Terry Collins told WFAN yesterday that Jordany Valdespin will likely bat leadoff for the Mets if he’s in the lineup on Opening Day.
“As of right now, that’s what we’re looking at,” Collins said. “He’s really worked at the pitch selection. He’s got a nice idea at the plate, he makes pitchers work. He can bunt for a hit and he can hit a homer. He’s not getting very many easy, first-pitch fastballs.”
In 14 games this spring, the 24-year-old Valdespin is hitting .341 with 4 HR, 8 RBI and a walk, while striking out just twice and posting a .386 OBP.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Valdespin has adapted to the outfield this spring. Actually, I think he has been better in the outfield than infield. If he can continue to improve, show his versatility and become a more disciplined and professional player, he may develop into the player the Mets both want and need him to be.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The buzz about Jordany last spring training was that, while he’s got a world of talent, he carries himself at times like he’s the best player on the field. This irritates older players and coaches, who can see he still has a lot of work to do. In fact, during an interview on WFAN earlier this year, Collins acknowledged that Valdespin is viewed by people as being a bit cocky. “He’s got one of those attitudes that we need to make him understand what it takes to play at this level,” Collins said. “But, our veterans will keep him in line.”
That seems to have changed. In his interview with WFAN yesterday, Collins referred to Valdespin as a “changed man,” in regards to how he came to camp this spring. I was only in PSL for one week, so I can’t really comment on his presence in camp, but he’s performance on field all spring has been impressive.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I hope he’s awesome. I like players who are bold and brash — with a dash of arrogance — so long as that guy is on my favorite team. In fact, I’ll probably like the guy better if he’s got some flair — like Jose Reyes had, like Pedro Martinez had, like the 1986 team had and like Rickey Henderson perfected. Sure, there can also be players like Lastings Milledge, who got under the skin of veterans and traditionalists, but that only really seems to be an issue if the guy isn’t playing well. Jordany can clearly be that guy if he can carry his on field production into the regular season… also, he has a hilariously awesome Instagram account…