NY Mets all-time one hit wonder bench squad of the 2000s

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 12: Sean Gilmartin #36 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 12: Sean Gilmartin #36 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK – MAY 09: Fernando Tatis #17 of the New York Mets celebrates scoring on a Jason Bay #44 single in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on May 9, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

Left Field – Fernando Tatis

Fernando Tatis like his son Fernando Jr., is special. He’s known as being the only player in baseball history to blast two grand slams in an inning (off future Met Chan Ho-Park). Well, that was 1999, and by the time he got to the Mets in 2008, he was a fringe player at best.

That season a number of injuries allowed him to be in the starting lineup. The first was a career-ending injury to Moises Alou after 15 games. The second big break came after the infamous Ryan Church concussion saga that in the end, shortened a promising career. From there it was every man on deck until Tatis outperformed everyone.

For most of his career, he played the hot corner so watching him patrol the outfield was a bit strange. He handled the position like a pro and was actually one run above replacement in left field.

His strong play in 2008 earned him a lot of starts the following season when Carlos Delgado went down with a career-ending injury. (Noticing a pattern here)

2008 Key Stats: 11 Homeruns, 47 RBIs, .297 BA, 1.3 WAR

Center Field – Endy Chavez

We find ourselves back in 2006 with Endy Chavez. Just like Valentin’s strong bench to starter role was integral, so was Chavez. He played a lot of Left Field for an oft-injured Cliff Floyd. He played Center Field after Carlos Beltran missed 22 games, and he played Right Field in tandem with Shawn Green after Xavier Nady was traded away mid-season.

Chavez was never known as a great hitter, but that year he hit very well in addition to his silky smooth outfield play. As a lefty, he batted .333 against other lefties and .298 against righties. He worked his way out of the defensive replacement role and into the lineup and eventually into Mets fan hearts forever.

Chavez made one of the greatest plays in not just Mets playoff history, but baseball history when he leaped to rob a huge Scott Rolen home run against the Cardinals (Let’s not talk about the rest).

For the next few seasons, Chavez would be a dependable bench piece for a Mets team that always fell just a bit short.

2006 Key Stats:  4 Homeruns, 42 RBIs, .306 BA, 12 SB, 1.8 WAR

Right Field – Timo Perez

The Mets were surging in the year 2000 with a very lovable team made mostly of scrappy misfits and aging stars. The outfield was made of spare parts that succeeded. LF and CF were patroled by Darryl Hamilton and Rickey Henderson until an injury sidelined the first and a trade shipped the latter out. Benny Agbayani and Jay Payton filled those slots and played exceptionally well. The one mainstay, Derek Bell, went down late in the season with an injury. Enter – Timo Perez.

Timo Perez served as a sparkplug for a September Mets team on its way to a playoff birth for a second straight season. Although his age was up for debate, his speed, slick outfield play, and ability to slap the ball around made him dynamic.

Although he didn’t do much during the regular season in terms of numbers, his .300 batting average through the first two rounds of the playoffs were crucial. Unfortunately, he might be most remembered for not scoring on a Todd Zeile double during the World Series. It appears both players thought the ball was a home run, and Perez was thrown out at home after first jogging around the bases.

Perez played the next few seasons for the Mets on and off as a starter and bench piece, but none for as electric as 2000.

2000 Key Stats: 1 Homerun, 3 RBIs, .286 BA, .3 WAR

Honorable Mentions

Eric Valent (2004) 13 homeruns, 34 RBIs, .267 BA, .2 WAR
Ruben Gotay (2007) 4 homeruns, 24 RBIs, .295 BA, .1 WAR
Kelly Johnson (2015) 5 homeruns, 13 RBIs, .250 BA, .4 WAR

This list was tough to put together. Surely there were probably more deserving players that could have been included, but these were ones who stood out and also had specific memorable stories tied to them.

Next. 15 best trades in Mets history

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