famous middle infield of the early 2000’s, as they brought home a World Series to Philadelphia in 2008. Utley is a possible Hall of Famer, in which he hit over 100 RBI’s on four different occasions and batted over .290 four times as well.
Shortstop – Jose Reyes
In his prime, Reyes was the most electric player of the early 2000’s. Although he may not be as good as he was in his prime, he’s still a feared hitter in the Mets lineup today. The left side of the infield with Reyes and Wright was the best left side of the infield the Mets have ever seen in franchise history. Reyes is the all-time leader in triples and stolen bases for the Mets.
3rd Base – Chipper Jones
Future hall of famer Chipper Jones was an easy pick for the starting third baseman for the All 2000’s team. Chipper help lead the Braves to eleven consecutive division titles, along with a World Series victory in 1995. Jones also broke the franchise record for most consecutive seasons batting over .300 in which he did it six years in a row (1998-2003).
Left Field – Jayson Werth
Jayson Werth‘s career is often overlooked because of the ridiculous 7 year/$126 Million contract he signed in 2011. Although Werth may not be worth that kind of money, he’s still extremely underrated to this day. Between the Nationals and the Phillies, Werth has batted over .290 on five different occasions and has been elected an All-Star twice. Werth definitely deserves a spot on the All 2000’s team.
Center Field – Juan Pierre
One of the scrappiest players of Marlins recent history, Juan Pierre, was a household name if you followed National League baseball. Although Pierre only played five seasons in the NL East, he played the best baseball of his career in this division. Pierre batted over .300 twice for the Marlins and once for the Phillies, where he led the league in hits in 2 out of 3 of those seasons. He was also apart of the Marlins World Series team in 2003.
Right Field – Giancarlo Stanton
Although Stanton is only 27 years of age and still has his best years ahead of him, Stanton is a lock for the starting right fielder position for the All-2000’s NL East team. Stanton signed an MLB record 13 year/$325 Million contract in 2015. This seems absurd to almost any MLB fan, but the Marlins organization believes he’s worth the money. Unfortunately for Marlins fans, Stanton has been battling injuries the majority of his career. The worst injury of his career was when he got drilled in the face by an 88 MPH fastball and was forced to have reconstructive face surgery. If Stanton stays healthy, there is no doubt he can be one of the all time greats.
Having played in the NL East for his entire career, the Hall of Famer is no doubt the ace of the All-2000’s pitching staff. Glavine won over 300 career games as a Brave and a Met, something only 24 pitchers in MLB history have done. Glavine’s 22 year career over 20 wins on five different occasions, along with two Cy Young awards and one World Series.
The other reason behind the Braves winning eleven NL East titles in a row, was Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. Maddux is known as the best defensive pitcher of all time, in which he won eighteen Gold Glove awards. On the bump, Maddux is eighth on the all time wins list with 355 wins, and has four Cy Young awards to his name, along with a World Series title. Glavine and Maddux were easily the best 1-2 punch of the late 90’s and the early 2000’s.
Like every good success story, it’s all about where you came from. Dominant in the NL East for almost nine years, Hamels rounds out the All 2000’s NL East rotation. Although Hamels never had the best of the best numbers statistically, he would be considered an ace on almost any MLB team. Not only does he have the capability of being an ace on any team, but he’s also a leader.
Hamels was elected an all star with the Phillies four different times, won a World Series and was apart of perhaps the best rotation in recent history. This rotation included former Cy Young winners Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Hamels. The Phillies were extremely lucky to have Hamels on their team for such a long time.