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Mets: Challengers for the franchise’s 41 home run record

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 25: Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets drives in the game-tying run in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 25: Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets drives in the game-tying run in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Will we ever see someone break the single-season New York Mets home run record? If so, is the man who does already with the organization?

The names Todd Hundley and Carlos Beltran have their place in New York Mets history. Each hit 41 home runs while employed by the Metropolitans, tying for a franchise record for the single-season record. Though it pales in comparison to the MLB record, it’s a fine enough total.

There haven’t been many challengers. Mike Piazza is the only other guy to reach 40, an achievement accomplished in 1999.

On the current Mets roster, the likeliest candidate to set a new standard might be Michael Conforto. We saw the kid hit 27 home runs in 2017 with only 440 plate appearances. With a little more luck and a few hundred more opportunities, Conforto could get there.

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One year of hitting for power at a stupendous rate doesn’t mean it’s any guarantee. Conforto is a power hitter, but asking him to reach 40 is probably a reach. I suspect he settles in around 35 at the most in any year. Citi Field is just not kind enough to hitters.

An obvious choice who could have at one point make a run at the record is Yoenis Cespedes. However, considering he’ll miss a chunk of 2019, I have serious doubts.

Cespedes will play the 2020 campaign at age 34, which usually means a dip in power and other abilities. In his only full year with the Mets, he hit 31 bombs in 543 plate appearances. Likely, this is the peak total.

Perhaps the record will belong to a man not currently on the roster. Maybe when he finally does get his chance, Peter Alonso doesn’t disappoint.

Alonso came close to hitting 41 home runs in 2018 at the Double-A and Triple-A level. If the minor leagues offered up a 162-game schedule, I think he would have. Alonso finished the year very strong. With the 132 games he played, the big first baseman practiced his home run trot 36 times. Give him another 30 games and he would have surely hit at least five more.

If not Alonso, any man ready to set a new mark is likely not with the organization right now. Maybe he’s playing college baseball out in the Midwest or he’s on another club’s Single-A squad.

Mets fans haven’t had the luxury of seeing too many monster home run seasons from anyone.

Mets say farewell to three greats in 2018. Next

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Hundley and Beltran can rest easy with their record. No one is close to taking it away.

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