NEW YORK -- If you ask manager Terry Collins what kind of impact Bobby Abreu has had on the team in the first half, he'll point to the outfielder's veteran presence in the clubhouse. This season, that term has been a catch-all phrase.
When Abreu joined the team in late April after signing at the end of Spring Training, many were skeptical of what he could provide the team in the twilight of his career. But after two months, Abreu has proven to be a valuable asset both on and off the field in the Mets' first half.
In 56 games, the lefty slugger is hitting .267 and has amassed nearly the same amount of RBIs (14) as walks (15), filling in when needed for a struggling Chris Young and injured Eric Young Jr. in June.
"He doesn't just talk about the preparation to be an off-the-bench player; he talks about hitting period," said Collins. "He talks about the discipline at the plate, he talks about situational hitting."
Younger players Ruben Tejada, Juan Lagares and even Kirk Nieuwenhuis have benefited from Abreu's hitting expertise and knowledge of the game, and the improvements recently are showing off.
"I like to have him explain the little things and try to learn a lot from him," said Tejada.
"[I] just tell them about what they can do in special situations in the game, how they can get a good approach at the plate, a game plan, so they can develop it to the game," said Abreu. "I think it's going to help them [for] the future. Ruben's starting to do better. ... Now he's more consistent at the plate. Lagares is going to be an All-Star, no doubt. So I'm just giving them simple advice to make them be a better player than they already are." As for his ability to still produce as a 40-year-old, Abreu is just glad his advice is being backed up on the field.
"One way is to talk and another way is to execute," he said. "But [I'm] doing both, so they understand what it's all about."
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.