New York Mets‘ manager Terry Collins has hinted at the fact that utility player Jordany Valdespin could hit leadoff for the team on Opening Day. Although this is not official yet, Valdespin has earned his spot in the starting lineup.
Valdespin struggled with plate discipline as soon as last season, but has shown vast improvement this spring. He is hitting .341 with four home runs in Grapefruit League games, as he has been one of the team’s best hitters. New York’s lineup lacks offensive production, which could give Valdespin a chance to play, but at what position?
The two positions Valdespin is most likely to start at are center field and second base. Marlon Byrd and Lucas Duda have already secured the other two outfield positions for Opening Day. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was originally supposed to start in center field, but the combined efforts of Valdespin and Collin Cowgill have put his roster spot in jeopardy. Nieuwenhuis missed three weeks with a bone bruise on his knee and has hit .045 this spring, neither of which has helped his chances. Second baseman Daniel Murphy could be ready for Opening Day barring any setbacks as he recovers from a rib injury.
Valdespin is still a young player at only 25 years old. He has developed into a legitimate major league hitter this spring and should get a chance to prove it in the regular season. Whether or not he will start on Opening Day is still unclear, but Valdespin has definitely earned his spot on this team.