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MLB New York Mets

Analyzing the New York Mets’ Opening Day Lineup

Analyzing the New York Mets' Opening Day Lineup

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Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

While the New York Mets certainly added some much-needed pop to their lineup this offseason, there are still quite a few question marks with the Opening Day lineup. There aren't many obvious fits in terms of where players should bat, so it's going to take some creativity on manager Terry Collins' part to get the most production out of the players he's been provided with. What follows is the projected Opening Day lineup.

1. Chris Young, LF

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

1. Chris Young, LF

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

While Chris Young isn't a prototypical leadoff hitter -- which could lead to his namesake Eric Young, Jr. getting more at bats -- Chris is one of the likelier options to lead off when Young, Jr. isn't in the lineup. Young is trying to bounce back from several ineffective, injury plagued seasons, and he'll have to show a new found ability to lay off bad pitches in order to decrease his strikeout total and up his on-base percentage.

2. Daniel Murphy, 2B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

2. Daniel Murphy, 2B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

Daniel Murphy is another potential candidate to leadoff, especially on days the Mets are facing a right-handed pitcher. But as one of the Mets' better hitters, they may want him further down the lineup a bit for RBI opportunities. Murphy has been one of the more consistent Mets hitters over the past few seasons, and New York hopes he can add a bit more pop and selectivity to his hitting approach.

3. David Wright, 3B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

3. David Wright, 3B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

David Wright is the heart and soul of the franchise and, not coincidentally, their best hitter as well. Wright will occupy his familiar No. 3 spot in the order, usually reserved for the team's best overall hitter, and will attempt to replicate last season's big time numbers. The Mets' lineup takes a huge hit when Wright isn't in it, heightening the importance of Wright being able to stay healthy this season.

4. Curtis Granderson, RF

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

4. Curtis Granderson, RF

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

Curtis Granderson was the Mets' big free agent acquisition this offseason and will be slotted in the cleanup spot,with the duty of protecting Wright. Granderson is coming off an injury-plagued season, but in his last two healthy seasons, he's hit over 40 home runs in each. The Mets need that kind of power in an otherwise light hitting lineup, and Granderson's ability to hit in Citi Field will be a key determinant on how far the Mets go.

5. Travis d'Arnaud, C

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

5. Travis d'Arnaud, C

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

While this spot might seem a bit ambitious for young Travis d'Arnaud, who has never started a season in the majors, with the dearth of sufficient options on the Mets roster, he could end up with this spot by default. d'Arnaud has always been a promising offensive prospect, so it wouldn't come as that much of a surprise if manager Terry Collins chose to split up the two lefties with the young catcher.

6. Lucas Duda, 1B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

6. Lucas Duda, 1B

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

With both Lucas Duda and Ike Davis suffering through injuries this spring, a definitive winner in the competition for everyday at-bats at first base has yet to be named. Duda has at least returned to the field, while Davis still nurses a calf injury that's kept him out of the better part of two weeks. The winner will probably find themselves in the No. 5 or 6 hole on Opening Day, meaning whoever it is better get their act in gear.

7. Juan Lagares, CF

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Scott Rovak- USA Today Sports

7. Juan Lagares, CF

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Scott Rovak- USA Today Sports

Juan Lagares came out of nowhere to claim the Mets' everyday center field job last season and, thanks to his defense, is the odds on favorite to man that position again this season. Lagares' defense is his calling card, but he has to pull his weight with the bat in order to stay in the lineup consistently. While Lagares made some nice adjustments last year, he has to be more consistent at the plate in order to take his game to the next level.

8. Ruben Tejada, SS

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

8. Ruben Tejada, SS

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

Ruben Tejada is the incumbent shortstop, if for no other reason than the Mets literally don't have anyone else in the organization ready to take the job from him on a full-time basis. Tejada struggled mightily at the plate last season and has continued to do so this spring. Until he finds his stroke, he's likely to bat at the bottom of the order, right in front of the pitcher, where the Mets can hide him more easily.

9. Zack Wheeler, SP

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

9. Zack Wheeler, SP

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Brad Barr- USA Today Sports

Zack Wheeler could be lined up to start Opening Day now that Jon Niese has had another injury setback, but whomever starts for New York will, in all likelihood, be hitting out of the ninth spot in the order. While Terry Collins has talked about experimenting by hitting his pitcher eighth, it's highly unlikely that's a strategy he'd undertake at the beginning of the year before he gets everything sorted out.