Scott Hairston has made it clear that he wants the chance to be an every day outfielder. He said it earlier this week, and continues to back it up with his play in the field. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but at this point, he is probably the Mets best option heading into 2013.
Hairston was 3-4 with three doubles again last night. He has raised his average to .274, to go along with his 14 homeruns. Not too shabby from a guy that made me laugh when the Mets resigned him in 2012. I can remember the conversation I had with my friend like it was yesterday:
Friend: The Mets signed Hairston.
Mitch: Not bad, but I thought they wanted Murphy to play 2b? Maybe they’re moving him to the outfield again? It’s a nice utility infielder.
Friend: Not that Hairston, Scott Hairston…
Who’s laughing now?
What I like about Hairston is that he’s hungry. He’s the only player in the Mets outfield that has proclaimed he wants to be an everyday player. He is definitely strengthening his case as the season progresses. That’s the kind of passion and fire I like to see in players. Hairston is also an aging veteran who recognizes that this Mets outfield may be his last chance to be an everyday player.
Here’s what I would do with Hairston the rest of the year – make him an everyday outfielder for the remainder of the season. Let’s see how he responds. With more at bats, he could excel even more. The flipside is that with more at bats, his weaknesses will be exposed, and the reasons why he was never been able to nail down a starting role may float to the surface.
I’m not saying Hairston should be a starting outfielder, especially given his age and the fact he has never held down an everyday role before. But his reliable play this year has at least earned him the opportunity to be in the mix to lock down a job for 2013.
Maybe that’s why the Mets never traded him.