On May 26. 2021, Billy McKinney became a member of the New York Mets. The already somewhat well-traveled outfielder was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers hitting .207/.260/.359 at the time with 3 home runs and 6 RBI in exactly 100 trips to the plate.
The Mets, desperate for outfield help, made a quiet deal to help solve the issue.
For nearly two months, McKinney saw regular action in the Mets outfield. Was the performance brilliant? Not in the last. Was it memorable? You may have already forgotten all about him.
Looking back at the 2021 Mets trade for Billy McKinney
In 102 plate appearances last season, McKinney gave the Mets a 220/.304/.473 performance with 5 home runs and 14 RBI. Things would end unceremoniously in July when he was designated for assignment and then traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers to give their outfield a little depth.
He somehow managed to get an even 300 plate appearances in 2021—falling two short of reaching 100 with the Dodgers which would have made for an interesting trivia question.
It was with the Mets that McKinney was most productive. In exchange for minor leaguer Pedro Quintana, a teenager who has yet to play a professional game with the Mets or Brewers, it was a necessary move to give the Mets a warm body to put in the starting lineup.
McKinney began by playing both games in a doubleheader sweep against the Colorado Rockies on May 27. He was the starting right fielder in both games and in the second game picked up his first Mets hit. He continued to start daily for the club. He hit his first Mets home run on May 29 and another on May 31. Did the Mets suddenly stumble onto greatness?
On June 9, when the Mets made the most of having the Baltimore Orioles on their schedule, McKinney had a three-hit, two home run, five RBI day. The team was staying afloat in the National League East despite the absence of so many regulars.
Michael Conforto did eventually return and when he did, McKinney’s playing time disappeared. He became a roster casualty but not before becoming one of the notable members of the 2021 Mets bench mob who, oddly enough, spent far more time starting during his brief stay.