Now that the MLB lockout has officially ended, the start of 2022 season will mark the beginning of a new era for not just the New York Mets, but the league as a whole.
Last month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced during a press conference that the league had agreed to adopt a universal designated hitter between both the American and National League beginning in the 2022 season.
Moving forward, this new rule means that pitchers will no longer take a turn at bat in the line up, and instead will be replaced by a "designated hitter" to take their plate appearances.
Regardless of your feelings on the designated hitter, the rule is now here to stay, meaning that 2021 was the last year the MLB will see starting pitchers take an at bat.
With that being the case, it seems as good a time as any to take a walk down memory lane and look back at the top 5 best best hitting pitchers to play for the Mets, but before we begin, lets first review a few honorable mentions:
NY Mets best hitting pitchers: Honorable Mentions
Before we get into the top 5 pitchers in franchise history, lets first acknowledge a few pitchers who didn't quiet crack the top 5, but still had notable achievements with the Mets at the dish as well as the mount.
Firstly, right handed pitcher Carl Willey had the honor of becoming first Mets pitcher to hit home run.
While none of the team's pitchers hit a home run in the franchise's inaugural 1962 season, Willey joined the team for the 1963 season and managed to be the first pitcher to knock one out of the park.
Facing off against the Houston Colt .45s on July 15, 1963, Willey slugged a home run to deep Right Field off of Ken Johnson, and managed to drive home Frank Thomas, Joe Hicks and Larry Burright in the process.
This home run didn't just give Willey the honors of becoming the first Mets pitcher to hit a home run, but the first to hit a Grand Slam as well.
Moving on from Willey, the Mets pitcher with arguably the best single season in team history is one of the 2000 National League Champions, Mike Hampton.
Although 2000 was his only season in New York, Hampton performed very well during his time in Queens, both on the mound and at the plate.
As a hitter during the 2000 season, Hampton had 84 total plate appearances in 34 games, over which he recorded 20 hits, drove in 8 RBI and logged 5 walks.
For the year, he recorded the highest single season batting average for a Mets starting pitcher with .274, as well as the highest OBP with .313, earning himself a Silver Slugger award in the process.
And of course, as we are recapping the highlights of Mets pitchers at the plate, we couldn't forget to also include the legendary home run by the fan favorite, Bartolo Colon.
Despite being 43 years old and never looking comfortable at the plate, on May 7, 2016 against the San Diego Padres, Colon managed to do what many thought was impossible and his first career home run off of James Shields.
At age 42 years and 349 days, Colon set a new MLB record, becoming the oldest major league player to hit his first home run.
An iconic an very memorable moment for Mets fans, this list surely wouldn't have been complete without including it.
And now that the honorable mentions are out of the way, lets move on to the top 5 hitting pitchers in Mets history.