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Mets looking at multiple leadoff options for 2017

jfteran
Sep 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson (3) hits a single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson (3) hits a single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the fourth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Mets lineup should be a productive one if everyone manages to stay healthy, but the order in which hitters will bat is of particular interest to manager Terry Collins.

The Mets don’t really have a true leadoff hitter in their everyday lineup. Jose Reyes‘ name will always come up, of course, but short of injuries to David Wright or Asdrubal Cabrera, he’s not slated to start every game, so he shouldn’t be included in that specific discussion.

Mets manager Terry Collins is aware of this lack of an everyday leadoff man too. He spoke to the New York Post’s Mike Puma and told him how he’s looking at this decision ahead of Spring Training.

Collins is considering three main options to leadoff games: Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Granderson, who batted leadoff most of the year before Reyes was brought over, seems like the logical choice. He was a spark plug for the Mets offense in 2015 in route to a National League pennant, but he struggled heavily at the beginning of last season in that role. He hit only .218 overall, and while he did hit 16 home runs batting in the first slot of the lineup, it might be time to consider other options that aren’t so all or nothing.

Granderson actually excelled when he hit in the middle of the lineup instead of leadoff. In 23 games batting cleanup, for example, he posted an OPS of 1.045.

“When we put him in the middle of the order last year, that is when he really got going, so that is something we might not want to change,” Collins confirmed.

When it comes to Neil Walker, the veteran second baseman would be up for the challenge of hitting leadoff.

"“Hitting first or second is really different from hitting anywhere else in the order, except maybe eighth, in the National League,” Walker told Puma. “Your mindset changes at the top of the order to being a table setter, being more patient, taking a few more pitches here and there and understanding in the National League you are probably not going to have as many opportunities to drive in runs.You are trying to create havoc on the base paths, so that is kind of where it’s at: Your job goes from doing damage to doing what you can to get on base.”"

A big part of this decision will obviously ride on Wright’s health. If he’s really not able to get back out there consistently, then the leadoff spot will likely belong to Reyes for the majority of the year, and this isn’t even an issue. However, Collins and the rest of the Mets staff have to take all possibilities into account going into the season.

Next: MLB changes intentional walk rule requiring only dugout signal

Whatever ends up happening, we can be sure the Mets will have some pop at the top of the order every game. We should all make sure we’re in our seats early this season because we might miss some fireworks if we’re not.

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