Have The Mets Found The Leadoff Hitter They’ve Lacked Since Reyes?
Eric Young extended his hitting streak to seven games last night, one shy of his career-high. Young is hitting .419 (13-31) during that current stretch. Young’s career-best is an eight-game hitting streak, September 6-13, 2010.
Since joining the Mets on June 19, Young is batting .359 (14-39) with five runs scored, four doubles and six RBI. He has taken to the Mets and to left field like white on rice and has quickly become an integral part of the team’s offense.
I took a look at some numbers this morning and found that before Young became a fixture in the leadoff spot of the lineup, the number one spot in the order had been batting .218/.257/.278 for the Mets – the worst mark in the league.
The Mets have used ten different players in the leadoff spot this season. I charted their individual production for you:
With a .405 on-base, and in a very small sample size, Young is finally giving the Mets exactly what they have lacked since Jose Reyes was shown the door. He’s not only getting on base, but his speed is wreaking havoc and creating opportunities for the Mets to generate more runs.
Young can use his speed to perfectly execute a drag bunt at any time. Opposing defenses know this and you’ll often see them play the corners in to guard against it. When they don’t, Young will burn them.
The Piscataway, New Jersey native has also added a positive energy to the clubhouse and there’s a certain level of energy at the top of the order that has been lacking all season long.
Manager Terry Collins finally has his leadoff man. ”His game plays well here in this ballpark,” Collins said, “because he can bunt. … He’s not a big power guy. He uses the whole field to hit, and this is a big outfield here. I think his game plays here and his foot speed in the outfield is going to make a big difference.”
“He’s made a huge impact with us. When you look at what our leadoff hitters were doing until he got here, the impact is monumental for us. He’s on base, he’s in scoring position all the time.”
Young feels right at home in Citi Field. ”There’s a lot of space. If I hit one in the gap, I can run around. Or I can get a hit to drop in somewhere. This ballpark is really going to play to my advantage as long as I focus on the process and do things correctly at the plate.”
So far, he’s been doing everything correctly at the plate, on the basepaths, and in the field. Lets hope it continues.
Someone asked me yesterday if the Mets will re-sign Young and bring him back next season. The fact is that the 28-year old speedster is under team control for an additional two years, and if he keeps performing at the level he has, this acquisition will be among Sandy Alderson’s best at the major league level.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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