Mets History: Mike Piazza’s slugging percentage record from 2000 alive and well
A New York Mets record nobody talks about much was set in the 2000 season by Mike Piazza. We look back at his all-time great slugging season.
There are only two seasons in New York Mets history which included a batter slugging over .600. The first happened in 1998 when Mike Piazza finished the year with a slugging percentage of .607 as a member of the Amazins. Two years later, he set a new franchise high at .614 over the course of a full campaign.
Piazza is well-known as the greatest home run hitting catcher in MLB history. Although he never held the franchise or single-season record for round-trippers, one could still make an argument that nobody literally slugged baseball as well as him. There’s a certain first baseman who may have something to say about it over the next decade. Until then, nobody is scarier to face than number 31.
The 2000 season wasn’t Piazza’s best with the Mets in terms of home runs, doubles, or other numbers we associate with slugging percentage. Because he did challenge personal bests from other years while in New York, his 482 at-bats for the year helped boost the total.
In fewer chances, Piazza managed to beat his doubles total from the year prior by one. He also fell only two home runs shy of the 40 he knocked out of the park in his first full season with the Mets in 1999. His 38 dingers this year was spectacular considering he had nearly 50 fewer trips to the plate. If not for his midseason concussion caused by a Roger Clemens pitch to the head, he would have certainly hit more.
Other Mets have come close to reaching the .600 mark but failed. Bobby Bonilla’s 1995 total of .599 was the closest. After him, we find Carlos Beltran in his home run history-setting year of 2006 at .594. Not far from him is the 2019 season Pete Alonso put together.
Slugging percentage is about more than home runs. Because all four kinds of hits are included, singles matter, too.
Piazza was rarely short on hitting for average. In 2000, his .324 batting average furthered his cause in finishing third in the National League MVP vote.
This era of Mets baseball included several offensive records that still hold up today. Lance Johnson’s 227 hits in 1996 and John Olerud’s .354 batting average in 1998 are two fans are more familiar with.
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In their march to the World Series in 2000, the Mets got yet another historic season. This time it came from the big fat bat of the best slugging catcher most of us have ever seen.