5 Best Options to Hit Leadoff For New York Mets
New York Mets' Leadoff Options
The New York Mets prepare to enter the 2014 season with an improved roster from the year before. However, one spot they did not improve is the leadoff spot at the top of the lineup.
Eric Young, Jr. spent the most games batting leadoff for the Mets in 2013 and he did a serviceable job, but some people still felt that New York needed an upgrade. While the Mets did upgrade their outfield depth, they did not bring in a clear front-runner to hit leadoff.
However, the Mets do have options. Options are good because manager Terry Collins likes to get creative when things aren’t working for his team.
The X-factor for this is the first base position. Despite the Mets’ efforts to enter the season with either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda gone, they enter with both players still on the roster. If Davis finds his form from when he first hit the big leagues in 2010, and Duda can finally put things together and be the offensive force the Mets think he can be, then Duda will find himself in the lineup taking up an outfield spot.
There’s much speculation about who would be the odd man out in the Mets outfield already, if Duda gets added into the equation, then that outfield becomes very packed. Currently, the Mets have Young, Jr., Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and Juan Lagares in the outfield, a crowded outfield filled with leadoff options that makes things very difficult, but very interesting moving forward for Collins as he fills out a lineup card every day.
5. Curtis Granderson
If Davis and Duda are providing power, the option is there to take Granderson out of the middle of the lineup and move him towards the top.
4. Chris Young
Young has the tools to be a good leadoff hitter, but he has to improve his on-base percentage. He simply hits for too low an average and doesn't get on base often enough, though he has at times in the past. Also, he has to cut down on the strikeouts.
3. Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy is not your prototypical leadoff man. He's not very fast despite his 23 stolen bases last year. The advantage of using Murphy is his plate discipline and his ability to get on base.
In recent years, the Mets have preached plate discipline almost to a fault at times. Murphy is the kind of guy you want at the top because he will make a pitcher throw a lot of pitches early, and he can make him pay if he makes a mistake.
2. Ruben Tejada
Like Murphy, Ruben Tejada's best quality is his plate discipline.
When Tejada was at his best in 2011 and 2012, he did it by being patient at the plate and getting on base at all costs. In 2013, he got too patient and watched too many good pitches go by. If he can return to the form of two years ago, he would be a solid option to bat no. 1 in the order.
1. Eric Young, Jr.
After coming over from the Colorado Rockies in June of 2013, Young, Jr. brought a dynamic presence to the Mets lineup that they had been missing since the departure of Jose Reyes. Young, Jr. stole 38 bases for the Mets, totaling 46 on the year.
Going into the season, he is the team's best option and should expect to see plenty of time leading off for the Mets.
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