Mets starting lineup of the all-time greats
By Tim Boyle
The cleanup hitter for the NY Mets is C Mike Piazza
You won’t find too many franchises whose all-time lineup has a catcher batting cleanup. There’s a reason for it. Most teams didn’t employ Mike Piazza.
Piazza was a different type of player during his Mets days than the already fantastic seasons he spent with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was more of a true slugger for the Mets. More importantly, he was a franchise-changer.
The time he spent with the Mets included 1028 hits, 220 home runs, and a .296/.373/.542 batting lineup. Piazza hit 30+ home runs in each of his first four full seasons with the team. This doesn’t even include the 1998 season where he hit a mammoth 23 in only 109 games.
Catchers like Piazza are rare. Typically, you’d find someone of his offensive abilities making their way to the American League to DH or finding a first baseman’s mitt full-time. His defense was faulty but I cannot count that as a strike against him. He did far too much at the plate to steal any points away from what he did behind it.
Add in that Piazza never struck out more than 87 times in a season for the Mets and we have ourselves a cleanup hitter that will at least put the ball in play.