Mets Matters: What Should Eric Young’s Role Be This Season?

eric young

(Updated 2/12)

Eric Young Jr. arrived for his first day at the Mets’ complex this spring wearing a new workout shirt, writes Kristie Ackert of the Daily News. In appropriate blue and orange, it had “Speed Swag” emblazoned across his chest.

Young spoke to reporters and in a short statement made clear that he doesn’t care where he plays as long as he’s in the lineup everyday and batting leadoff.

“That’s what I have been my whole life,” Young said of being the leadoff hitter. “This level, the major league level, all I can do is just play baseball and let them do their job and fit me in there.”

“Left field, right field, center field, second base, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said, “just as long as I am in the lineup.”

Terry Collins still considers Eric Young Jr. as his top candidate for the leadoff position in the batting order.

Sandy Alderson told MMO in December, that there may be some variation in the configuration of the outfield in 2014, likely with Curtis Granderson as the only everyday starter.

In other words, the Mets could go with a three-man rotation between Juan Lagares, Eric Young and Chris Young in center and right field. 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. That’s the good news. Young’s .249/.310/.336 slash line for the season is the bad news, especially for a leadoff hitter.

Sounds like another case for our MMO Roundtable:

What should Eric Young’s role be with the Mets this season?

David Conde – This is a great question because it means what happens with Juan Lagares. I really like what Eric Young brings to the Mets with his speed, but after what Lagares did on the defensive side, I would rather see him in center field, and allow him to prove that he can hit. Young would be a good bat off the bench and speed in later innings. He can also be the player that can back up not only the outfield, but also Murphy at second base. So in my mind Young is much more important as a utility player than a starter.

Joe Spector – On most teams he’s a backup. With the Mets he’s going to start somewhere. I love the energy he brings as it’s reminiscent of Jose Reyes a bit. If he can get on base and run, he could be an X factor.

Kirk Cahill – Young provides the most value to this team as a utility player. He can play any outfield spot, as well as 2B in a pinch. He’s got game changing speed that can come off the bench late in games and make an impact. He just doesn’t have the hitting ability or plate discipline to warrant an everyday spot. EY can really help your team in small spurts but gets exposed when he plays everyday.

Zack Drisko – Thus far, Eric Young Jr. has shown tons of speed and good defense at times. He can be a very useful role player for the Mets — seeing some time in the outfield, pinch-running — but unless he improves on his low-average, low-OBP game, I don’t think he should be much more. If Terry Collins starts using him as the Mets’ leadoff hitter, that’s a problem. If he is taking significant playing time away from Juan Lagares, that’s a problem. I think it can be alluring to see Young’s speed and dream of him being an elite table-setter, but until he develops the requisite skills to get on base at a high clip, I don’t think that is the best way to use him.

Jessep – I like his versatility, and how he impacted the lineup for a short time last year. If I had my way he would be the 2001 Joe McEwing. Just a guy who can go play anywhere he is asked or needed, whether it be 2B, LF, CF or RF. A guy who can come off the bench and allow guys in slumps or in need of rest to take the time they need without the lineup seeing an earth shattering change. I don’t believe he is an everyday player. I think after 400 big league games, it’s enough of a sample size to determine whether you are or aren’t an everyday guy.

DrDooby – Young Jr. has posted very nice minor league numbers wherever he has been but never really got an extended look as a starter until last season. He was okay but not special. In a perfect world, he´s a “super sub” who backs up at all three OF positions and at 2B while providing speed off the bench. Those players usually still end up with 400 AB per year because of injuries that open full-time roles for some stretches. If Juan Lagares shows an improved hitting approach, then Lagares should be the main CF. Which is why I’d probably relegate EYJ to the bench. If Lagares needs more time to work on his offense, then having Young start for half a season won´t be the end of the world either. In any case, he can be a very useful complementary piece going forward.

Gerry Silverman – EY will likely find his way into the lineup more often than not, as Terry Collins clearly values his speed and may likely look for opportunities to rotate him with Chris Young and Juan Lagares, particularly against tougher right-handed pitchers. Again, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a deal occur to open a slot, but I think Daniel Murphy is more valuable at second (and more likely to have a breakout year), and can’t imagine the team dealing Lagares with his youth and skill set. EY’s best role might be as the new Joe McEwing.

Robert Walsh – Young should start, leadoff and get 600 AB’s. A dynamic, exciting, energizing, gritty player who almost single-handedly changed the vibe of this team last year. Yes, he needs to work on pitch selection and be more patient with the count. Many Mets fans apparently want to disregard that he was a finalist for the Gold Glove, but he’s a very good, aggressive left fielder. If he hits .265 or .275, has an OBP of .325, steals 70 bases, and scores 80-90 runs, he would have had a very successful season for the Mets and become part of their longterm solution. With him stealing so many bases, he will more than compensate for the lower OBP.

Peter Anselmo – Fourth outfielder. If he’s starting over Lagares on opening day, I might boycott the rest of the season.

Tom Watson – Back-up outfielder, pinch-runner, trade bait at the deadline. Play Juan Lagares. Please Terry, play the future!

XtreemIcon – He’s a 4th outfielder and pinch runner.

Matt Balasis – Barring further changes in the roster, E. Young has to be considered our primary lead-off option. He led the league in steals for crying out loud.

John Ginder – This is a tough spot. I am a pro EY guy and thought he really did a decent job when we acquired him. I feel that the outfield on opening day should be EY, CG, CY. Ride that horse until it proves it doesn’t work and then make adjustments.

Dylan White – Eric Young has never particularly stood out when it comes to the raw numbers. His .325 career OBP is pedestrian and he has only contributed just over a Win Above Replacement in his four year MLB career. Where Young does stand out, however, is on the field. Young passes the “eye test” and is a joy to watch. He has speed, lots of it, and he shows it off in the outfield and on the basepaths. Young’s role this year should be to provide a spark, not only to the lineup but under all of his fellow teammates. Young should put pressure on his outfield partners Chris and Juan Lagares and show them that if they do not preform very well he will take their job. Due to his natural ability at Second Base, he can do this to Daniel Murphy as well. These players should know that if they falter, Young will take their role over in a flash.

