In the Mets' nice and surprising start to this season, let's take a moment to mention the person most responsible. Yes, former general manager Omar Minaya.

Just about every key player in this year's noteworthy beginning was brought in under the Minaya regime. Minaya, now a top Padres executive, was bombarded with criticism leading up to his firing after the 2010 season, but the reality is that he and his guys did a pretty good job gathering young talent, especially through the amateur draft, and especially considering that Minaya and Co. were hardly ever allowed to go above the recommended slot price for signing these amateur players.

Almost the entire Mets' nucleus, except the bullpen, came to New York in Minaya's regime. The only key position player who didn't was star third baseman David Wright, who was selected three years before Minaya came aboard and flourished in Minaya's time. The other starting position players and the starting pitchers are all tied to Minaya: Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey.

The bulk of those players are cost-efficient young talents who are contributing to the cause, with the pricier Bay and Santana being the lone exceptions. What's more, a lengthy list of decent prospects are on the way. They include pitchers Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Elvin Ramirez, third baseman Jefry Marte, infielder Wilmer Flores and second baseman Reese Havens. Even pitcher Zack Wheeler was obtained in a smart trade for Carlos Beltran, a Minaya sign.

Reached by phone, Minaya said, "I personally don't want to take the credit. It's just not my style,'' Minaya went on to say that new GM Sandy Alderson, his first lieutenant Paul DePodesta and manager Terry Collins should get the credit. Them and the players. Well actually, them, the players and the scouts who brought those players in.

Collins is one who recognized some of the talent down there as a key developmental person before he was elevated to the manager's chair. For the record, Minaya (along with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon) are the ones who originally brought Collins in to the organization before Alderson and DePodesta hired Collins.

The scouts who brought all those impressive young players in include Rudy Terrases, Sandy Johnson, Ismael Cruz, Rafael Perez, Bryan Lambe, Tony Bernazard and Russ Bove.

Minaya was criticized for years for allegedly doing big signings while disregarding the development system. But in reality, considering ownership's order to stick to slot except in very rare cases (such as Pelfrey), Minaya and his men did a better than average job procuring young talent.

Minaya's men always believed they had more talent in the Mets system than folks were saying. Now as we see under the new regime, that is proving to be the case.