Castillo—Remaining skills are batting average, on base percentage, seeing many pitches, and speed. Bascially, the prototypical leadoff hitter. No power, but not as meaningful if he leads off. Seeing a lot of pitches in the leadoff spot is very helpful to begin a game, for the team to see what a pitcher throws, and also to make the starter work right off the bat.
Pagan/Beltran—Paganâ€™s speed and BA skills can be useful here while Beltran recovers. With either guy, that is a lot of speed 1-2-3, and will lessen the amount of potential DPs Wright might hit into, as well as having loads of guys on base in general, and specifically lots of SF opportunities for DRod. Over his career, Beltran has hit for the MOST power hitting 2nd, and has very similar BA and OBP stats hitting 2nd to what he has hitting 4th. His stats hitting 2nd are across the board better than hitting 3rd or 5th. Look it up. Beltranâ€™s natural spot is as a 2 hitter.
Reyes—The power might increase if he is not forced to continue to take too many pitches. He might hit 40 2B/20 3B/20 HR swinging away. He is our 2nd best hitter after Wright, has power and speed across the board, and very well might be more of a natural number 3 hitter than anyone has realized. All of the 2B and 3B in the first inning will now drive in a load of runs in addition to putting Jose in scoring position. As Peter Clemenza once said to Michael Corleone, â€œIâ€™m not asking for help….just take off the handcuffs.â€ Let Jose be Jose. In addition, this move dramatically changes the entire dynamic of the batting order, without changing the personnel. And Jose will still have plenty of opportunities to utilize his speed.
Wright—Those who suggest that Wright hit 5th to protect Bay have a good point, but Wright is too good of a hitter to hit below 4th. He will have the chance to drive in 150 with the top three guys proposed here, and Bay will protect HIM.
Bay—A really good, solid, all-around offensive player. If he is pitched around, he will walk a lot, and give Frenchy more RBI chances, as well as giving Frenchy better pitches to hit when Bay gets on base.
Francoeur—A very streaky, all-or-nothing hitter. Must have protection, and in this lineup has it in front and behind. Bay will get on base before him, and Murph, assuming he at least can produce as he did in 2009, will ensure that Frenchy sees strikes, lessening his propensity to swing at bad pitches. If Murph improves in the 2B and HR departments, Frenchy will have a chance to have a great year; in addition, Murph then very possibly becomes a long-term number 2 hitter for the future. With the 1-5 hitters ahead of him all having at least good OBPs, Frenchy will have a chance to set a career high in RBI.
Murphy—Will protect Frenchy even if he just duplicates 2009, but a slight improvement in the 2B and HR production will ensure that pitchers throw Frenchy strikes in an attempt to K him. Sure, Frenchy will still K some, but the more pitches in the zone he sees, the more HR and RBI he will produce.
Barajas—Must hit 8th in this lineup. If he can come close to duplicating 2009â€™s 2B and HR, he will drive in plenty of runs. Not a high average or OBP guy, but still, his power in the 8 hole will produce runs.