Connor O’Brien – Fourth outfielder, period. Unless Juan Lagares proves to be a terrible hitter, the best three outfielders on the team are him, Curtis Granderson, and Chris Young. Eric Young has a place on this team for sure, and can probably get in 60 to 80 games, those three deserve to start over him. I loved what Eric Young did last season, but with a track record of being a well below-average hitter, I trust the three other outfielders more.

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  • NYHB

    Bench player.

  • Should be…4th OF, pinch runner extraordinaire, best bench player in the National League…and therefore and actual weapon. Instead, he will be another veteran stealing time from a younger guy who is at least as good and with time…who could be much better. I am all about letting the best guy play. If he beats out three of our OFers, he should start. If he beats out Murphy, then he should start. But letting guys compete and playing the best guy might be asking for too much.

  • dab394

    Eric Young Jr. is not an everyday player, but he could be a valuable fourth outfielder and backup at second base. I’d be fine with him starting once or twice a week and pinch running at other times. Plus, he would be a pretty good pinch hitting option against left handed pitchers.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Since they added Grandy and CY, he is a 4th OF on this team. His place is on the bench unless Lagares shows himself to be totally inept at the plate during ST. Short of that, there is no place for EY in the everyday lineup.

  • WillisReid

    Young’s speed makes him about as qualified as a leadoff hitter as Duda’s build makes him a power hitter.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Pie thrower.

  • sperry

    “Barring further changes in the roster, E. Young has to be considered our primary lead-off option. He led the league in steals for crying out loud.”

    If I hear this justification one more time I’m going to scream. Stop focusing on that one thing and overlook everything else that shows he just isn’t very good. You know what leading off with all that speed gave us last year? A player with a 0.9 WAR. Stop thinking so simple-mindedly.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    If we had a better team id say a Super sub as well, but we need to manufacture runs. I think I would start lagaras in AAA, but young in left and see how C young does in RF. You can always bring up lagaras if we need him, and he will deff come up if C young is traded.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    only thing is young lead the NL in SB last year, and duda didn’t lead anyone in HR’s.

  • BCleveland3381

    He should start the season as the 4th OF/backup 2B. He should get spot starts against lefties to spell Murphy, and our OFs. If Murph or an OF gets injured, he’s in the lineup. He shouldn’t be starting if we’re at full strength, but he has value and if used right, could be a good asset to the team.
    Seems to me he’ll end up like Justin Turner. Loathed by fans not because he’s a bad player, but because he’s playing way more than his skillset would suggest.

  • whensly

    EY will start, and then Legares will finish

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    it also gave us a guy who put himself in scoring position 38 times (46 overall) for us last year, with murphy and wright coming up after him. I tell ya, I like seeing young on 2b with murphy coming up.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    I think lagaras takes c young spot when hes traded.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    4th OF/pinch runner.

    There’s no room for him as a starter. The sooner Collins realizes this, the better! I don’t like the idea of Lagares being pushed out of a spot. If he outperforms EY in Spring Training, especially if they try him out from the leadoff spot, no way Lagares should be in AAA. For all this “energy” talk, Lagares could bring that tempo as well. He changed the complexity of the OF last year when he was given the ball at CF. Bring it with the bat!

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Actually, Puello would take that spot. Young is really a placeholder for Puello.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Thats possable too, if he playes well in AAA.

  • trevordunn

    Bench player on a good team with a good manager…With TC and the Mets, he will get 550 ABS

  • WilponsStinkLessNow

    Quick question: if Murphy and/or Davis have better than expected years, do the cash-strapped Mets keep and resign them next year, or deal them during the season for “prospects” and to avoid paying their increased salary, ala Pagan?

  • chago

    “What should Eric Young’s role be with the Mets this season?”

    BENCH

    If he is a starter we are in trouble again.

  • Dark HelMet

    Oh. He will.

  • Dark HelMet

    As small as possible. I predict Lagares will earn this spot in ST.

  • BehindTheBag

    He’s a very solid bench piece, something we haven’t had in awhile. He should be our 4th outfielder, backup 2B, maybe emergency SS (Turner played it, so I have faith in EYJr.). Pinch hitter leading off innings, and late inning pinch runner. When he starts, he hits leadoff and brings some energy.

    That’s his role, and it suits him and his skill set. I don’t understand why you have Grandy in one corner, the $7.5M man in the other, and a gold glove caliber CF with big upside…and you’re trying to squeeze EY Jr. into the mix. I don’t get it.

    Other way to look at it, he’s not the only 40+ stolen base guy who was unable to hold on to a starting job because he doesn’t have enough other tools…look at some recent guys:
    Bonifacio
    Maybin
    Rajai Davis
    Stubbs

    Let’s not try to make this guy something he’s not. He’s a strong bench player. He’s a weak starter and he blocks Lagares.

  • Mets2014

    “what WILL Eric young’s role be on the mets?”
    Easy answer – he will be the starting LF and leadoff hitter, which means lagares is headed for AAA, but don’t fret you lagares lovers he will be back in CF after the mets deal c young at the trade deadline

  • Fast Eddie

    EYJ in RF? Only if he can get Jeff Francoeur’s right arm surgically attached before ST. Seriously, Eric’s chicken-wing of an arm will never cut it in RF. And I don’t think Frenchy will need it since he probably won’t be playing in the majors this year.

    IMO, Granderson should be in RF all season long. Lagares and CY can battle in out in CF, leaving EYJ to compete against the likes of Nieuwenhuis, den Dekker and Brown for the remaining OF spot. Eric can also be helpful at 2B when a tough lefty opposes the Mets. Additionally, EYJ could be a useful PH or PR late in games he doesn’t start.

    Bottom line: Eric can be valuable to the Mets in a variety of roles, but playing RF isn’t one of them.

    Veloz

  • CJM

    We know what he should be–that’s not the question at hand. The real question is what will he be? Hopefully that answer is bench player.

  • Super T

    If they sign Stephen Drew there is a pretty simple answer to Eric Young’s role.
    Against RHP – Stephen Drew leads off, Juan Lagares is in CF, and Eric Young is on the bench. Against LHP – Eric Young starts in the OF and leads off and Ruben Tejeda plays SS.

