Mets Stat Of The Day: The best leadoff hitter seasons

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Terry Collins indicated that Eric Young, Jr. may be the lead-off hitter this season. Mets fans were quick to react negatively. Let's take a look at the best lead-off hitters in Mets history and see how those teams fared.

A lineup starts with the leadoff hitter. Someone must always come first, but there is a lot more to an effective lineup than just who is hitting at the top of the order. Let's take a look at the best seasons the Mets have had from their leadoff hitter and compare those performances to the team's overall success.

Using on-base percentage as the barometer—the chief attribute of any good leadoff man—we can find the twenty best seasons by Mets leadoff hitters. There is a wide distribution in terms of relationship to team success. The worst season, 1962, had Richie Ashburn and his .414 OBP, second-best all-time by a Mets hitter batting first in the order. There was also Lenny Dykstra's 1986 season and Tommie Agee's 1969 season, both World Series winning teams, landing in the top ten.

Then, somehow, 18th on the list was Eric Young Jr.'s 2013 season.

Rk Player Year Team Record PA OBP R SB
1 Rickey Henderson 1999 97-66 517 0.417 87 36
2 Richie Ashburn 1962 40-120 426 0.414 55 12
3 Lenny Randle 1977 64-98 537 0.383 71 29
4 Jose Reyes 2011 77-85 584 0.383 100 39
5 Brett Butler 1995 69-75 416 0.378 53 20
6 Lenny Dykstra 1986 108-54 446 0.376 71 31
7 Lance Johnson 1996 71-91 702 0.362 112 50
8 Jose Reyes 2008 89-73 763 0.358 113 56
9 Wally Backman 1984 90-72 480 0.357 65 31
10 Tommie Agee 1969 100-62 420 0.355 69 11
11 Jose Reyes 2006 97-65 699 0.354 121 64
12 Jose Reyes 2007 88-74 765 0.354 119 78
13 Lenny Dykstra 1987 92-70 442 0.347 76 24
14 Tommie Agee 1970 83-79 676 0.341 105 29
15 Roger Cedeno 2003 66-95 414 0.333 59 12
16 Jose Reyes 2010 79-83 507 0.333 70 24
17 Bud Harrelson 1967 61-101 533 0.319 53 11
18 Eric Young 2013 74-88 417 0.319 48 38
19 Mookie Wilson 1982 65-97 659 0.311 88 57
20 Lenny Dykstra 1988 100-60 434 0.310 52 28

Source: Baseball-Reference.com

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