Six games into the season and the Mets have used three different leadoff hitters. Evidently, there are answers to be found.
One who should get a longer look is Mike Baxter, who started Saturday and reached base three times on two hits and a walk.
BAXTER: The catch that saved Santana. (AP)
A lead off hitter needs to get on base, and if not then take the count as deep as possible to give the following hitters a chance to learn what they can of the pitcher. Baxter usually runs up the pitch count, and if he plays a full game can see as many as a dozen pitches. That’s an in-game scouting report to those following him in the order.
Little League coaches like to say, “a walk is as good as a hit,’’ and there are times it is the same in the major leagues.
“He takes a base on balls,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “If he was a genuine base-stealer, he’d be dangerous. You look up, and he’s got a .375 on-base. It seems like he’s on first base all of the time.’’
Actually, Baxter’s career on-base