  • Biggle Boy

    I think our predictions about where EY will play are premature. He is the top candidate for leadoff, with base stealing speed that not only puts him in scoring position but also distracts the pitcher when EY is on 1B.

    That said, ST will tell the tale. Will Lagares be in CF and EY mostly in LF, (instead of CY, who got “guaranteed” PT), or CY in CF? Hope not on that.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    A bit off topic, but I must say that I will never understand what was the hoopla over Cameron Maybin. I can’t even believe he was once the #6 prospect in all of baseball.

  • Matlack

    I’m interested to see how he looks at 2B in Spring training.

  • Matlack

    Agreed, except for Captain Kirk. He’s done.

  • oleosmirf

    Again, to start the season, I expect Young, Young and Lagares to share time in the early going and eventually the more productive players will get the lion’s share of the time. However, the season will likely begin with a breakdown similar to this per week:

    Lagares: 5 starts out of 7
    C Young: 5 starts out of 7
    EY Jr.: 4 starts out of 7 (with possible subs for Granderson + Murphy against a tough lefty)

    Whichever player is not starting on a specific day is also likely to be the first bat off the bench for a double switch and in Lagares’s case he will always be in the game for defense (when he is not starting).

    Now obviously one of the three will eventually lose playing time, but even if that system were to remain in place, you’d be looking at 400+ PA for everyone so any talk of affecting Lagares’s “development” is not an issue.

  • Benny

    Who exactly are you sitting against LHP in the OF to start EYJ?

    So your reason to sign Drew is to platoon him with Tejada?

  • Benny

    “Lagares: 5 starts out of 7
    C Young: 5 starts out of 7
    EY Jr.: 4 starts out of 7”

    My math must be horrible or something because I don’t see how that outcome is even possible…

  • oleosmirf

    There are three players sharing two positions (as Granderson is an everyday player). There are 7 games in most weeks. 7 x 2 = 14 starts per week.

    5 + 5 + 4 = 14

  • Super T

    Lagares would be sitting against LHP. And yes, if you call Drew playing approx 75% of the time (against RHP) and Tejeda playing the other 25% (against LHP) a platoon. Plays to everyone’s strengths.

  • Nailed it!

  • Benny

    Okay, thanks for clearing that up. Was confused there for moment…

  • metstastic

    I think there are more 6 day weeks with Thursday being an off day.

  • metstastic

    CY is definitely no sure thing after what he put up last year.

  • oleosmirf

    Teams usually get 2-3 off days per month always on Monday or Thursday, but regardless, the same logic applies and all three can contribute regularly without necessarily playing “everyday”

  • metstastic

    Right.. So let’s pay him $10M+ to see him platoon. If he’s a platoon worthy player, he shouldn’t be signed for 10M+!

  • Mets2014

    I usually agree with you bro, but I think e young will be LF and lagares will be better served in AAA playing everyday plus the mets are better served with a power bat coming off the bench

  • Benny

    “Lagares would be sitting against LHP.”

    Why? Lagares is a RHH, and he does better against LHP, same with Chris Young. Not really getting your logic here…

    “And yes, if you call Drew playing approx 75% of the time (against RHP) and Tejeda playing the other 25% (against LHP) a platoon.”

    It’s not if I call it, that’s exactly what it is. A LHH playing against RHP only, while his counterpart (a RHH) plays against LHP is the very definition of a platoon.

    ” Plays to everyone’s strengths.”

    Yes, but that’s a very expensive platoon.

  • oleosmirf

    actually should Duda or Ike not be on the team, Kirk is the logical candidate to be the primary LH bat off the bench.

  • Benny

    “plus the mets are better served with a power bat coming off the bench”

    Who’s this “power bat” you speak of?

  • Super T

    Is it your money? It gives the team a lead off hitter and improves the overall team. But, why do that?

  • metstastic

    Murphy has 1 more year of arbitration. Ike has 2. Resigning will depend on who else is on the market. However, it seems like Sandy like defensive players first.

  • oleosmirf

    you trade Murphy at the deadline and replace him with Flores who can very well be just as good as Murphy right away with the potential to be one of the best 2B in the NL.

  • metstastic

    Duda also hit 15HR in 300ish AB. In 500+ AB he could conceivably hit 25+ HR.

  • LongTimeFan1

    That answer should be leadoff hitter. Lagares’s defense is replaceable by CY. What EY does for this team, as speed demon, energizer, base stealing champ, isn’t.

    He has history of high OBP throughout his minor league career and showed he can have solid OBP at the major league level in both 2011 and 2012. He needs to work this spring training in returning to his proven good OBP abilities.

    One only need ask the opposition what he does to their psyche – to
    understand the x-factor of EY who freaks out and distracts the
    opposition while pumping up his teammates with 60-70 stolen base ability and taking extras bases at will.

  • KennyandtheMets

    EY2 is a veteran role player. A very nice player to have on your team. Lagares is young and has a chance to be a very good every day CFer. Lagares needs regular at bats. Chris Young can lead off to start the season, with EY2 as the 4th OFer. Lagares would be my every day CFer, batting 7th or 8th. If he can improve his offense. Then he can move up the order.

  • oleosmirf

    There are 5 bench spots:

    RIght now the favorites are EY/Young/Lagares, Satin, Omar Q, Recker with the final spot going to a LH either Kirk, Duda (should Ike win the 1B) job or a dark horse candidate like Clark, Allen or Seratelli.

    Remember though that final bench spot is not one where defensive abilities matter since that “5th OF” is never really going to start.

  • metstastic

    Right.. So let’s have Wheeler in come in with his 95MPH fastball in the 8th inning sometimes. This isn’t fantasy baseball. Be realistic.

  • WillisReid

    He could and that would be great. It would also be great if EYJ could manage a .260 average with a .340 OBP.

  • Rocky Thompson

    The only player potentially blocking Juan Lagares is Juan Lagares. If plays well, he is the starting CF. Assuming no more transactions, the bench will be E. Young, Satin, Recker, Quintanilla and Nieuwenhuis.

  • WillisReid

    Drew was absolute garbage against lefties last year. If they do sign him and he replicates 2013, I hope he sits vs. LHP.

