Eric Young 2 (Baron)

Eric Young Jr. could have a .350 OBP… if he bunts more

In an ideal world, Eric Young Jr. would have a .350 OBP, Terry Collins told media on Tuesday in St. Lucie.

This spring, Collins said he would like to see Eric Young focus more on bunting and being a more selective hitter, especially earlier in the count.

“As we sit here today, Eric Young is the guy you want to see at the top of the lineup,” Collins said last week, regarding who on his team can bat leadoff.

In 410 plate appearances last year with no one base, Eric Young had a .343 OBP. He had a .260 OBP when batting with runners on base.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

For what it’s worth, to get his OBP up to .350 by way of bunting, he would have to add 22 bunt hits to his six in 2013, which would be the most in MLB since 2008, according to MetsBlog’s Maggie Wiggin. In other words, that’s not happening…

Look, I’m willing to be patient here, but Terry’s fascination with Eric Young Jr. is getting a bit concerning. I mean, he’s a nice player, but he’s not the second coming of Rickey Henderson. I don’t think that he’s so good that it’s worth moving established players out of position (i.e., Daniel Murphy to first) or sending kids with potential to the minor leagues (i.e., Juan Lagares) just so Terry can have a ‘prototypical leadoff hitter.’ 




95 comments
Alex Plaza
Alex Plaza

In my opinion the chris young pickup was a waste. EYJ in left, lagares in center, and grandy in right. Lagares showed a lot of potential in his 2013 season to NOT get a starting position. Let the guy play.

methead
methead

I think Terry is a knucklehead if he benches Lagares for Young.  With that said, Collins DID say he needs to bunt more AND be more selective with his swings.  those 2 combined if successful can raise his OBP.   Of course bunting almost 3 times more and be successful is not going to happen but being more selective can.


With that said, please ride the pine Young.  Thanks.

qualcomm
qualcomm

Put me in coach... I'm ready to plaaaay todaaay

qualcomm
qualcomm

I do like EYJ's attitude.... he's good player to have around on a winning team. That said, I have a hard time believing that Collins is still in charge.   You'll know when this team is serious about going for it when we get a legit manager.   Timmy Teufel needs a shot.

garystein
garystein

if Lagares isnt the starting centerfielder opening day that would be the most Mets thing ever. Kid has unlimited potential and saves a butload of runs by himself. Which is exactly what we need on a team that won't score too much. How bout we just sign Drew and bat him leadoff. Solves the leadoff issue and also adds another major leaguer so we can afford to have Lagares batting 8th. Tejada does not belong on any starting lineup in the major leagues.

philj
philj

It should be at least for this year. EY in left CY in center and Grandy in right...Lagares will be a late game defensive replacement.  I think Lagares could learn a lot from EY about base stealing.  Then if he starts to hit and learns how to steal he can be lead off for years to come.  Thats just my take on it

anthony G. Decesare
anthony G. Decesare

Eric young will be leading off playing LF opening day, cerrone and the rest of you mets fans need to face that fact.

amazagain
amazagain

Mets need one more legit speed guy...Citi field is built for speed as most guys with power can't handle it unless they have really serious power.  I would love to see young SS acquired in trade with Davis and sign Morales. If you had two speed guys upfront then murph, wright, grandy and morales this would all of a sudden be a contender. This would take very little at this point -- mets are a blink away from a big jump if they could only see it

Maury Feldman
Maury Feldman

Yes, EYJ could help this team immensely if he can get on base at a .350 clip.  I don't see him as a 2B.  I think he would play left; Granderson likely RF, and one of Lagares and Chris Young in CF.

EYJ is a prolific base stealer who can make things happen.  His weakness is getting on base.  Still, he was at .318 as a Met last year, and put up OBPs near or better than .350 in the past.  If bunts and increased walks can bring him up another .030, that's significant.

Lagares was awesome in the field last year, but apart from July, atrocious at the plate.  We don't know if Chris Young will rebound; he was quite terrible last year.  Again, his defense saves him.

Still, I have the nagging feeling that one of Lagares or C. Young won't be good enough to start in 2014.  EYJ will be the best available option (unless Puello is for real).

Buddy Baby Johnson
Buddy Baby Johnson

I really can't take you people.


Eric Young Jr. can realistically get on base 1 out of three times leading off in a good lineup. If Murphy, Wright and Granderson stay healthy and do their jobs behind him, he'll get pitches to hit an be a good, not great, leadoff hitter. I would rather have that, then a guy with a .400 OBP who gets neutralized by lefties and gets paid 100 million dollars to do so. Oh hey, Choo is up in a big spot in a playoff game? No problem, give me the lefty, problem solved.

Combined with his speed, EY Jr. play an OK Left Field (infinitely better than Lucas Duda) - he can get to balls, and his weaker throwing arm won't be out on display - you put Chris Young in Center, and Granderson in Right. No one will cry about that outfield defensively.

JUAN LAGARES IS A 4TH OUTFIELDER. HE IS NOT THE SECOND COMING OF LENNY DYKSTRA. IF YOU LOOK AT HIS MINOR LEAGUE STATS, HE'S ENDY CHAVEZ WITH WAY MORE STRIKEOUTS. GET OFF OF IT, PEOPLE.

