This past Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony for the New York Mets had me thinking: what about the “other guys?”
You know, those heroes from the bench who seem to come through in the clutch more often than not. In 2021, we call them the bench mob. On a regular basis, they’re winning games for the Mets.
The bench mob has contributed a lot to the success in 2021. Some aren’t even with the club anymore. Whether in a starting role or off the bench, they’ve made this season a little more fun.
Although there were many worthy candidates for the inaugural induction, I think one player stands about the rest. It’s Brandon Drury!
Brandon Drury has been the best bench player on the Mets this year
Drury reached peak bench mob performance on Saturday with his walk-off hit in extra innings. He came into the game wielding a hot bat and exited with it still on fire.
Unlike so many of his other hits, this one came as a starter. Looking for a spark of offense, Luis Rojas gave Drury a chance to start for the club. He made the most of it.
Drury’s contributions as a pinch-hitter this season have been absolutely astonishing. In a team-leading 16 at-bats as a pinch-hitter, he’s hitting .500/.529/1.250 with three home runs. This is the kind of year you dream to get out of a bench player. In such limited action, Drury has been Danny Heep, Rusty Staub, and Matt Franco all wrapped up into one.
A minor signing this winter, Drury was often forgotten about as one of the depth pieces the organization brought in. The team only seemed to turn to him when all other options were exhausted. While he has been primarily used as a pinch-hitter, Drury has gotten starts at a variety of positions. So far, we’ve seen him start at first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field. A right-handed Jeff McNeil with a different approach to hitting, Drury is a worthy first inductee.
The best person to induct Drury into the Mets Bench Mob Hall of Fame would be the one person who never doubted him for a second: any Arizona Diamondbacks fan who stopped watching after 2017.
Drury has everything you could want from a bench mob member off the field. In 2018, he was involved in a trade that also included two other members of the Mets organization this year: Anthony Banda and Sam McWilliams. A few months later, he was traded alongside Billy McKinney (another member of the bench mob) to the Toronto Blue Jays. Furthering his legacy is the team that traded him, the New York Yankees. This, of course, happening after the Atlanta Braves originally drafted him.
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What more can anyone say about the brilliance of Drury? He’s the ultimate underdog so many teams passed on. Now he belongs to the Mets and his plaque will forever hang in the franchise’s Bench Mob Hall of Fame—expected to be built sometime before the Tom Seaver statue.