Greatest Mets Hitters of All Time
This list is based on a minimum of 500 at-bats in a New York Mets uniform, and it's also based strictly on each player's batting average with the team. It's fascinating to think that in the team's 45-year history, there are only four such players with a lifetime Mets batting average over .300, and two of those (Paul Lo Duca and David Wright) are currently with the team (as of 2007).
1. Lance Johnson-Chances are when you think of some of the Mets' greatest hitters, Lance Johnson does not immediately come to mind. But with 500 at-bats as a minimum requirement, Johnson is the team's all-time leading hitter, with a .326 average. Johnson played for the Mets for one full season, 1996, and then part of the 1997 season before being traded to the Cubs. In that 1996 season, Johnson made the National League all-star team, hitting .333 with 227 hits including 31 doubles and 21 triples.
2. Paul Lo Duca-Lo Duca is best known as Mike Piazza's replacement behind the plate in New York, and he's almost made everyone forget about Piazza. All Lo Duca has done is hit .319 as a Met, and he hit .455 in the Division Series against the Dodgers in 2006. Lo Duca is one of the toughest men to strike out in the game, fanning only 38 times in 512 at-bats in 2006. He also hit 39 doubles among his 163 hits in 2006.
3. John Olerud-Olerud played three seasons with the Mets, from 1997-99. His career .315 batting average with the team is aided by his 1998 season, when he hit .354 with 36 doubles, 22 home runs and 93 RBI. That season, Olerud finished second in the National League in batting average to the Rockies' Larry Walker, and it remains the single best batting average in a season for a Mets player.
4. David Wright-If David Wright stays with the Mets for a long time, he is going to break a lot of the team's offensive records. In his first two full seasons as a major leaguer, Wright hit .306 in 2005 and .311 in 2006. His career average to date is .305 with 67 home runs, 102 doubles, and 261 RBI.
5. Tommy Davis-Though he only played one full season with the Mets (1967), Tommy Davis hit .302 that year with 16 homers, 32 doubles, and 73 RBI. He was later traded to the White Sox in the deal that brought Tommie Agee and Al Weis to New York.
6. Rickey Henderson-He only played one full season with the Mets, in 1999 when he batted .315 with 30 doubles and 37 stolen bases. The 37 steals was an amazing feat when you consider that Henderson was over 40 years old at the time. After getting out of the gate hitting just .219, the Mets released Rickey early in the 2000 campaign. He finished with a Mets career batting average of .298.
7. Keith Hernandez-He was one of the biggest fan favorites the team has ever seen, and he was also one of the greatest clutch hitters in both Mets history and maybe in baseball history. Hernandez hit over .300 in his first four seasons with the Mets, 1983-86. He was one of the players that helped lead the team to a world championship in 1986, and over his career as a Met hit .297 with 939 hits, 159 doubles, 80 home runs and 468 RBI.
8. Mike Piazza-Mike Piazza was another player who was beloved by fans in New York. He is a gritty player who is arguably the greatest hitting catcher in the history of the game. As a Met from 1998-2005, Piazza hit .298 with 220 home runs and 655 RBI. His best season with the team was 2000 when he led the Mets to the World Series with a .324 average, 38 home runs and 113 RBI. Piazza also made the National League all-star team six times as a Met.
9. Edgardo Alfonzo-He was a great contact hitter and an incredible fielder at third base as well, and hit .292 in eight seasons as a Met. Alfonso trails only Cleon Jones and Ed Kranepool in total hits in a Mets uniform, with 1,136. His best season was 1999 when he batted .304 with 27 home runs and 108 RBI.
10. Dave Magadan-Magadan came out of nowhere as a September call-up in 1986, but the team had trouble finding playing time for him at first base (Keith Hernandez) and at third base (Ray Knight, Howard Johnson). He later became an almost everyday player in 1988, and hit .292 for his Mets career but still never generated the kind of power that a corner infielder usually possesses. Magadan only hit 110 doubles, 21 home runs and 254 RBI in just over seven seasons with the team.
Honorable mention: Rico Brogna, Jose Reyes, Steve Henderson, Wally Backman, Mackey Sasser, Jose Vizcaino, Benny Agbayani, Ron Hunt, Cleon Jones, Roger Cedeno, Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson, Greg Jeffries, Eddie Murray, Joel Youngblood.