    If you think about it 12/yr for a Drew/Tejada platoon would be pretty productive, relative to cost. Even with Tejada’s terrible year last year, he was solid against lefties.

  • LongTimeFan1

    It’s EY who needs regular at bats. I would hardly call him veteran role player at 28 years old in early prime with 1,140 big league AB’s and only one season of regular playing time.

    Lagares will start the season as 25 year old.

  • Super T

    Let’s look at some numbers here (last year) –
    Drew RHP ,377 obp .,875 ops
    LHP .246 obp .586 ops

    Tejeda LHP .348 obp .719 ops
    RHP .219 obp .431 ops

    So obviously, Tejeda would perform better against LHP and the Mets would need a leadoff hitter against LHP.

    Young LHP .319 obp, .643 ops
    RHP .305 obp .646 ops

    Young is pretty close with awful splits but he does get on base a bit better against LHP.

    Lagares doesn’t have to sit all the time against LHP, it could be him sometimes and Chris Young other times.

  • Mets2014

    No way Kirk sniffs the 25 man roster

  • Mets2014

    Andrew brown

  • skyhappysal

    I see the opening day lineup as EY, CY, and Grandy in the OF with Murf at second. In truth tho I bet these 4 and EY share the at bats of 4 starters. CY sits against tough slider righties. Granderson and sometiems Murphy sit against tough lefties. EY, CY, or Granderson or Murf would be first of teh bench and in for switches.
    The As and BSox have doen swell jobs rotating players in teh OF and DH and keeping them all happy. The Mets will likely do something similar, at least until an injury occurs or someone plays so well they get dealt (not Lagares of course)

  • oleosmirf

    well if you wanna play that game, Granderson should be the one sitting against LHP since his numbers against LHP are the worst of the 4.

    While obviously that is better for the team, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in business.

  • AJF

    Lets stop the BS Terry we all know that Lagares is going to be a bench player under your watch after all you don’t want to upset the veterans on the team

  • mets2014

    Lagares to AAA so the bench will be recker, duda, brown, satin/Flores & quintanilla unless drew signs then tejada

  • Super T

    Huh? What does this even mean? I’m talking about platooning offensive players to their strengths something that is very common – Teufel/Backman, Duda/Satin, etc. And you respond back with Wheeler and fantasy baseball?

  • Matt

    Why is everyone smoking on EYJR’s shlong? The guy batted .251 with a .647 OPS for the Mets last year. Why are people talking about him as if he accomplished anything? Congrats to him for being really fast and stealing bases…but the guy is worthless as an offensive player in the majors…he is a nice pinch runner or defensive replacement, but beyond that he is a AAAA player.

  • oleosmirf

    Lagares is far more valuable than Brown (who will likely be DFA)

  • Benny

    Drew has a .761 OPS when starting against lefties in his career.

    Drew has a .764 OPS when starting against righties in his career.

  • Endy10

    honestly i wouldn’t mind him playing 2b vs lefties, and OF vs. righties. that’s one way to get him in without sacificing anyone’s time too much

  • LongTimeFan1

    Yeh, let’s not make EY into something he’s not – a low on base guy… For much of his pro career, he has history of solid to high OBP, let’s not distort that to justify a bench role for a player who makes this team go.

    I can just as readily say Lagares is blocking EY from stealing 60-70 bases and scoring over a 100 runs.

    What EY needs to do this spring training, is to re-establish his on base abilities after a disappointing .310 OBP in 2013.

    EY In The Minors: 2,562 AB’s, 3,015 PA’s.

    297/.388./423/.811

    330 steals.

    EY OBP Majors 2011 – .342

    EY OBP Majors 2012 – .377

    EY OBP Majors 2013 With Mets – .318 in 418 PA’s

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Lagares In The Minors: 2,400 AB’s, 2,595 PA’s:

    282/.322/.405/.727

    100 Steals

    Lagares OBP Majors With Mets – ,281 in 421 PA’s

  • KennyandtheMets

    Lagares switched positions from SS to OF a couple of years ago. That set him back a bit. He wins games with his defense alone. He hit well at every level. EY had chances to prove himself as an every day player. He is what he is. I am glad we have EY, but I don’t think he should be an every day starter.

  • Benny

    Drew has a .761 OPS when starting against LHP, while posting a .764 OPS when starting against RHP for his career. Maybe he can revert back to his career norm if given a chance?

    “So obviously, Tejeda would perform better against LHP and the Mets would need a leadoff hitter against LHP.”

    Yes, he would, but I don’t see how Alderson gives up over $10 million for Drew just to platoon (it ain’t happening).

    “Young LHP .319 obp, .643 ops”

    Lagares has a .722 OPS when starting against LHP, so how can it possibly make sense to sit him against LHP to play someone who has inferior numbers against LHP?

  • WillisReid

    MLB has his 2013 LH split at .196/.246/.585

  • Mets2014

    Brown is a better pinch hitter than lagares… Lagares would be a better defensive replacement but there OF defense will not require one, so Brown gets the nod

  • Benny

    Sorry, I left off that those are his career numbers against them. I was just trying to point out that he may revert back to those numbers if given a chance to play everyday.

  • Benny

    So let me get this straight, you want to send Lagares to AAA, so he can play everyday, yet you want Flores to be on the bench? o.0

  • Benny

    The discussion at hand is if EYJ is really our best leadoff guy just because he’s a good base stealer, and the answer is no, because Murphy can replace him at leadoff and provide much better numbers all around.

    “EY In The Minors: 2,562 AB’s, 3,015 PA’s.297/.388./423/.811 330 steals.”

    These are the Major Leagues, so I have no idea why you are even bringing this up.

    “EY OBP Majors 2011 – .342”

    Yup, but it was done in 77 games of playing time.

    “EY OBP Majors 2012 – .377”

    Yup, but it was done in 98 games of playing time.

    “EY OBP Majors 2013 With Mets – .318 in 418 PA’s”

    Which is just horrible for a leadoff hitter.

    “Lagares OBP Majors With Mets – ,281 in 421 PA’s”

    It was his rookie season! EYJ posted a .295 OBP during his rookie season. No one is advocating Lagares to be our leadoff hitter anyway, so don’t see why you’re comparing them in that regard.

