Mets Home Run Leaders For a Single Season

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Since playing their first season in 1962, the New York Mets have made a consistent impact throughout the years with some elite pitching, especially of the homegrown variety. However, they’ve watched some powerful seasons get put together during that time, too.

The Amazins are unique here because they have two catchers in the top five of their single-season home run leaderboard. And of course, only one of the players in the top 10 has made it while playing their home games at Citi Field. Let’s get to it.

Related: Mets All-Time Home Run Leaders

Mets Home Run Leaders: Top 5

Pete Alonso: 53 Home Runs in 2019

We’ve already highlighted Pete Alonso‘s incredible — and record-breaking — rookie season on a couple of occasions. First, it was talked about when we broke down each MLB team’s single-season home run record, and then again when looking at recent league leaders. But hey, what’s one more time, right? It probably won’t be the last time, either.

Not only did Alonso shatter the Mets’ single-season home run record, but his 120 RBI were among the most in franchise history. His best month of the season (with OPS as the measuring stick) came in June when he slashed .307/.436/.654 with nine home runs and 21 RBI. That 1.089 OPS was surrounded by a .873 mark in May and a .764 mark in July.

While the sample sizes were wildly different (515 plate appearances vs. 178 plate appearances), Alonso posted an identical .941 OPS against righties and lefties. Sometimes, baseball is just the best with stuff like that. This huge rookie season has enabled him to lead the MLB in home runs since 2019.

If you need more of these dingers in your life (who doesn’t, right?), check out Pete Alonso’s home runs through the years.

Carlos Beltrán: 41 Home Runs in 2006

Carlos Beltrán‘s Mets tenure will forever be scarred by him striking out looking to end the 2006 NLCS, but his time in Flushing was quite good. He’s not only the best center fielder in franchise history when using fWAR, but the Mets also wouldn’t have gotten that far in 2006 without Beltrán’s efforts.

This was his second year in Flushing, with the first one being quite a letdown. After posting just a .744 OPS with 16 home runs and 79 RBI in 2005, Beltrán improved those numbers dramatically to .982, 41, and 116, respectively. He also paired this offensive performance with a Gold Glove in the outfield as he placed fourth in National League MVP voting.

Beltrán’s first five months were incredibly consistent and elite. He posted an OPS above 1.000 four times, with a .978 mark in May being the only time he didn’t. His slugging percentage was greater than .600 in each month, and he out-slugged his season-long number from 2005 in two different two-month spans. The outfielder hit 18 homers between May and June, as well as another 17 between July and August.

Todd Hundley: 41 Home Runs in 1996

Todd Hundley‘s power peak came and went very quickly. He did have four seasons of 20-plus homers in a five-year span, but the only two campaigns with more than 30 came in consecutive years: 1996 and 1997. In fact, his record-breaking 41 dingers in ’96 was a tremendous breakout.

In the three years prior (1993-95), Hundley slugged 42 dingers in 1,097 plate appearances. It took him nearly half the time (624 plate appearances) to just about match that number the following season.

What’s interesting is that Hundley nearly ran out of gas in September before setting this record. Over his first five months, he posted an OPS better than .930 four times, which included three instances of it being greater than 1.000. He entered the final month just one homer behind Darryl Strawberry‘s then-record of 39, yet Hundley slugged just three while slashing .207/.342/.379 along the way. Catching more than 150 games in a season takes a toll, ya know.

Mike Piazza: 40 Home Runs in 1999

Many Mets fans truly appreciate what Mike Piazza‘s arrival in Flushing symbolized for the organization. Also, everyone still appreciates when he signed a long-term deal and constantly crushed baseballs until his departure at the end of 2005.

The 1999 campaign was his first full year with the Mets, and boy did he make it count. The Hall of Famer slashed .303/.361/.575 in 593 plate appearances, just missing the franchise home run record, but also setting the franchise RBI record with 124. He won his seventh of 10 Silver Slugger awards and placed seventh in MVP voting.

Piazza saved his best power production for the end of the season. Through the end of July, he hadn’t hit more than seven homers in a month before hitting 11 in August, followed by another eight in September. He also combined to drive in 56 runs during that period of time. While the backstop performed well for the home crowd at Shea Stadium, evidenced by a .282/.336/.536 line with 18 homers and 56 RBI, he did more of his damage on the road. As a visiting player, he hit .323/.383/.610 with 22 dingers and 68 RBI.

Darryl Strawberry: 39 Home Runs in 1987 and 1988

Until Hundley passed him in 1996, Strawberry held the single-season home run record, the rookie single-season home run record, and the all-time home run record for the Mets. That right there shows you the kind of impact he had during his time in Flushing.

It’s also quite crazy how similar Straw’s ’87 and ’88 seasons were from the standpoint of offensive production. Obviously, he hit the same number of homers, but his RBI (104 vs. 101), runs scored (108 vs. 101), stolen bases (36 vs. 29), and fWAR (5.5 vs. 5.3) were all close to identical. Meanwhile, his 159 wRC+ actually was. Even though his ’87 season was signficant because it was a 30-30 effort, let’s look a little closer at his ’88 performance since he nearly became the first Mets player to win an MVP award.

Despite 150 fewer plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Strawberry’s 20 homers just barely beat out the number he slugged against righties (19). He never enjoyed a month of double-digit homers but did have three months with at least eight. Finally, the outfielder finished with a flourish after struggling to a .172/.257/.293 line with three homers in August. He nearly doubled his OPS in September with a 1.046 mark to go along with his highest monthly output of homers (nine).

Mets Home Run Leaders: The Rest

Piazza (38 in 2000), Howard Johnson (38 in 1991), and Carlos Delgado (38 in 2006 and 2008) make up the remainder of New York’s top-10 single-season home run leaderboard. Check out the full list via FanGraphs here.