Top 5 Mets leadoff hitters in franchise history

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Successful leadoff hitters come in many different forms and the New York Mets have seen a variety of them through the years. There have been some who passed through town rather quickly and were here and gone in a little more than a season. Others remained with the team and passed the test of time.  I’m sure you will recognize most of these names. There might be a few others who you have forgotten or don't remember that they were ever here. I always try to back up any of my rankings with some cold, hard facts, but this is one time when I’ll be relying on my feeble and fading memory, having seen these players performing at their best, and sometimes not so much.  

First, the Mets leadoff hitter Hall of Shame

These are players who were leadoff hitters for other teams during their careers. They were brought in to fill a need for a table setter at the top of the batting order. They didn’t perform as expected and were shown the door.

Luis Castillo: After a ten year career with the Marlins and two more with the Twins that saw Castillo produce three All-Star game appearances, two Silver Slugger Awards, and 315 stolen bases, he was brought in to provide a boost to the Mets sagging playoff hopes. He played well, batting .296 with a .371 on base percentage. He was rewarded by Mets GM Omar Minaya with a four year contract. That’s when the bottom fell out. He hit only .245 that year and later .235 in 2010.

Vince Coleman: The Mets signed Coleman before the 1991 season, perhaps in part for having lost free agent Darryl Strawberry. In six years with the Cardinals Coleman stole 549 bases, including four straight years of over one hundred. In three seasons in New York, Coleman stole a total of 99 bases. He was malcontent in the locker room and was always nursing some kind of injury. His time in New York is known for his throwing a firecracker at fans, injuring three. He was charged with a felony and was told by management to stay away from the team. He was traded after the season,

Lenny Randle: The Mets traded for Lenny Randle in April of 1977 for cash and a player to be named later. Why was this former first round draft pick available at such a bargain price? He had just punched out his manager Frank Lucchesi and breaking his jaw before a spring training game because Lucchesi he had given Randle’s starting position to someone else. Lenny Randle had a good first season with the Mets, hitting .304 with 33 stolen bases, but his batting average dropped to .233 the following season and he was released during Spring Training in 1979 (and without incident I might add).