Mets Have Hole At Top Of Order; Juan Lagares No Sure Thing To Stick

The way things currently stand, the New York Mets don’t have a leadoff hitter. The tried nine last season before settling on Eric Young.

The signing of Curtis Granderson sends Young to the bench, that is, unless the Mets trade Daniel Murphy and move Young to second base. However, the Mets are asking a lot for Murphy, so there’s nothing imminent there.


LAGARES: Needs to hit to stay.

LAGARES: Needs to hit to stay.

Chris Young has the speed, but strikes out too much to be a consistent leadoff hitter. Juan Lagares also has speed, but also strikes out too much with a 96-20 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 392 plate appearances. The Mets would want somebody with better than a .281 on-base percentage at the top of the order.

We talked last year about Murph maybe leading off, but I haven’t gone there,’’ manager Terry Collins said.  “I know Chris Young led off some in Arizona.  But until, again, I see what the pieces are in the clubhouse, I don’t have to write a lineup until the end of February.’’

An intriguing possibility is Ruben Tejada, that is, if he plays the way he did two seasons ago.

“If Rueben Tejada does what we know he can do, he could be that guy because he gets on base,’’ Collins said.  “He gives you great at?bats and gets on base.’’

If not Tejada, Eric Young could resurface if Lagares doesn’t pan out, which is a distinct possibility. Lagares was impressive in center field, but his offense is lacking. There has been some thought of him in a platoon role, which would be a mistake.

If Lagares is on the 25-man roster leaving spring training, he needs to play. Playing off the bench is counterproductive to his development. But, if he plays, he needs to hit. What he gave the Mets last season at the plate won’t cut it.

“I don’t know what it will be.  I don’t know that you can put a number to it,’’ Collins said of Lagares’ offensive potential.  “He’s a guy defensively.  But in order for us to have the success we want, everybody’s got to hit.’’

Quite simply, the Mets aren’t good enough offensively to carry Lagares. He hits, he plays. If not, he should open the season in the minor leagues.

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12 thoughts on “Mets Have Hole At Top Of Order; Juan Lagares No Sure Thing To Stick

  1. I think den Dekker is the most likely to emerge in that center field spot, given enough time. Not sure about leadoff hitter though. I don’t like Murphy in that spot. I like him as more of a situational hitter in the 2-hole. I do like EY, but he just doesn’t get on base enough. Great baserunner though.

    Our best configuration may be with Chris Young or Granderson in CF, the other of those two in right, and EY in left.

    If they are dead set on Legares playing center, they may need to stick Duda in the leadoff spot. That ought to be interesting, lol.

  2. Collins says” In order for us to have the success we want, everybody has to hit” In that case, Duda, Ike and Chris Davis can’t be in the lineup either.

    • There are two people who hit. They are Dan and David. No one else hits. Why are we singling out a young outfielder who is learning the game?

      We just spent $22m on two players who have about the same avg. where is the criticism?

  3. Lagares needs to start in CF. He has a lot of potential. There will be growing pains but he needs to start.

    Things may change, but if he shows up and plays he needs to start. If after 2 months he sucks then do what you have to do.

    They gave Ike 1 1/2 yrs of sucking before they sat him.

    Why is everyone so hot on young? He plays a good OF but doesn’t hit. His past teams have decided he is not a starter. Why will he become an all star in queens?

    • Eric Young is game changer and should be leading off. He can flat out run and does so with energy and smarts, the most appropriate lead off hitter we have who is readily capable of stealing tons of bases, distracting the opposition. The Mets should work with him in Port St Lucie – help him become better hitter and on base guy and rest will take care of itself. Was good hitter in the minors and great base stealer, hasn’t had a lot of major league AB’s, – point is he’s more capable than thus displayed.

      • What you say is true.

        I love his energy and he plays great d.

        But he can’t hit. Den Dekker is the same. Can’t hit.

        They need to prove they can hit. So far those two have not proved that.

        Lagares shows he might hit, but if he proves he can’t hit then he is the same.

      • LongTimeFan: I agree with you. I’d rather have Eric Young’s speed and potential in the line-up than Chris Young’s strike outs. You can’t teach speed.-JD

      • Absolutely.

        Lagares might be our CF for a long time. But we won’t know that if we don’t play him