Predicting the Mets opening day batting order

Let’s have a little fun and see if we can predict the opening day batting order for the Mets. The scheduled opener is in Washington on March 28. We’ll make a few assumptions, including that neither of injured infielders Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie will be ready for opening day. The other assumption, which is a lock barring unforeseen circumstance, is that Max Scherzer will be the starter for the Nats in that game.

1…Brandon Nimmo, CF. Nimmo has been laid low most of ST so far, but when he’s right he showed in 2018 he is an on base machine who can drive the ball as well. He was in the leadoff spot frequently last year and thrived, so we’ll put him in that spot for the opener.

2…Amed Rosario, SS. Rosario came into his own at bat in the latter part of 2018, and he’s been sizzling so far this Spring putting up a slash line of .462/.533/.846, admittedly in a small sample of 13 AB. He was mostly placed toward the bottom of the order last year, but he’s been hitting for average and power and he brings excellent speed to the top part of the batting order. Rosario was struck in the hand by a pitch in Monday’s game, fortunately x-rays were negative.

3…Robinson Cano, 2b. He brings sterling credentials from the AL in his first year with the Mets. He has not yet shown power in ST but his career body of work shows he can still slug. Even before the injuries to the other infielders he was a sure-fire bet to be starting at second to open the season.

4…Michael Conforto, RF. The sweet-swinging left handed batter has had a good spring, and he finished up last year on a high note. He gets on base, and he has excellent power.

5…J.D. Davis, 3b. The ex-Astro has been hitting like the highly ranked prospect he once was supposed to be. Considering the top two on the depth chart at third (Lowrie and Frazier) are probably not going to be available for awhile, we’ll stick the versatile Davis at the hot corner.

6…Dominic Smith, 1b. First base may eventually be the home of power-hitting prospect Pete Alonso, but it seems likely he’ll start the year at Syracuse because of the time of service rules and the need to improve his defense. Smith has been otherworldly so far this spring, with a .500/.565/.700 line in 20 AB. Smith is a left handed hitter, and he’s the best defensive first baseman on the whole 40 man roster. If the rest of his ST is anything like his start he has earned a starting berth for the opener.

7…Jeff McNeil, LF. The versatile McNeil has had a slow start this spring, but he had a fine rookie season in 2018. He is more of a natural infielder, but the Mets have been playing him in the outfield since there is a logjam of infielders, at least when Lowrie and Frazier return. That being said, it would be no surprise if McNeill and Davis flipped positions with Davis in the outfield and McNeil at third on opening day.

8…Devin Mesoraco, C. Barring injury, Wilson Ramos will do the bulk of the catching this year for the Mets. However, Jacob deGrom has been named the opening day starter, and he has expressed several times that he likes pitching to Mesoraco. So it makes sense to start Mesoraco on opening day, but over the season Ramos should end up playing 130-140 games barring injury.

9…Jacob deGrom, P. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner will start the opener, to the surprise of no one.

The Mets have a lot of depth this year and we will likely see many different lineups over the course of the season, but this one outlined here would make sense for opening day against the tough Max Scherzer.

11 comments for “Predicting the Mets opening day batting order

  1. March 5, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Amed Rosario has a career .280ish obp you don’t hit him at the top of the lineup until he improves his plate discipline and obp and no fifteen spring at bats changes nothing.

  2. March 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Doubt Mesoraco catches on opening day Ramos will be in there pending health

  3. March 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

    I think this is pretty right on. I might switch McNeil and Rosario, but adding a righty to the top of the order does make sense.
    If current trends continue Dom Smith is most likely the regular first baseman, at least through Easter (4/21).
    I’ll project the bench as well: Mesoroco (except when JdG starts), TdA, Hechaverria, Lagares and……Carlos Gomez! When/if Lowrie and Frazier get healthier the bench will change.

    • March 5, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Broxton has no options left and Gomez is likely done I don’t see Gomez making it

    • John Fox
      March 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Interesting Dan, though I wonder if early in the season with the extra off days they might go with one less relief pitcher and keep an extra position player.

  4. MattyMets
    March 5, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Another thing about delaying Alonso’s premiere is that his first MLB at bats won’t be against the best pitcher in baseball.

    When deGrom throws that first pitch I’m gonna squeal like a piglet.

  5. March 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I would flip flop Rosario and McNeil. The latter being a patient hitter that would allow more opportunities for the lead off hitter to steal a base.. Maybe during the season the team will move up Rosario in the order.

  6. Mike Walczak
    March 5, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Nimmo
    Conforto
    Cano
    Ramos
    Davis
    Smith
    McNeill
    Rosario

  7. Metsense
    March 5, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    My observation is that when Ramos is not in the lineup then lineup looks weaker.On Opening day I think Ramos plays.
    I would expect that Scherzer will last at least three times through the Mets lineup so McNeil batting second will have three times against the righty Scherzer. In the ninth, the lefty Dolittle will close so if the top of the batting order just happens to be up then there will be three Met lefty batters in a row (assuming Ramos is cleanup). Before the 9th inning the Nationals could bring in lefties Grace or Solis but they shouldn’t be a problem. I would bat McNeill second for those reasons.
    Yes Dominic is having a good Spring but Alonso is having a better one. You said if Frazier and Lowrie are out then maybe Alonso will be on the roster and start.(but Smith bats lefty, so I know the platoon advantage, but they again who really knows, but it was a fun exercise John)

  8. TexasGusCC
    March 6, 2019 at 2:14 am

    Pretty interesting John, but I agree with the people that said on opening day Ramos will play. Besides, Ramos is a good catcher, why do we assume JDG may struggle with him?

    Also, how did JD Davis get in the opening day lineup? With Scherzer pitching? I don’t know… My thoughts are:

    Nimmo
    Rosie
    Cano
    Conforto
    Ramos
    McNeil 3B
    Lagares
    Smith
    JDG

    This lineup has defense, is deeper, and yet avoids consecutive same side batters except for Cano and Conforto who are two of the best hitters on the roster.

  9. NYM6986
    March 6, 2019 at 7:49 am

    I see Ramos behind the plate because we need his bat and Lagares in CF because we need his glove against the strong hitting Nats. No prob with Davis at the hot corner. Seeing the potential lineup in writing scares me as once again it shows we need a big bat other than Cespedes whose return is uncertain. We need Lowrie and Frazier back as our bench will be weak without them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: