From 2003-2011, speed at the top of the lineup was rarely an issue for the New York Mets. Whether the offense was surging or slumping, Jose Reyes was always a spark plug for the team both on and off the field. Now ever since Reyes took his talents to South Beach and was soon after shipped North of the border, the Mets have another thrilling speedster at the top of the order in Eric Young Jr.
This past weekend we saw Young hit a two-run walk-off home run in the eleventh inning Friday, making a highlight reel catch in left on Saturday, and had yet another multi-hit game in Sunday’s rubber game loss to the Royals.
Despite a recent slump, Young has reached base in all but four of his games in his six-week Met-tenure. He is batting .267/.351/.364 with 44 hits–12 of those for extra bases–, 24 runs scored, 21 walks and 14 stolen bases. If those numbers are stretched over a full season, Young would have 183 hits, 100 runs scored, 38 doubles, 9 triples, 88 walks and 59 steals.
The speed he has brought to the Mets alone speaks for itself. In 2011, with Reyes, the Mets were third in the National League in stolen bases. Without him in 2012, that figure drops to 14th.
Come 2013, the running game remained ever-absent even with a suddenly-speedy Daniel Murphy, ranking near the basement in swipes yet again. In July, Young’s first full month as a Met, they are second only to the Milwaukee Brewers for the most steals in the game.