The New York Mets almost every season seem to have a bench player or pitcher that comes in out of nowhere and rakes at the plate or surprises on the mound. These are those one-hit wonders.
Throughout New York Mets history, there have been unexpected surprises from players. Often, these players were not in the team’s plan and they have to be forced into the lineup and keep them there. Other times, these players were thrust into starter roles after the main player went down due to injury or were traded away.
This was a tricky list to compile because there were some prominent bench players and/or rookies who had good seasons before becoming Mets stars.
Those picks were Daniel Murphy (2008), Lucas Duda (2011), Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, and Noah Syndergaard (2015), Jeff McNeil (2018), and Jacob deGrom (2014).
J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith’s 2019 was considered as well, but Smith is a Mets breakout player and we’re still not sure what’s to become of Davis. This same decision was made for Tim Petersen’s 2020 campaign. I decided to leave them out because they would become fixtures for the Mets after their inauguration.
Pitcher – Sean Gilmartin
Sean Gilmartin was a pleasant surprise as a lefty who also gave length to a superb bullpen in 2015. He made the opening day roster after impressing in spring training and did nothing but pitch very well. Gilmartin was even given a late-season start where he pitched pretty well through 5 innings.
Coming into the season as a rookie and not on anyone’s radar, he even made an appearance in the World Series, where he pitched a scoreless inning. For the promising lefty, that would be his pinnacle.
The following season he got battered around and in 2017, he got crushed in a few innings. Then his Mets career was over. However, we can’t forget the contributions he made as a steady bullpen piece for the organization in 2015.
2015 Key Stats: 3-2 W-L, 2.67 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 1.1 WAR
Catcher – Ramon Castro
Ramon Castro was as solid as a backup catcher as they come. He got to the Mets at the tail end of Mike Piazza’s run when the franchise Hall of Famer was dealing with injuries every year. Castro saw a lot of playing time behind the dish, most notably for 99 games in 2005.
He then became Paul LoDuca’s backup in 2006. He didn’t do much during LoDuca’s stellar season. That changed in 2007 when the fiery catcher went down with a few injuries. Castro once again stepped in and had big numbers for only 57 games. He also always seemed to get a big hit when it counted.
2007 Key Stats: 11 Homeruns, 31 RBIs, .285 BA, .08 WAR