Top of the Order

So there’s Travis d’Arnaud, aka “Shoeless Aud,” wearing his new No. 7 jersey. Could you also see him in a new lineup position?

7Let me begin by saying I’m generally if not wildly optimistic for the Mets chances this year. I like the additions of Cuddyer and Mayberry. I believe that David Wright could still rebound, and I think Wilmer Flores is a bold choice in a year where offense is going to be hard to find. I think a solid starting staff and bullpen might be constructed just from what *doesn’t* make the opening-day roster this year. That’s all very encouraging.

Where I’m concerned is that they don’t really have an ideal leadoff hitter, and I worry especially that they’ll try to shoehorn Juan Lagares into that role. It’s not that I don’t believe Lagares could ever become a leadoff guy (though I have doubts), it’s that given his low walk rates and seeming luck on balls-in-play (he BABIPped at 340 vs. a league average of 300) I’d prefer he demonstrate whatever nascent leadoff skills he possesses as a 7th or 8th place hitter and let someone generally more qualified garner the extra trips and run-building opportunities that come with the role.

I’m not arguing that Travis d’Arnaud should be a leadoff hitter either, but I might be tempted to try him there sooner than I would Lagares. His walk rate is better and BABIP ought to improve, and his superior extra-base power could get us some early leads in road games, which I’d prefer over whatever advantage you might realize from Lagares’ stolen bases. Actually the club would seem to favor Curtis Granderson (or let’s face it, Kirk Nieuwenhuis) leading off, but I can see the argument for getting Grandy’s bat more in the mix off all those middle-of-the-order righties – yet another consequence of the Mets not having gathered in a lefthanded hitting shortstop over the offseason.

Who leads off for your 2015 Mets?

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  1. ethan d says:

    who puts a catcher at lead off. Sure he can get on base with doubles and walks but he doesn’t really have speed and he fell apart in the middle of last season. You might as well put Murphy lead off. he’s more experience, more stable and can get on base. he also has 13 steals in 2014 against d’arnaud’s 1. D’arnaud may have more power but who puts a lead off man out their to hit homers. Go with murphy he’s more stable than travis, lagares or granderson

    • Jon Springer says:

      Yeah it’s probably a dumb idea. The disruption caused by the days off alone would wreck everyone’s game. Murphy also has a lousy walk rate and despite the stolen bases is generally a moron on the basepaths, so I’m not even considering him.

      I like home runs and doubles from my leadoff hitter though, especially if they can come in road games.

  2. Chris Sullivan says:

    I’m not sure if he was a catcher at the time or OF/DH, but Brian Downing frequently hit leadoff for the Angels in the 80s.

  3. 9th string catcher says:

    It’s a cool idea – I love the idea that you’d have D’ and Murphy running up pitch counts from the start, then bringing up Lagares and Duda who also work counts pretty well. Too bad you can’t teach speed – you would probably end up with a lot of stranded baserunners. But I hate Granderson and his million strikeouts high up in the order.

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