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The Flukies

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I draw inspiration for my writing from different places. Oftentimes, people -- famous or otherwise -- lead me to new ideas. Other times it's a book or movie that broadens my worldview. Still other times I find that thoughts just sprout up full grown within the organic mulch otherwise known as my underdeveloped brain matter. Usually I just swipe 'em from elsewhere and credit where appropriate.

Today I was inspired by Grant's post at McCovey Chronicles which looked at the individual fluke performances for Giants teams over the past decade or so. We all know fluke seasons when we see them. It's not always easy to recognize them at the time; sometimes a fluke is really just a leap, as a player establishes a new level of production rather than a single exceptional season out of line with the rest of that player's career. If the season occurs prior to or in the midst of a player's prime, it could still be a stepping stone on the path to becoming a better player. If the season occurs towards the tail end of a player's career, or is so uncharacteristically good compared to a young player's minor league performance, it could very well be a fluke.

  1. Butch Huskey | OPS+: 114 | Career OPS+: 96
  2. Good minor league player who never amounted to much in the big leagues. Had a first-baseman's body but his bat was never equal to the task.

  3. Brian McRae | OPS+: 116 | Career OPS+: 92
  4. Came to the Mets with Turk Wendell in the Lance Johnson deal with the Cubs. McRae had one or two decent seasons aside from this one, but 1998 was clearly his best. His dad went nuts and threw a phone that one time. That I know of.

  5. Benny Agbayani | OPS+: 124 | Career OPS+: 107
  6. 1999 and 2000 were great years for Benny. The two lasting memories of him as a Met are his game-winning homerun in the 2000 LDS and when he gave the ball to a kid in the stands after catching the second out of an inning. Classic Agbayani. Has an autobiography.

  7. Todd Pratt | OPS+ 115 | Career OPS+: 94
  8. Nicknamed "Tank", which is awesome irrespective of his baseball accomplishments. Won the 1999 LDS with an extra-inning homerun. Turned the only walk-off grand slam in postseason history into a single. Once managed a pizza joint.

  9. Desi Relaford | OPS+: 118 | Career OPS+: 73
  10. Awesome for one year, traded for Shawn Estes.

  11. Ty Wigginton | OPS+: 132 | Career OPS+: 102
  12. My wife and I were at the first game Wiggie ever played with the Mets. My boss would get tickets just to the right of the Mets' dugout, so we were practically in the photo box while Wigginton was making some warm-up tosses. Kim told me to take a few pictures so if he ever turned into a big star we could say we were on his bandwagon from the very beginning. Those pictures are sitting in a box somewhere waiting for Wiggie to take care of his half of the bargain.

  13. Jason Phillips | OPS+: 115 | Career OPS+: 80
  14. The goggles were awesome, and were the inspiration for MetsGeek's logo.

  15. Eric Valent | OPS+: 110 | Career OPS+: 81
  16. Hit for the cycle. Eric "I Gave Up Meat" Valent is still one of the best Berman-isms of all time. Berman has also been known to go nuts on occasion.

I tried to pick guys with at least a couple hundred plate appearances, and I think most of these guys crossed that threshold. I didn't really have anybody beyond 2004, though maybe we can revisit this list in a couple of years to see if any of the more recent seasons qualify as flukes in retrospect.

Any personal nominees for this list?