Terry Collins told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, that he is not considering Bobby Abreu as a possible leadoff hitter for the Mets.
“No,” Collins replied. “Because he drives in runs for us.”
Despite his advanced age and diminished ability, writes Diamond, Abreu’s skill set probably still translates as an ideal leadoff hitter better than anybody else’s on the roster. He sees 4.14 pitches per plate appearance, which ranks third on the team among players with at least 60 plate appearances. He chases pitches outside the strike zone just 22.7% of the time, the best on the team.
And when he does swing, he hits the ball hard, entering Tuesday’s game against the Cubs with a .315 batting average, a .397 OBP and a .500 slugging percentage. All of those numbers lead the Mets, as does his 32.7 line-drive percentage, albeit in a minuscule sample.
Collins will instead decide who bats leadoff on a day to day basis, having gone with recently called up Matt den Dekker the last two games. With Eric Young Jr. nearing a return from the DL, you could likely see him reprise the role until Juan Lagares returns. I think.
Abreu, 40, has emerged as one of the team’s best performers at the plate which says more about the team than it does him.