Despite his age, Bobby Abreu is hitting .309/.391/.491 for the Mets this season. Among hitters with at least forty plate appearance on the season, he leads the team in all three categories. While the Mets entered the season without an obvious traditional leadoff hitter, Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal suggests Abreu might be the right player for the role in the absence of the players that have done so this year—Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares, for the most part.
As Diamond points out, Abreu sees a lot of pitches and rarely swings at those outside the strike zone. His approach seems to be exactly what the current front office likes in a player. He brought up the point to manager Terry Collins, who shot down the idea because Abreu is capable of driving in runs in the middle of the order. He adds:
"He certainly doesn't look the part, weighing 220 pounds and sporting an appropriate quadragenarian paunch. He won't steal many bases at this point in his career, either—though he did steal one Friday."
In the end, it might not matter all that much who hits leadoff for the Mets, as lineup construction probably isn't as important as it's widely made out to be. But if the Mets are hoping to maximize the return from a lineup that has its limitations, Diamond's point is a good one: Get the guy who's most likely to get on base as many plate appearances as possible.