Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 20, 2005
BASEBALL: Starting Badly

Leadoff hitters for NL East teams:

TeamAvgSlgOBP
Nationals.297.473.369
Marlins.248.331.312
Phillies.233.361.285
Mets.257.383.280
Braves.231.325.275

In other words, the Mets aren't alone in this problem. But that makes it no less in need of fixing. And we also see reason #1 why the Nationals are competitive with the rest of the division - Brad Wilkerson is setting the table in a way nobody else in the division is.

UPDATE: A few additional thoughts. First, the Mets also have little to show from the #2 slot, a problem they share with Atlanta and Washington. Second, I don't doubt that Willie Randolph is a smart guy. I'm sure he knows that Reyes is not a major league leadoff hitter and won't be until he adds significantly more patience (or starts hitting .330). The difference between the Mets and the Nationals is that Frank Robinson has the guts to use an unconventional leadoff man, a power hitter who strikes out a lot. Randolph hasn't demonstrated that he has the self-confidence to buck the conventional wisdom (even widely discredited conventional wisdom like batting a fast guy who doesn't get on base in the leadoff slot), and he won't be a successful major league manager unless he develops it.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:27 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)
Comments

Danno,

Who is a better option? Mientkiewcz? Wright? Floyd? I think Willie has reyes in the right spot for now. If he had a better option, reyes would be in the 2 hole. btw, reyes has been very disapointing this year. won't be surprised if he is traded (in the right deal), as Wright has asserted himself as the future of the organization.

Posted by: jack t at May 20, 2005 10:29 AM

Reyes shouldn't be traded unless there's a great deal available. But he should be batting behind the big hitters, not in front of them. Minky's the logical leadoff man, but not when he's batting .218.

I'd probably go with Wright or Beltran. Beltran's everything you'd want in a leadoff hitter, just that he's also got big power. But Wright makes the most sense because he works the pitcher so well. Even Cameron wouldn't be bad - he's patient, he runs well, and the whiffs are no worse than any other out when the bases are empty.

Posted by: The Crank at May 20, 2005 10:43 AM

I agree that Wright is likely the best option to lead off. Can't hit Beltran there after the $$ they shelled out. But Wright, Cammy, Beltran, Floyd... or Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Floyd.

Reyes's stats over hist first 162 games (over the last three years, as of this week) are pretty impressive: 185 hits, 103 runs, 10 hrs, 36 doubles, 9 triples, 40 steals in 49 attempts, albeit with only a .300 obp. (via http://wilpon-hell.blogspot.com/).
He's only going up from here. To trade him right now would be incredibly foolish in my opinion.

Posted by: George K at May 20, 2005 4:05 PM

Two words: David Wright. I'm glad I'm not the only proponent of this plan.

Posted by: Attila at May 23, 2005 10:04 PM
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