  • Super T

    Not sure where you’re getting those numbers from Benny? But, Drew pretty much sucks against LHP and that is coming from a guy who wants the team to sign him.

    2011-2013
    Drew
    vs.
    LHP .204 AVG .263 OBP .340 SLG .603 OPS
    RHP .263 AVG .348 OBP .431 SLG 779 OPS

    The biggest reasons to sign Drew is because he gives the Mets a leadoff hitter (against RHP).
    Greatly upgrades SS. Makes EYJ a 4th outfielder. Keeps Lagares in the lineup. Makes Tejeda a backup INF. If those aren’t enough good reasons to pay $10M for him, I don’t know what is?

  • Benny

    Those are his career numbers, look them up on Baseball Reference. I don’t know why you’re picking and choosing years, but if you think it’s worth paying over $10 million for a platoon, then more power to ya, but there is no way Alderson is going to sign him to be a platoon player.

    “The biggest reasons to sign Drew is because he gives the Mets a leadoff hitter (against RHP).”

    Murphy would still be the better option.

    “Greatly upgrades SS.”

    Agreed.

    “Makes EYJ a 4th outfielder.”

    EYJ should be the 4th OF regardless of signing him or not. I don’t see how signing Drew or not has any bearing on EYJ starting or not. This organization is obsessed with his stealing skill-set, which is something Drew does not possess.

    “Makes Tejeda a backup INF.”

    How? He will be part of a platoon. It makes him a part-time player, but not the backup.

    ” If those aren’t enough good reasons to pay $10M for him, I don’t know what is?”

    I want Drew as well, but not to be a part-time player.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think that EY will play multiple positions. He will play 2nd and left field. He will be our main leadoff hitter.

  • Mets2014

    I never specified if i wanted Flores up or down I just think it will either be him or satin for a bench spot…and yes lagares is better off in AAA than being a defensive replacement

  • Super T

    Last year and more specifically the last 3 years is/are the most relevant stats. Heck, ML offensive stats have greatly gone down as a whole the last few seasons. 50 HRs anyone?

    Murphy leading off? Don’t think he would be comfortable there, and his obp last year was a paltry .319. Drew has been a leadoff hitter before (.377 obp last year against RHP) and would have no problem in the role.

    If TC doesn’t have a better option than EYJ for leadoff than EYJ is going to be his leadoff hitter and Lagares will be riding the pine. That’s TC!

    In regards to Drew/Tejeda platoon. Approx 75% of ML pitchers are RH. Drew would play against them and thus get the majority of playing time. It’s not like Drew would be playing 100% of the time anyway. He’s going to get time off. Tejeda is much better against LHP, so Drew is a perfect partner for him.

  • Benny

    Even having him as an option for the bench is pretty hypocritical.

    “and yes lagares is better off in AAA than being a defensive replacement”

    Agreed.

  • BehindTheBag

    Let me throw another theory at you. Those MLB seasons where EY had the high OBP…he was a part-time player. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he put up his worst numbers as a regular. I think he was exposed when he got everyday at-bats. There’s a reason COL dumped him.

  • ill_egl

    I feel like Young could do a great job as a utility starter, filling in at various positions to give other players a day off and also when the matchup favors him over Chris Young or Lagares. He could easily earn a nice share of starts per week and keep himself in the lineup enough to fill the leadoff role for most games. I do feel strongly that Lagares has earned the CF job out of the gate this year as a reward for his amazing defensive play and decent offensive glimpses last season.

  • Benny

    “Last year and more specifically the last 3 years is/are the most relevant stats.”

    So his career stats are just thrown out the window because you say so?

    “Murphy leading off? Don’t think he would be comfortable there…”

    Ummmm I suggest looking up his splits before making a statement like that.

    “and his obp last year was a paltry .319.”

    Yes, but he has a career .325 OBP, which he says is his main goal to improve this offseason. Plus he did post a .332 OBP in 2012, so who says he can’t replicate or do better?

    “If TC doesn’t have a better option than EYJ for leadoff than EYJ is going to be his leadoff hitter and Lagares will be riding the pine. That’s TC!”

    Murphy is hands down the better option!

  • Mets2014

    Lol you are putting words in my mouth…I think there will be a competition between Flores and satin…I am not campaigning for Flores…btw I think Murphy will be traded at the deadline and it will be than that Flores gets his shot as an everyday 2b

  • Super T

    No, I’m saying last year and the last 3 seasons are more relevant than what he did back in 2006-2010.

    I have looked up Murphy’s numbers and just because he is the best of our hitters outside of Wright and Granderson doesn’t mean we should just make him the leadoff hitter. Those obp numbers 319, 325, and 332 are not good for a leadoff hitter.

    Unless TC is given a better option for leadoff hitter than EYJ, you know he is going to go back to him. Just like last year.

  • WillisReid

    I’m on the Drew bandwagon, despite his struggles last year. Tejada adds value as a back up and possibly spelling Drew. 3/36 is an overpay, but not the end of the world for a team with a payroll this low. CY, Colon, Drew and Granderson coming off the books in consecutive years is pretty much the concept of payroll flexibility.

  • Benny

    Completely in agreement!

  • Benny

    “No, I’m saying last year and the last 3 seasons are more relevant than what he did back in 2006-2010.”

    Why? If he was able to hit LHP before, why can’t he do it again?

    “I have looked up Murphy’s numbers”

    Not how I told you to do! Look at his splits when batting leadoff, then come back…

  • Matlack

    I appreciate your logic, but I’d rather have den Dekker in that role. Much better defense, smart baserunner, and slightly more power. Kirk is a great athlete who plays baseball, and den Dekker is a baseball player.

  • This question is probably better left until we have a week or so until opening day. There are arguments for playing one over the other based on last year but neither one is complete enough as of last season to say he is a must start.

  • Jack

    Young Jr. Should be the 4th outfielder and the mets primary pinch runner. Play Lagares at CF because his glove is so valuable and to get him experience at the plate. Granderson and Young should play the corners.

