The New York Mets have made a consistent impact throughout the years with 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 because when looking at the top of the Mets home run leaders list, there are two catchers in the top five.
However, only one player in the top 10 has made it there while playing their home games at Citi Field. We’ll detail the top six most powerful seasons in Mets history before listing out the remainder of the top 31.
Mets Home Run Leaders: Top 6
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 on his way to setting the MLB rookie 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. He’s also quickly ascending New York’s all-time home run leaderboard.
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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.
Pete Alonso: 40 Home Runs in 2022
As if breaking the franchise home run record as a rookie wasn’t already enough, Alonso has continued to find ways to distinguish himself within the power department for the Mets.
He’s one of a handful of New York hitters to accumulate three different seasons of 30-plus home runs. Now that he’s reached 40 again, he’s the only slugger in Mets history to do that more than once. As if that wasn’t already enough, he’s also the only one to also post multiple seasons of 120-plus RBI.
Alonso has gotten to this milestone number yet again by just being incredibly consistent throughout the year. He hasn’t finished a month with fewer than four home runs, and he’s posted three months with at least nine dingers. That consistency has boiled over into the RBI department, too. He hasn’t finished a single month with fewer than 16 RBI and finished with at least 20 on four occasions.
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 significant 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
Here’s what the remainder of the Mets’ top-31 home run seasons looks like:
- Mike Piazza, 2000: 38 home runs
- Howard Johnson, 1991: 38
- Carlos Delgado, 2006 and 2008: 38
- Darryl Strawberry, 1990: 37
- Pete Alonso, 2021: 37
- Dave Kingman, 1976 and 1982: 37
- Howard Johnson, 1987 and 1989: 36
- Mike Piazza, 2001: 36
- Dave Kingman, 1975: 36
- Cliff Floyd, 2005: 34
- Bobby Bonilla, 1993: 34
- Frank Thomas, 1962: 34
- David Wright, 2008: 33
- Carlos Beltrán, 2007: 33
- Mike Piazza, 2002: 33
- Michael Conforto, 2019: 33
- Robin Ventura, 1999: 32
- Gary Carter, 1985: 32
- Ike Davis, 2012: 32
- Yoenis Cespedes, 2016: 31
- David Wright, 2008: 30
If you’re looking for which Mets player seasons fall outside of the top 30, check it out on FanGraphs.
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