Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career yesterday. He ended the day with three hits and a walk in five plate appearances. He also managed to steal a base. Does this mean “Captain Kirk” should hit leadoff for good?
He should definitely be given a chance. Terry Collins has stated numerous times that he will give Andres Torres the job when he comes back, Kirk has earned a spot in the everyday lineup.
If Kirk were to be permanently installed, he would certainly not be the classic leadoff hitter. However, many teams have realized that the classic leadoff hitter just doesn’t cut it anymore. Kirk brings solid, all-around, smart play to the table. He can do a little bit of everything, which makes him a special player. Look at last night’s game: he had two doubles, a single, a walk, and he stole a base.
Also, look at his on-base percentage. In 36 plat appearances, he has a .444 on-base percentage. That’s impressive, especially for such a young player.
Kirk also possesses discipline far behind his age. Gary, Keith, and Ron on the telecast yesterday were talking about his calm, cool, and collected mindset on the field. That’s exactly what you want at the top of your lineup: a rock.
“Captain Kirk” should definitely be given a shot as a leadoff hitter, even though he doesn’t fit the classic mold.