So recently during one of the games, Gary Cohen brought up former Mets outfielder Benny Agbayani, I don’t remember why, but hey, I thought he would be great for this weeks edition of #ThrowbackThursday.
Originally drafted by the California Angels in the 25th round of the 1992 June Amateur Draft, Agbayani decided to bet on himself and re-enter in next years draft, in hopes of being selected sooner. Unfortunately for Agbayani, it didn’t pan out and the Mets drafted him in the 30th round of the 1993 June Amateur Draft and would eventually sign.
Agbayani later made his Major League and Mets debut in June of 1998, where he went 0-1 in a pinch-hit appearance off of the bench. He would only play in 11 games that season, accumulating 15 at-bats, slashing at .133/ .188/ .133/ .321 in a obviously very small sample size.
However in 1999, the Hawaiian native took incredible leaps and bounds in regards to on-field play. He would appear in 101 games while batting .286/ .363/ .525/ .888 while maintaining a 125 OPS+. In his 276 at-bats, he hit 18 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs while driving in 42 runners and stealing 6 bases.
He kept the momentum rolling in 2000, in 350 at-bats the outfielder hit 15 home runs and drove in 60 RBI’s while hitting .289/ .391/ .477/ .868 with 122 OPS+. During the World Series against the Yankees, Agbayani had 18 at-bats and hit .278/ .381/ .389/ .770 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s. While we all know the outcome to that series, he played a vital role in the Mets 2000 N.L. Championship team.
In his final season with the team, in 2001 Agbayani hit .277/ .364/ .399/ .763 in 91 games and 296 at-bats. He hit 14 doubles, two triples, 6 home runs and drove in 27 RBI’s.
He was traded as part of a 3-team involving the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers in January of 2002 with Todd Zeile, Lenny Harris, and Glendon Rusch for Ross Gload, Craig House, Jeremy Burnitz, Lou Collier, Jeff D’Amico, Mark Sweeney and cash.
Overall, Benny Agbayani had a much better career with the Mets than I originally remembered, I didn’t realize that he was an absolute on-base machine. In his 4 seasons with the Mets, Agbayani appeared in 322 games with 937 at-bats and hit .282/ .372/ .461/ .833 with 51 doubles, 35 home runs, 129 RBI’s, 15 stolen bases and 123 base on balls.
Thank you for the memories, Benny!! #LGM