New York Mets: Darryl Strawberry and the Top 10 Power Hitters in Team History

Jim MancariCorrespondent IApril 5, 2011

New York Mets: Darryl Strawberry and the Top 10 Power Hitters in Team History

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Former member of the New York Mets Darryl Strawberry speaks at a press conference announcing the top three moments at Shea Stadium before the game against the Florida Marlins on September 26, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Home runs are the most exciting part of a baseball game.

    Over the years, players have made a living on their ability to hit the long ball.

    Though the New York Mets have been known for developing strong pitching prospects like Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and Nolan Ryan, the team has had a handful of good power hitters in their 49-year history.

    Shea Stadium and the Mets’ current home, Citi Field, aren’t exactly hitter-friendly ballparks, which speaks volumes for the players that actually put up good power numbers in Mets uniforms.

    Here are the top 10 power hitters in Mets history.

10. Cliff Floyd

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05:  Cliff Floyd #30 of the New York Mets swings at a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game two of the National League Division Series at Shea Stadium on October 5, 2006 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens borough of New
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Cliff Floyd came to the Mets in 2003 after a decade of putting up decent power numbers.

    He put up back-to-back 18-homer seasons in first two years in New York. However, he only played in 108 and 113 games, respectively, due to injury troubles.

    In 2005, Floyd hit his stride for the Mets. He crushed 34 home runs in 150 games.

    More importantly, many of these home runs were clutch.

    He could have been even more of a power threat if he stayed healthy.

9. Bobby Bonilla

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    12 Apr 1999:  Bobby Bonilla #25 of the New York Mets at bat during the game against the Florida Marlins at the Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. The Mets defeated the Marlins 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw  /Allsport
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Bobby Bonilla was a consistent power threat for the Mets in the early 1990s. In fact, he was pretty much the only power threat on the team at that time.

    His Mets career high in home runs came in 1993, when he clubbed 34 homers.

    The Mets re-signed a 36-year-old Bonilla in 1999 hoping he would regain his power stroke. However, he only managed four home runs in 119 at-bats.

    In other news, Bonilla is set to earn almost $30 million from the Mets over the next 25 years. The Mets bought out the final year of his contract in 2000, and Bonilla elected this alternative form of payment.

8. Todd Hundley

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    6 Apr 1997:  Catcher Todd Hundley of the New York Mets takes his turn at bat during a game against the San Francisco Giants at 3Com Park in San Francisco, California. The Mets won the game 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Todd Hundley was a fan favorite when he came up with the Mets.

    The switch-hitting catcher put up average power numbers his first few seasons, but he embarked on a home run-hitting journey in 1996 that only one other Met has matched.

    Hundley set a Mets single-season record with 41 homers that year. He followed that with a 30-home run performance the next season.

    However, injuries caught up with Hundley, which forced the Mets to acquire another catcher, who will be featured later in this list.

7. Howard Johnson

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    1989:  Howard Johnson of the New York Mets swings at the pitch during a game in the 1989 season. ( Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Howard Johnson was the rare combination of speed and power, which was even more unusual since he was a third baseman—a position not known for its speed.

    Johnson had five consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. Of those, he had three 30-30 seasons.

    He became the first Met to have a 30-30 season in 1987, along with his teammate Darryl Strawberry that same year.

    He led the National League with 38 home runs in 1991. He is one of only three Mets to ever lead the league in homers.

6. Carlos Beltran

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18:  Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets in action against the Atlanta Braves during their game on September 18, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Ima
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The Mets signed Carlos Beltran after his miraculous eight-home run clip during the 2004 playoffs for the Houston Astros.

    Though he struggled in the power department his first year, Beltran had a big year in 2006.

    He tied Todd Hundley for the Mets’ single-season record with 41 home runs.

    He looked like he was poised to continue this power stroke, but then the injuries kicked in.

    Beltran saw his power numbers decline steadily from 33, to 27, to 10 and down to just seven home runs last season.

    He appears to be healthy this season and ready to regain his home run power.

5. Carlos Delgado

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    NEW YORK - MAY 09:  Carlos Delgado #21 of the New York Mets bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 9, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 10-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Ge
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Before the Mets traded for him prior to the 2006 season, Carlos Delgado hit at least 30 home runs in nine consecutive years.

    He hit 38 homers in his first year as a Met en route to a division title.

    However, his age and injuries began to catch up with him, as he saw his power numbers decline in 2007 and early 2008.

    Delgado quickly regained his stroke in the second half of 2008 and went on a home run-hitting tear. He finished the year with 38 homers.

    He got off to a hot start in 2009, but a hip injury effectively ended his Mets career.

    He was a big-time power threat who hit some big home runs during his Mets tenure.

4. David Wright

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Third baseman David Wright #5 bats against the Atlanta Braves at Digital Domain Park on February 26, 2011 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    David Wright has been a home run-hitting threat ever since he came up in July, 2004.

    He hit at least 26 home runs in each of his first four full seasons. Though the move to Citi Field seemed to affect his power in 2009, Wright returned in a big way with 29 home runs last year.

    He has already hit a home run this season and hopes for many more.

    Wright has terrific opposite-field power, which makes him even more dangerous at the plate. When Wright is “right,” he’s driving the ball out of the ballpark the opposite way.

    He should sit as the Mets’ all-time leader in home runs when his career comes to an end.

3. Dave Kingman

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 28: Former New York Met Dave Kingman waves to the crowd during post game ceremoies after the Mets played the Florida Marlins in the last regular season baseball game ever played in Shea Stadium on September 28, 2008 in the Flushing ne
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Dave Kingman hit the ball as high and far as anyone who’s ever played this game.

    He hit 154 home runs in just six years with the Mets.

    “King Kong” was similar to Adam Dunn in today’s game, except without the ability to draw walks. Kingman would basically either strike out or hit a home run.

    His typical year can be seen in his 1982 season for the Mets. He led the league with 37 homers, but also with 156 strikeouts.

2. Mike Piazza

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    FLUSHING, NY - AUGUST 4:  Catcher Mike Piazza #31 of the New York Mets waits for the pitch during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 4, 2002 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Diamondbacks won 12-7. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty I
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    What more can be said that hasn’t already been said about Mike Piazza?

    Some consider him the savior of the Mets franchise that was heading down the drain in the late 1990s before he arrived.

    Piazza had raw power, as evidenced by his tape-measure home runs. He hit at least 30 home runs in each of his first four full seasons as a Met.

    He is second on the all-time Mets home run list with 220. He will always be remembered for his numerous clutch home runs in a Mets uniform.

    As a Met, he set the record for the most home runs ever by a catcher, surpassing Carlton Fisk in 2004.

    There’s really only one thing left for Piazza: to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, as a Met, of course.

1. Darryl Strawberry

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    FLUSHING, NY - OCTOBER 27:  Right fielder Darryl Strawberry #18 of the New York Mets at bat during game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Shea Stadium on October 27, 1986 in Flushing, New York. The Mets won the series 4-3.  (Photo b
    T.G. Higgins/Getty Images

    From 1983-1991, Darryl Strawberry was a home run-hitting machine.         

    He hit at least 26 home runs per season during that clip, with his career high in 1987 and 1988 with 39 homers.

    Like Howard Johnson, Strawberry was the rare combination of speed and power. He joined Ho-Jo as the first Met to record a 30-30 season in 1987.

    His home runs were majestic, which makes his story so sad. Strawberry’s drug issues affected his play on the field and diminished his immense talent.

    It’s always imagined what could have been for Strawberry. Still, he retired as the Mets’ all-time leader with 252 home runs.