  • Cervant

    Absolutely right. I feel better about EYJ from the right side anyhow. As far as I’m concerned he can play either 2B for Murph against tough lefties or Grandy depending on who needs a day off more.

  • BarnRat

    Lagares should have that as the bar, but you know that with the apparent promises to CY + the lead-off problem + Collin’s penchant for veterans, Juan will have to significantly outplay the competition to win the job. CF may be his to win, but unfortunately it’s not his to lose. I see Vegas in his future and I hate that future.

  • Rocky Thompson

    There seems to be this running theme that Terry Collins refuses to play young players. Which young players did Collins not play last season? Jordanny Valdespin? Lagares? He was brought along slowly, but he had his opportunity last season. Harvey? Wheeler? d’Arnaud? Gonzales Germen? Vic Black? Who are we talking about? To say Lagares in not going to start because Collins does not want to upset veteran players is ridiculous.

  • BarnRat

    From my perspective, it’s a jump ball whether it’s TC or the FO, and probably both. Re Lagares I feel like he was brought forward reluctantly rather than slowly… Hope I’m wrong

  • Sylow59

    Roster filler until his eventual release.

  • vigouge

    He was an excellent athlete who put up very good numbers while being significantly younger than whatever league he was in at the time. He just lost a bit of power when he got to the majors leaving him as a good defense, average to below average centerfielder.

  • vigouge

    Player A: .275/.352/.464 53/23 sb/cs
    Player B: .279/.338/.456 57/20 sb/cs

    Realistically there’s not much difference between the two. Den Dekkar can stick as a defensive first 4th/5th outfielder,Nieuwenhuis can be the lhh side of a platoon and 4th outfielder.

  • vigouge

    Young is nowhere near as good defensively as Lagares. It’s really not even close.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Joe D.,

    I won’t deny that after the first month or so I was admitting that Sandy Alderson and his baseball people made a steal acquiring Eric Young, Jr. from Colorado and that he was becoming one of my favorite Met players because he was bringing such excitement to the team as the leadoff hitter and energizing what as up to then (and later became once again) an anemic hitting attack.

    But that didn’t last and we recognized that he is not the one who can sustain himself as an everyday player and why he was not so during his years in Colorado.

    If Eric is slated to be our leadoff hitter then he has to get on base in order to utilize his speed. The last two months of the season in approximately 240 plate appearances he had an OBP of approximately 287. That is not good. After the all-star break his OBP was .282 and this is considering he was on fire in July at I believe was .360.

    So as most of the MMO staff has agreed, EYJ is a fourth outfielder but not a regular.

  • Destry

    Benny that stat on BR is confusing because its talking about when a LHP starts, so it also calculates how he did vs the RH reliever that came into the game after the LH started exited. Drew is awful vs LHP. He crushes RHP. .377 .498 .875 in 2013. That would make him the best hitter in our lineup when a RHP is on the hill

  • Destry

    Pretty much all LH hitters are in todays game. Oakland platoons 4 positions. Boston did too last year and won the World Series.

  • Destry

    EYJr in the lineup actually poses a problem because he isn’t very good in CF, and he’s terrible in RF. He pretty much has to be in LF, where he is very good. That means Grandy will have to play RF, and C. Young or Lagares in CF. I like Grandy in LF much better than in RF, and I like C. Young in RF, and Lagares in CF. There will be plenty of ABs to go around either way. Grandy is 33, and he is gonna need some days off. I think he will play 145-150 max. Lagares is unbelievable in CF, but if his offense doesn’t improve then he isn’t gonna be in the lineup everyday. C. Young was awful last year and can’t hit RHP, so I don’t see him playing more than 130-140 max, and there will be injuries along the way. Its a long season. I think everyone will get their slice of the pie.

  • Benny

    No. I disagree Destry, Baseball Reference splits up his at bats four ways:

    1. Starting against RHP.

    2. Starting against LHP.

    3. Against RHP in totality (Relievers).

    4. Against LHP in totality (Relievers).

  • Hodges14

    Hence the reason he was available for the Mets to acquire.

  • Hodges14

    The fact that both Youngs are on the roster and both project to get significant playing time is a real bad omen for the 2014 season. I know Sandy likes other teams castoffs because they normally come cheaply (still can’t explain why he gave C Young 7.25M on a team with a sub $90M payroll) but this is a bad idea.

    Both of them are horribly flawed players. EY’s single plus skill is stealing bases. Unfortunately stealing bases doesn’t correlate to winning games and stealing bases is very difficult if you don’t get on base.

    Chris Young is a good defensive outfielder who had a few decent offensive seasons while playing in a great hitters park. Even with that advantage he has never posted a .800 OPS season. Recently he looks to be a right handed version of Ike Davis.

  • Hodges14

    We are in trouble again. Regardless. But I do agree that EY should not be getting 500 ABs.

  • Hodges14

    But stolen bases really aren’t important. They don’t correlate to winning. The Cardinals are NL champs and as a team they stole less bases than EY.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Bos and tex did well

  • skyking26

    Right now it’s Lagares’s to lose. He’s got to come to spring training and show something. It would be huge if he has a great spring. If he can get on base consistently and show some speed on the bases it could put and end to this EYJ nonsense.

  • skyking26

    Terry Collins is the worst manager to have with upcoming youth. He’s a veterans manager and still not a very good one. He worries me more with this young pitching staff. Position players don’t get much of a shot unless he really likes you.

  • Bob Walsh

    I just wanted to add to my overview on Eric Young. In my view E Young starting is NOT at the expense of Lagares, who I picked in another part of the roundtable as one of the most important players for the Mets.

    Instead, it is in place of the player who is utterly counter intuitive to a FO that says building from the farm is imperative — C Young, who will only clog up the process and was a head shaking signing that defies fitting into any type of ‘rebuilding’ plan. Its time to develop these players at the major league level. As we all know, few prospects take to the majors overnight. Its a process.

    As most seem to agree at MMO, in my view its time to find out about the young players coming up from the farm system. Lagares is one of those players. Chris Young is not. As far as Granderson goes, he did play right last season — albeit a relatively smaller right field than the one at Citi. I believe he did play center in Detroit.

