There have been people considered New York Mets killers before. Chipper Jones, Chase Utley, and Manuel Margot (yes, Margot, look it up, it’s crazy) come to mind as just a few. However, none of them compare to Paul Sterling DeJong.
DeJong is a rather unremarkable baseball player. His best season came in his rookie year in 2017, and he’s been on a steady downhill since.
He’s not bad — his 102 OPS+ makes him an ever so slightly above-average hitter for his career — but he’s just nothing special.
Yet, somehow, there has been no one better at the plate when facing the Mets than DeJong in nearly six decades.
Paul DeJong is THE Mets killer
In 24 games and 103 plate appearances against the Mets in his career, DeJong has a .351 batting average and 1.152 OPS. The only teams he’s had more success against are the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers — and he only has played them a combined six times. He’s hit 21 extra-base hits, ten of which let him take a slow trot around the bases. It’s really just absurd.
In Mets history, there is only one player, with a minimum of just 100 plate appearances, who has a higher OPS against Mets pitching than DeJong. Funnily enough, he’s also a St. Louis Cardinal.
Ever heard of Stan Musial? Only one of the greatest hitters of all time.
The final two years of Musial’s career lined up with the first two years of Mets baseball, and in those two years — his age-41 and age-42 seasons — Musial hit .405 with a 1.198 OPS against the Mets in 101 plate appearances, a mark that remains unbeaten to this day.
DeJong is directly behind him at No. 2.
There’s not a single person who played in Shea Stadium or Citi Field with more success against the Mets than DeJong. People have had more numerical success in terms of sheer volume, but no one victimized the Mets as efficiently as he has throughout his career.
There are some legitimate stars behind DeJong on that OPS list as well. Mark McGwire, another Cardinal, comes in at No. 3, Corey Seager is No. 4 and Michael Young is No. 5.
McGwire is one of the greatest sluggers of all time, and yeah, it was with some chemical enhancements, but that doesn’t change his production. Seager is a young stud, one of the best hitting shortstops of the last six seasons and the 2021 World Series MVP. Young is a seven-time All-Star and the 2005 AL batting champ.
Some other notables include Kyle Schwarber who comes in at No. 6, undoubtedly fueled by his seven home runs in eight games stretch earlier in 2021. Daniel Murphy is No. 10, who torched the Mets after they let him walk in 2016. Mike Piazza is No. 13, who crushed the orange and blue before he put on the colors himself — as well as a little bit after as well.
Todd Helton, Ivan Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Juan Soto, Cody Bellinger, Dave Kingman, Anthony Rizzo, Willie McCovey, Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki are all in the top-30. Mark Teixeira, Vladimir Guerrero, Eddie Mathews, and Gary Sheffield just miss the cut.
All great hitters — but none as great as DeJong, apparently.
It’s really unprecedented. There’s no logical explanation for it. Somehow, he just owns the Mets every time they play, every year, without fail.
He’s already homered against the Mets in 2021 and has three more games to add to that total.
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Queens, brace yourself.