One year after tying the Mets regular season saves record with 43, Jeurys Familia became just the second player in New York history to reach 50 saves.
Wednesday night, Mets closer Jeurys Familia recorded a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts against the Marlins in Miami. Now just one save shy of 100 for his career, Familia became the 13th player to reach 50 in a season.
The other New York player, Mariano Rivera, pulled it off twice with the Yankees, reaching 50 in 2001 and 53 in 2004.
Famila won’t come anywhere near breaking Francisco Rodriguez‘s record of 62 Saves set back in 2008. However, he can do some serious damage to the list of top saves achievers. Two more saves will catapult him over the likes of Craig Kimbrel, Mark Melancon, Jim Johnson, Dennis Eckersley, and Rod Beck.
There have been some concerns in other areas of Familia’s game, though — especially when compared to his numbers from last year. For example, he’s given up more runs and walks this season than last season while throwing 10 fewer innings.
His K/9 has barely changed, dropping from 9.9 to around 9.6, which is fantastic. However, his BB/9 has risen from 2.2 to roughly 3.5 and his ERA has gone from 1.85 to 2.62. These are still great numbers, but for the most part show a slight decrease in his production from last season.
With a few regular season games to go, how high can Familia reach? He’s just three saves shy of both Rivera’s and Trevor Hoffman‘s season-high.
Just as importantly, what can a season like this mean for his future? At only 26 years old, Familia’s 99 Saves are already good for fifth on the Mets’ all-time saves list. He sits just two behind Billy Wagner and eight behind Jesse Orosco.
The previous season record holder for saves, Armando Benitez, has 160. At this rate, Familia could pass that before he turns 29. John Franco, who holds the Mets record with 276 saves didn’t even join the Mets until he was 29 and never reached 40 saves with the team.
Yes, Franco spent 14 seasons with the team, and 10 as their full-time closer, so comparisons this early in Familia’s career are a bit premature. However, with a season like this, the potential and possibilities for Familia’s future are endless.