New York Mets All-Time Lists

New York Mets all-time top five switch hitters in franchise history

By Matthew Silverman
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12: National League All-Star Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets and National League All-Star Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets talk in the field during batting practice before the start of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12: National League All-Star Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets and National League All-Star Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets talk in the field during batting practice before the start of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 12: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets rounds the bases after hitting a 2-run home run in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 12, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

2. Jose Reyes, 2003-11, 2016-18, 27.3 WAR, #5 All-Time in Mets History

Though only 35, Jose Reyes’s career seems to be over, but he got an early start. Promoted on his final day as a teenager, Reyes hit a grand slam batting righty his first week in the majors. He was always a better hitter from the right side, but he saw nearly three times as many plate appearances from the left side over his career. Much was made of his celebrations in the dugout, but the antics that made old-school announcers gnash their teeth in 2008 wouldn’t get a second glance now.

He is the only Mets batting champion, clinching the 2011 title with a bunt. That was fine for a player with his speed, though taking himself out in the first inning of the final day of the season rubbed many the wrong way. In some ways, his career ended that day.

Through his 1,050th game, Reyes had a slash line of .292/.341/.441 with 1,300 hits, 735 runs, 1,963 total bases, and he already owned the team record for triples and steals. His numbers took a serious dive during his “exile years” in Miami, Toronto, and Denver.

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Jose returned under less than stellar circumstance in 2016—David Wright was hurt and Reyes had domestic abuse issues. But the Mets took him in and Jose looked resuscitated. The biggest game in his second Mets go-round was the September 22, 2016 series opener against the Phillies at Citi Field.

The Mets, teetering on the edge of a postseason berth and losers of three straight, needed two runs to tie in the ninth and Reyes homered with a man on. (He had a surprising 102 homers as a Met.) After the Phillies scored twice in the top of the 11th, Reyes, representing the tying run, singled in the bottom of the inning. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a walk-off home run and the Mets clinched a Wild Card spot the next week. Jose’s second spin around New York couldn’t match his transcendent start, but Reyes always brought the element of excitement to Flushing.

So who’s number one? First, a quick look at who’s not in the top five with a few honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

Lee Mazzilli, 1976-81, 1986-89 12.5 WAR, #21 All-Time in Mets History

With two tours I thought he’d be higher. Maz brought thrills in a Mets dead period; he brought skills during the team’s most dominant season.

Wally Backman 1980-88 11.6 WAR, #23 All-Time in Mets History

He could be neutralized simply by bringing in a southpaw: .294 career average batting left, .165 batting right. I asked him a couple of years ago about giving up hitting righty; he said the Mets wouldn’t allow it.

Angel Pagan 2008-11, 10.8 WAR, #28 All-Time in Mets History

Shocked that Angel ranked so high, especially given his injury history, only 393 games as a Met, and a propensity for bonehead plays.

Todd Hundley 1990-98, 9.2 WAR, #33 All-Time in Mets History

The All-Star catcher had 30- and 40-homer seasons. Much better from the left side than the right.

Bobby Bonilla 1992-95, 1999, 8.3 WAR, #37 All-Time in Mets History

Boooo! Not beloved in Flushing. the guy could hit, though—and he was dangerous from both sides.

Gregg Jefferies 1987-91, 6.1 WAR, #46 All-Time in Mets History

See Bobby Boo.

Asdrubal Cabrera 2016-18, 5.5 WAR, #49 All-Time in Mets History

Amazin’ he made the top 50 in Mets history with less than three years in Flushing.

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