The 1999 MLB trade deadline included a couple of good moves by the New York Mets. Among them was the best trade they ever made with the Colorado Rockies, the addition of Darryl Hamilton.
Nearing the end of his career, Hamilton was less speedy and more of a guy you could expect to hit for a high batting average and draw walks. He joined the Mets with a .303/.374/.389 slash line as a member of the Rockies. Would a change to Shea Stadium deplete his numbers?
Lucky for the Mets, Hamilton was even better in New York.
Darryl Hamilton was an underrated Mets trade deadline addition
Just how productive was Hamilton? In his 189 trips to the plate across 55 games, Hamilton slashed .339/.410/.488. Not known for his power, he smacked 5 home runs, too, in such a limited stint.
It wasn’t just the regular season where Hamilton thrived either. During the 17 plate appearances he had against the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, Hamilton was one of the better hitters on the Mets, slashing .353/.353/.412 with a pair of RBI.
Hamilton continued to produce during the 2000 campaign but with a major injury taking him out of action for a good portion of the year. When he was healthy for his 120 plate appearances spanning 43 games, Hamilton batted .276/.358/.362.
Hamilton didn’t get to play much in the 2000 playoffs and the trend continued into the 2001 season with him playing more of a fourth outfielder role than anything else. He asked for his release midseason and would end up back with the Rockies on a minor league deal. It didn’t last long, though. Before July was over, the Rockies released him, too.
As far as trade deadline acquisitions go, Hamilton doesn’t compare to some of the other notable ones in Mets history. He wasn’t the catalyst for a playoff berth like Yoenis Cespedes. He didn’t end up winning a playoff MVP like Donn Clendenon.
Over the span of three seasons, 150 games, and 460 plate appearances, Hamilton hit .283/.368/.398 for the Mets. He struck out 58 times and drew 52 walks.
Circling back to the 1999 season when he first joined the team, he had one of the rare awesome short stints with the club on their path to the postseason. Perhaps not as essential as many of his teammates, the deal proved to be a successful one.