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New York Mets History

NY Mets Outfielder Battle Royale: Jay Bruce versus Jeromy Burnitz

28 Feb 2002 : Jeromy Burnitz of the New York Mets during the Spring Training game against the St.Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals won 5-2. DIGTAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Eliot Schechter/Getty Images
28 Feb 2002 : Jeromy Burnitz of the New York Mets during the Spring Training game against the St.Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals won 5-2. DIGTAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Eliot Schechter/Getty Images
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ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 13: Jeromy Burnitz #20 of the New York Mets celebrates his two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Anaheim Angels June 13, 2003 at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The case for Jeromy Burnitz as the better Mets player

Oh, my! This is a good matchup. Without even realizing it, I already see more similarities on the stat sheet between these two left-handed sluggers.

Burnitz spent parts of four seasons with the Mets and ended up with 1,283 plate appearances. However, he had only a 1.7 WAR, falling 0.1 shy of Bruce. This includes the two years he spent with the club in 1993 and 1994 as well as his return in 2002 and 2003 when he was more established.

The similarities come in between the two when I look at the slash line. Burnitz hit .237/.329/.432 for the Mets. His OBP was higher than Bruce, however, his slugging percentage was a little lower. He was also traded mid-year away from New York (2003) during his best year with the club. He had 18 home runs at the time, helping him to hit a total of 53. He also drove in more runs than Bruce, but not many more. His Mets stat sheet has 152 ribbies on it.

Burnitz had the benefit of more playing time with the Mets. This doesn’t necessarily make him the better player. This only means he had more plate appearances and time to compile some statistics. Bruce, who spent some significant time injured in 2018, lost his chance to keep up.

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