“The energy level has been raised since we got E.Y. and called up some guys from the minor leagues,” Collins said. “Andres Torres did a nice job last year when he wasn’t hurt, but certainly this year Young has made a big difference in our lineup.”
And even right fielder Marlon Byrd is happy to have Young patrolling the outfield with him and batting at the top of the order. “He’s the prototypical leadoff guy,” Byrd said. “I’m just so glad we have him over here.”
Ever since being acquired for starting pitcher Collin McHugh, Eric Young Jr. has been a spark plug at the top of the Mets lineup. He is hitting for a high average, and he has jolted the top of the Mets lineup with speed. Young’s speed has also made a difference defensively since he is a vast upgrade over the slow-footed Lucas Duda in left field. There is no denying that Young has been terrific so far, but is his performance sustainable?
There are a number of factors that make me skeptical about Young’s hot start. Before being traded to the Mets this year, Young was in the midst of an atrocious season. He was only hitting .240, with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 22 RS, 8 SB’s (4 CS’s) and 11 BB’s for Colorado in 57 games. In fact, he was performing so poorly that Colorado designated him for assignment.
Not only did Young struggle to produce offensively this year with Colorado, he struggled to produce his entire career. In 776 at bats with Colorado, Young has possessed .260/.329/.342 slash line with only 6 home runs and only 40 RBI. His numbers were also aided by an extreme hitter’s park in Coors field. In games played on the road, Young has hit under .230 in his career. It’s also important to note that Young isn’t a prospect that had struggled. He is 28 years old, which is considered the prime of a player’s career.
Young has been exciting to watch so far, but his success has come in a very limited amount of playing time. Just in this season alone, there have been many instances of players who have started their Met’s career s great like Young, but quickly faded away. John Buck, Collin Cowgill and Rick Ankiel also started their Mets career on fire like Young, but now Cowgill and Ankiel are no longer in the organization and Buck is struggling to maintain his average over the Mendoza line. How is Young’s great start any different from theirs?
Young’s 776 at bats with Colorado tell us more about the player he is than 93 at bats with the Mets. I think when all these facts are considered, it is unlikely that Young sustains his success. Even though Young has been a great addition to the team so far, I believe his success will be short lived.