Congratulations to Eric Young Jr.
National League Stolen Base Leader for 2013!
Eric Young Jr. might have been a man on a mission when he took the field for the Mets in yesterday’s season finale. He led off the game with a base hit and took off — successfully — for second base on the very next pitch, cementing himself as the NL’s stolen base leader for 2013. A couple pitches later, he stole third with ease for good measure to put his season total at 46. He even gunned down a runner at home later in the game to help out Jon Niese. The Brewers had benched Jean Segura, whom Young had entered the day tied at 44 steals with, which set the stage for Young to break the tie.
In the grand scheme of things, this season ended up being yet another lost one — so it’s perfectly fine to give a nod to some individual achievements and try to find a reason to smile. Young was certainly one of the bright spots on this team from the second he joined it, and he did the majority of his work on the basepaths with the Mets. In 57 games with the Rockies, Young stole just eight bases. However, through 90 games with us, he stole 36 bases as our primary lead-off man. Since 2003, the Mets will have had the SB Crown winner on their team a total of four times — the most in the NL. Jose Reyes led the league in steals in ’05, ’06, and ’07.
Young found himself on a team that was more aggressive on the basepaths when he joined the Mets — and it was out of necessity, considering the Mets needed to find any possible way to jump-start their offense. He has certainly earned a bench spot on the team next year — so the Mets will undoubtedly keep him. He’s not eligible to be a free agent till 2017, so considering that Young seems like the type of player that can provide a little spark and fill-in for injuries if needed, Alderson might have picked up a nice piece in Eric Young.
I’m sure Young won’t be seeking out Alderson for any congratulations on the NL Stolen Base Crown, however, since he openly stated that “stolen bases were a footnote” back in 2011. The Mets, for their part, were quite adept in a field that Alderson dismissed — they finished 3rd in the NL and 8th in the MLB with 114 stolen bases collectively. Young was the main culprit, so congratulations to him for a solid season.