The question, as Rubin also highlights, is how exactly the Mets will get Young into the lineup. The signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have created a bit of a logjam in the outfield that doesn’t favor EY Jr.
As Alderson told MMO in December, there may be some “variation in the configuration” of the outfield in 2014, likely with Granderson as the only everyday starter.
The Mets may go with the option of having a three-man rotation between Juan Lagares, EY and Young in the centerfield and rightfield positions. This system would allow for each to earn their playing time, similar to how Marlon Byrd became an everyday starter this past season.
Eric Young Jr. played 90 games in the leadoff spot for New York this past season and led the National League with 46 stolen bases between his time for the Mets and Rockies in 2014.
Thoughts from Mitch Petanick
When I was being recruited to play college ball, one of the main questions I would ask was whether I would start right away. The response I often heard was “if you can hit, you will play.” In other words, the best offensive player with get the time—the coaches really never cared who the best defender was. That always resonated with me.
I’m sure the same holds true in the major leagues—the best offensive players will be on the field. The Mets would feel very comfortable with Chris Young in center (he’s no slouch defensively), and Eric Young Jr in left. The bottom line is whoever is performing the best offensively will play.
They may start with a mix of Juan Lagares and the two Youngs early in the season, but the hope is that two out of the three will establish themselves as everyday players—and that determination will be made by looking at offensive production.