    Incidentally, while looking at Granderson’s lifetime stats, I noticed that he was called up to Detroit twice from the minors before finally getting major league traction. Its the path most players take to the majors.

    E Young, Lagares, and Granderson is potentially a very good major league outfield. Let the one year wonder C Young back them all up.

  • Hodges14

    In the NL Milwaukee, SD, Mets and Rockies were the top 4 in stolen bases. They were also all terrible teams who were never in contention for a playoff spot. I’m not saying stolen bases hurt, I’m just saying they aren’t an important factor in winning baseball games. I certainly wouldn’t look for players who’s main attribute is that they can steal bases.

  • Bill Buckner

    EY should be starting in LF and leading off. Lagares in CF, Grandy in RF, CY on the bench (or better yet – never signed at all)…

  • Matlack

    Really think they’ll DFA Brown? Useful bench piece at minimal cost for multiple years.

  • Matlack

    Why use 2 spots for one purpose? I don’t think a club can carry both who are, as you say, similar on paper. This one is more eye test and gut feeling for me, as it looks like Kirk hit a wall and has been exposed, whereas MdD has a chance to still figure things out. And his defense is at Lagares’ level, minus the cannon.

  • peter

    You are one of the people that are under the illusion that speed needs to be in the lead off position. Chris Young is a better player than EY. He will be 20/20 with everyday at bats and play way better defense. He also has a higher OBP which is what really matters in the lead off position. Id rather see Chris Young lead off than EY, or Lagares or Tejeda and CHris Young hitting 5th.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Eric Young Jr. SUCKS

    For as bad as C.Young played last year Eric Young jr STILL couldnt hold his jockstrap(oldschool reference I never quite got lol)

    ERIC YOUNG(Monthly Stats)

    July: .252Avg, .364Obp, .340Slg, .703Ops
    .
    Aug: .236Avg, .288Obp, .300Slg, .588Ops

    .
    Sep: .237Avg, .287Obp, .316Slg, .603Ops

    This guy was BRUTAL the entire year w/ the exception of ONE MONTH where he wasnt great he was AVERAGE AT BEST….But got exposed being in the lineup everyday…

    Fans were fooled by Eric Young Jr…they overrate him because he was so much better than the crappy Outfielders Sandy had out there…..Ankiel, Cowgill, Baxter etc….

    Stop overrating this bum…he is a horrible starter but a solid BACKUP!!!

  • Hodges14

    I think if either Young gets 500 at bats this team is going nowhere. Neither one of them should be an everyday player on a good team.

  • Dylan Blanke-White

    People can become so infatuated with raw athleticism that they often forget that the mastery of sensitive and subtle baseball skills is just as important as your ability.

  • Bob Walsh

    Your comparative point is probably accurate to some extent — when he came onto the team the outfield was brutal. A jock strap might have been preferable.

    But how many teams have a player who led the league in stolen bases and was in the final three for gold glove? And he did energize the team. This is a skill set with value. Speed does matter despite some of the posts.

    Stats are stats and it’s hard to argue with that. I think he has more in him and I think he could be an important piece.

  • Hodges14

    Speed matters. Stolen bases don’t. EY’s only plus skill is stealing bases. He doesn’t hit enough, doesn’t get on base enough and has an arm that Johnny Damon laughs at in the outfield.

  • Hodges14

    Sylow… post more often.

  • Bill Buckner

    I think they are both flawed players, but would rather have a traditional speedy guy like Young hit lead-off. It’s not that it has to be a speedy guy (I remember when Alfonzo and Agbayani used to lead off for the Mets in 96/97), it’s just that the way that the lineup is constructed there is no high OBP guy to put there that wouldn’t fit better elsewhere in the lineup. Plus, EY has not ever gotten a chance as a FT player and I would like to see what he can do when given the role…

  • TPT

    Someone please tell why we signed CY then? and not for 2 millon but 7.25 million ?????. ARE THEY HONESTLY TELLING US THEY DIDN’T FORESEE THAT WE’D HAVE NO LEAD OFF HITTER AND SIGNING CY WOULD MAYBE MAKE LAGARES THE ODD MAN OUT? holy **** whos running this organization ??? its almost laughable …..i hope we have a move or two coming because it makes no sense at all

  • Bob Walsh

    SB matter. Please. Walks, singles turn into doubles. More runs scored on singles. More fastballs to Murphy and Wright means more RBI chances. Distraction to pitcher. Higher pitch counts for pitchers. It seeps through and has less tangible impact but it certainly matters.

  • Bob Walsh

    Couldn’t agree more. Even if an argument could be made for why he is on this team, and it can’t (not one that fits into the ‘plan’), its still a vast over pay.

    This disjointed, fit the square peg into the round hole has been in many ways the hallmark of this GM.

  • Bob Walsh

    You know I always look forward to your posts, so just for some fun …

    How exactly is someone a horrible starter and yet a solid backup?

    On a team you predict will win 70ish games?

    The argument should be Puello or E Young, and I would go for Puello every day of the week. Not C Young, the overpaid mercenary with very poor stats himself last year, over a guy who plays with heart and soul …

  • 2aSupport

    4th outfielder. Period. No further discussion. There’s a reason we got him for a AAAA pitcher.

  • 2aSupport

    Yup….Stolen bases don’t always translate to runs….they are window dressing.

  • 2aSupport

    Which is still not overly good…

  • Hodges14

    Keep telling yourself that. Then go look at the standings compared to the teams leading in stolen bases. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t hurt to steal bases if you can do it successfully a high percentage of the time but it’s not something you need and you definitely don’t need a player who’s only plus skill is stealing bases.
    Unless of course you are running a fantasy league team. In that case SB are given an inordinate amount of importance.

  • Bob Walsh

    Friendly reply. Thanks. I now understand baseball better than I did when I woke up.

  • Bob Walsh

    You might want to look at base to base teams with no power that strike out a lot and see how they do in the standings. That’s right. They win 74 games.

