Ranking the New York Mets First Basemen of the Last 20 Seasons

The first base spot has multiple one-year wonders throughout the New York Mets franchise history. Over the last 20 seasons, the position has a good mix of homegrown talent and outside boppers to add punch to the lineup.

1. Pete Alonso (2019)

No disrespect to Carlos Delgado, but Pete Alonso‘s 2019 season puts him at the top of the class. Alonso exceeded and smashed every record and milestone set in front of him. He hit .260/.358/.583 with a major league-leading and rookie record-breaking 53 home runs. Alonso won the home run derby, made the All-Star team, and won the Rookie of the Year award all in his first season with the Mets.

2. Carlos Delgado (2006-2009)

When Carlos Delgado arrived to the Mets in 2006, he was the exact leader a young Mets infield needed. He did not hit for average like his Toronto days, but his power remained. Before a hip injury ended Delgado’s career, he was hitting .298 with four home runs and 23 RBIs at age-37. In the three years prior, he averaged 33 homers and 105 RBIs to go along with a top-10 MVP finish.

3. Lucas Duda (2010-17)

Originally used as an outfielder, Lucas Duda did not solely play first base every day until 2014. Loaded with a powerful bat to all parts of the field, he also could get white-hot at any moment. Duda hit 125 home runs and peaked at 30 during 2014. He also became a fan and clubhouse favorite during his Mets tenure.

4. Ike Davis (2010-2014)

Unfortunately, the story of Ike Davis is one of “what could have been?” After a good rookie season with 19 home runs and 71 runs driven in, Davis followed up in 2011 but starting out hitting .302 with seven home runs through his first 36 games. He suffered a season-ending ankle injury, which suddenly killed his momentum. Davis hit 32 home runs the following season but only had 21 during his final three seasons in New York. After the injury, he never figured out a consistent batting stance and swing, which eventually led to him being out of baseball by 30.

5. Todd Zeile (2000-01, 04)

Never an All-Star type of player, Todd Zeile was a very reliable big leaguer. He spent two different stints in Flushing, and during his first, he had to fill John Olerud’s shoes. Zeile complemented the top tier Mets infield well, putting up two similar years with the only difference coming in his home run totals. During his final at-bat in 2004, he homered to cap off his 16-year career.

6. Wilmer Flores (2013-2018)

2018 was the only season where Wilmer Flores played a majority of first base. He adapted to the position well as it was the only one he could still play. Flores batted .267/.314/.405 with 20 double when playing first.

7. James Loney (2016)

The Mets needed a veteran to replace the injured Lucas Duda during 2016, and James Loney filled the role perfectly. The reliable Loney did not put the team on his back but certainly did not hurt them either. He played the stellar defense he was known for, and despite hitting for the lowest average of his career, he had his highest slugging percentage since 2013. Loney’s signature moment was his home run against the Philadelphia Phillies to help clinch a wild card spot.

8. Daniel Murphy (2008-15)

Daniel Murphy spent time at first base during the early years of his career after the left-field experiment failed miserably. In 2009 and 2011, he played a combined 152 games at first base; he missed 2010 due to a knee injury. During 2009, Murphy’s 12 homers led the team, and in 2011 he hit .320, which was his highest with the Mets.

9. Mo Vaughn (2002-03)

Injuries kept Mo Vaughn from playing during 2001, but the Mets took a risk on him for the 2002 season. Vaughn made the most of his season with 26 home runs and 72 runs batted in, playing in 139 games. Unfortunately, injuries plagued him in 2003, where he only played in 27 games and missed the entire 2004 season to end his career. His long home run, three quarters up on the Shea Stadium scoreboard, is his memorable Mets moment.

10. Doug Mientkiewicz (2005)

In 2005 plan A was Carlos Delgado. But the settled for plan B in Doug Mientkiewicz. He came to the Mets during a transition season between rebuilding and contending. Mientkiewicz lost his starting job to Mike Jacobs due to poor play, but he bounced back to finish at .240 with 11 homers.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Wilmer Flores

One of the longest tenured New York Mets, Wilmer Flores, is next on the 40-man roster overview. Over his time with the Mets, Flores has grown into a fan favorite.

Flores Grew Up With the Mets

Flores signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela with the Mets in 2007 at the age of 16. He was called up on his 22nd birthday, after five seasons in the minor leagues. Flores was originally a shortstop but over time has transformed to a utility man who can play all four infield positions. Now he mostly sees time at third and first base.

In his first season in 2013, he only had 95 at-bats where he recorded 20 hits and one home run. In 2014, he split his first half of the season between Triple-A and the big leagues. At the end of July, he was able to stick with the team for the rest of the season. He finished the season with a .251 average, six home runs and 21 RBIs.

Tears of Joy

The 2015 season made Flores a true fan favorite. By now we all know the story of Flores crying on the field when he thought the Mets dealt him to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez at the trade deadline. Then a couple of days later he hits the walk off home run against the Washington Nationals that was the beginning of a magical last few months of the 2015 season. He became the starting shortstop in the postseason after Ruben Tejada’s leg was broken by Chase Utley. Flores finished the 2015 season with a .263 average with 16 homers and 59 RBIs.

Flores broke his ankle in the offseason after being hit with a pitch during winter ball. The Mets also signed Asdrubal Cabrera to be the everyday shortstop as well. Flores struggled to start the 2016 season and was put on thee DL in May with a hamstring injury. Flores returned by the end of the month but had his season end early after he broke his wrist in a home plate collision. He finished the year hitting .267 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs. He dominated lefties by batting .340 against them with 11 home runs.

Flores Lives Up to the Expectations

2017 was Flores best season in the big leagues so far. He put up a .271 average, .488 slugging percentage and 18 home runs which were all career highs. Flores also hit for more power against right handed pitching, 11 of his 18 homers came of righties. This was also the first season of his career where he did not play a single innings at shortstop.

Flores started this season with limited playing time but as players started getting injured, he found his way into the lineup more. Through 36 games, he is only hitting .229 with three home runs and seven RBIs but has cut down his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate. In May, his bat has started to come around with a .281 average. With Todd Frazier on the DL and Adrian Gonzalez unable to play multiple games in a row, Flores should continue to see increased playing time. Flores plays a key role as a utility man and the Mets fans always love seeing him play.