Collins envisions Tejada as No. 2 hitter

Collins envisions Tejada as No. 2 hitter

Collins envisions Tejada as No. 2 hitter
NEW YORK -- Ruben Tejada has had plenty of success at the top of the Mets' order in 2012, but that's not where manager Terry Collins thinks his shortstop will ultimately thrive.

Collins said on Wednesday that he thinks Tejada will eventually be a dangerous No. 2 hitter. Tejada is hitting .312 with 24 hits in 77 at-bats from the two-spot this season, but the team's overall lack of production from the leadoff spot has forced him to the top of the lineup.

"One of the things Ruben's done for us in the games we've played well is he's gotten on base," Collins said. "If your leadoff hitter's not getting on, [whoever is] hitting second, you might as well lead him off, and that's what we're doing."

Tejada carried a career-high 12-game hitting streak into Wednesday's game against the Marlins, and he's hitting .331 (55-of-166) since returning from the disabled list on June 24. He extended the hit streak to 13 games with a leadoff single in the third inning.

"He can handle the bat, he doesn't strike out and puts the ball around the field," Collins said. "I think one of these days, he's going to be the kind of guy where if you get the leadoff guy on and he gets a first-pitch fastball, he's going to hit it into the seats. I think because of his offensive ceiling, he's going to have a chance to be a really good second hitter."