  • Pike Miazza

    Either one of them COULD play on a good team if that team didn’t have glaring holes at 1B & SS….You can carry speedy 1 dimensional players who necessitate opposing pitchers changing their mindsets and pitch selection because it adds an element that is not common & not every opposing team has, or knows how, to deal w/effectively

  • Pike Miazza

    In a more ideal situation we would have NOT signed CY or since we did sign him we should have let EY walk away…

  • Pike Miazza

    CY, Ike & Nimmo were just traded to Cleveland for Francisco Lindor !!

  • Bob Walsh

    Ironically I find myself agreeing with 99.9% of your posts. So we got the .01 out of the way.

  • anthony G. Decesare

    Ey will be the team’s leadoff hitter playing LF opening day, granderson and Cy will be in the other 2 spots.

  • BCleveland3381

    This is why signing C Young was a great move and why we need to sign Drew. EY(and Tejada) are solid pieces on a team. Neither should be everyday players. They both can get a start once or even twice a week or be a stop gap if a guy goes on the 15 day DL.

    EY isn’t a starting caliber player. He gives us speed. That’s it. He doesn’t hit for a high average. Doesn’t get on base. He’s just an average fielder at best with a weak arm. He’s just fast. I liked the spark he gave the team when he came here, but he faded back to his career norms as the year went on.

  • mets4lyfe

    Pinch-runner / 4th OF

  • HillsideAve

    After the failure to address the 1B and SS openings this off-season, the most glaring hole on the Mets roster is pie thrower. The departure of Justin Turner has not been addressed with respect to this vital position on the 25 man roster. Eric Young, Jr. will enter ST as the favorite, as the scouting reports have rated his arm as “ideal” for the position.
    Anthony Recker is the dark horse to win the spot, but Collins has concerns that facial injuries could be sustained by recipients of the muscular catcher’s pie throws.

  • trevordunn

    hes a damn bench player, but with the genius TC managing, get ready for a dif OF every single day

  • trevordunn

    because our GM is a braindead moron who give Frank fatscisco and Shaun Marcum big money contracts

  • HillsideAve

    This is all about offense and building a line-up that will be challenged to score runs in most scenarios. EY, Jr. and his lousy OBP can’t be at the top of the line-up. The problem is, right now no else should be there either. I don’t even think Murphy should be batting second, but that’s another conversation. If nothing else changes with this roster, Having a bad lead-off hitter in front of Murphy negates his ability to advance runners as a good contact hitter. Murphy may actually be the best option to hit lead-off.

    The Mets did not sign CY to sit, and he is going to have to really tank to be sat. The same is true for Lagares, who should get as many AB’s as possible as one of the few developing players on the Mets who have actually shown that they belong in this league. Grandy is not sitting, and will bat clean-up. This looks like a great defensive outfield, very important at home, and our pitching staff will love it.
    I’m not listening to this noise about EYJ being our lead-off hitter. I’m glad he’s excited to get to ST and prove himself, but there is no reason to believe he should play over any of the OF’s or Murphy. He’s a valuable bench player, and will get into most games in some capacity. Not to mention injury insurance.

  • Hodges14

    It’s all good. I usually agree with your posts also.

  • BehindTheBag

    CY was the best outfielder our limited funds could buy. EY Jr. is a nice 4th OFer. Let’s not overthink it.

  • BehindTheBag

    Don’t troll me, Mets. He’s our 4th OF, do NOT play him ahead of Lagares.

  • anthony G. Decesare

    Its real sinple if lageres don’t hit he won’t play.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    You already know I look forward to your posts and articles as well Bob….

    But Its simple…I believe E.Young jr is only effective in small doses…The more playing time he receives the more he gets exposed.

    He is just not a good enough hitter….he is a table setter but he has problems getting on base…He has received plenty of chances to prove himself.

    He is a great guy to have off the bench…Im praying he doesnt become a starter…The kid is a frustrating ball player…He had trouble hitting those gaps in COLORADO hitters heaven…do you know how badly he hit at Citi Field???

    Eric Young Jr(Citi Field Stats)
    .
    2013: 169AB, .201Avg, .265Obp, .260Slg, .525Ops.

    I used to watch him in Colorado and I thought he would be a sleeper for them when he 1st came up but he couldnt beat out Mark Ellis or Jonathon Herrera for the 2B job because he couldnt get on base…

    The same thing he did with the Mets in that 1st month he did with the Rockies every other year. When he got a chance to start he would get off to a hot start and as time passed he would fade away.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Youre right about the speed but he HAS to get onbase for it to have any value.

    But from my experience watching him he will play well in the beginning but then fade away.

    Not since Sandy gave away Pagan and Reyes for nothing did we have that much speed on the bags. It does reek havoc on the opposing team but again he has to get on like Pagan and Reyes did…and I dont see it

  • BCleveland3381

    He needs to hit a little, but its not like we’re hiding some star behind Lagares. EY shouldn’t be taking ABs away from the best defensive CF in baseball because he can run fast.

  • waldorf

    I am a big fan of Juan Lagares and believe he should play every day. He will hit. What’s more, I had wanted to see den Dekker play every day, too, as one month in the major leagues is not a true indicator of his potential. He hit .350 one season in the minors, but nobody seems to remember that.

  • LongTimeFan1

    EY hit .363 in the minors the same season Lagares hit .349 – 2011

    Lagares will hit but EY won’t – Why? Because Lagares-supportors say so and insist in ignoring EY’s history of high OBP, hitting in the minors, and base stealing prowess.

    .

  • LongTimeFan1

    I can readily say Lagares shouldn’t take AB’s away from a base stealing machine with history of high OBP.

    Lagares can be replaced in CF by an excellent defensive centefielder with power in Chris Young.

    But no one can replace Eric Young’s base stealing prowess and capacity to steal 60 plus.

  • LongTimeFan1

    A bench player because as member of the Lagares-supporting crowd you want him to be?

    Answer this – who would opposing teams rather face in the batter’s box and on the bases – Lagares or EY?

  • LongTimeFan1

    Full time leadoff hitter and top notch base stealer.

  • LongTimeFan1

    Career norms? Which would those be for EY?

    Let me ask you a question. If Lagares has another poor season with the bat, would those be his career norms and ceiling?

  • Jimmy Broadway

    Can Wally Backman please teach EY to bunt, and more specifically the drag bunt. It will draw in the infield and get him on base a lot more.