Rob DiMartino
Rob DiMartino

If you don't just look at a bunt as a potential hit, then it is a more feasible achievement.  If my thinking is correct, some of those bunts could count as a sacrifice if there is a runner on, so it would not be an official AB.  It would be better than striking out or grounding or popping out.  A 1-4 day could be changed to a 1-3 day with a Sac Bunt, therefore equaling a higher AVG and OBP.  Marginal, but higher, still.

metsfan6
metsfan6

Our leadoff hitter in 2011 almost batted .350

ken1010
ken1010

Matt, that was a good commentary.  I agree completely.  E Young is a nice fourth outfielder.  

I hope Terry is just building up all his players, playing head games with them, and doesn't believe the stuff he says.  If he does believe what he says, that's scary.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Matt, you're being too nice to EYJ.  He really isn't even a "nice" player.  He was one of the worst hitters in all of baseball last year, just OK in LF, but does have his speed to fall back on which a 1950's dinosaur manager would identify as being the "leadoff" guy.

thjopr6986
thjopr6986

Fed up with Collins already - and the first Grapefruit Legue pitch hasn't even been thrown yet.

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

so it looks like in our lineup next year were gonna have ey, ike, tejeda, cy, and an unproven travis d arnaud.  This lineup is going to atrocious again.  But hey Mets fans lets not get Drew and Cruz which i hear a lot of you say.  

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

I still don't understand how quickly people dismiss the ability that EYjr has. If he gets on base (however that might be) and steals second. Murph bunts him over to third. What are the chances that the Captain has to bring him in with less than two outs? I'd say high. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Lagares to be displaced but EYjr is NOT a bench player. He needs more than. 400 AB's this year. Somehow someway.

Chad Michael
Chad Michael

Terry isn't the worst manager but I don't think he is getting the full potential out of this team.  I think the Red Sox success was just as much attributed to their manager as it was to the players they brought in.  No manager is perfect and yes it is easy to place the blame on them but Terry has made too many questionable calls during his tenure and this team has not really improved.  I'm not calling for the guys head but I really wouldn't mind seeing a change in who is managing this team.

mettle
mettle

In an ideal world I'm dating Kate Upton too.

mike23
mike23

EYJR is a good ball player but on this team and most he is a 4th outfielder who can play some 2b on Murphy's off days. If he is starting when the season begins the mets either made the wrong decision with Crhis Young or Granderson Signing or Lagares was 0-60 and showed no plate awareness. Chris Young, Lagares, Granderson should be the outfield to at least start the season and see how things go. Leave Murphy at 2b and hopefully Ike steps up at 1b and the mets are good to go. 

Starz31
Starz31

Prove me wrong. I fear EYJr. will resemble Luis Castillo and his slap hitting for a prayer style. 

I do think he's much better than Castillo ever was, but it's still my fear. 

Shawn Sparks
Shawn Sparks

I'm a huge fan of having a solid defense--which goes double for the Mets since their fate rests heavily upon their pitching--but the drop between the outfield with Lagares and without Lagares isn't significant enough to leave Young's bat on the bench IF that is the choice.

Also, newsflash: Murphy's out of position at second base as it is.  I'd have no problem with Young at 2nd and Murph at 1st if the Mets would man up and commit to it and allow Murph the appropriate amount of preparation.

methead
methead

@andrew fisher  I dont agree with Cerrone but the point he is making is you can have an outfield of Granderson, young and Lageres with Murphy at 2b and Ike 1b rather than trying to squeeze young into that lineup by dropping maybe Ike and putting Murphy out of position, again.  

helloboy
helloboy

@amazagain  The Mets overvalue pitching and undervalue hitting.  This team has a rotation good enough to win now and is probably top 10 even without Harvey.  Yet, they are afraid to spend money on hitters.  it is very weird.

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

@Buddy Baby Johnson  Juan Lagares is better than Eric Young Jr.


Case closed. 


If Lagares takes a few more walks and hits even just a little, he would be SUBSTANTIALLY better than Eric Young Jr. 

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

@Buddy Baby Johnson  i really don't think ey is a good hitter either.  I think there will be a rotation in the outfield, with Grandy playin pretty much everyday and the other 2 spots being rotated by cy ey and lagares

helloboy
helloboy

@Rob DiMartino  EY is not sac bunting much unless they just pinch hit for the pitcher.  He would generally be hitting with at least one out already with a pitcher in front of him in most post 1st inning ab's. 

steve333
steve333

@ken1010  


All of our outfielders besides Granderson are 4th outfielders

helloboy
helloboy

@Mike Dell Italia  CY will not be atrocious and TDA will be fine.  I think it will be better than last year for sure. I do not think it will be as atrocious.  Mets are good for about 40 more HR. 

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

@Darwin Hernandez  Not a bench player? seriously? He is the epitome of bench player. He plays multiple positions and all of them below average at best. He can't hit but he'd be good to slot in if you want to pinch run someone.

Josh Kaye
Josh Kaye

@Darwin Hernandez  I don't see Murph bunting him over to third. I don't even remember the last time Murphy bunted. Murph will be swinging and everything would happen from there. It would be nice for EY to get on base more often but he has to prove he can do that. If we give him more than 400 at bats and he has an OBP of .300 or less...what then? EY has been a bench player throughout his whole career for a reason. Yes, he has speed. But at what cost? Lagares has to prove as well that he can hit and get on base. If the two bring the same set (solid defense, mediocre bat), I'll take EY and let Lagares improve in the minors since EY brings speed and an ability to steal bases. 


Fact is, EY is a career .258 hitter with an OBP of .325 which isn't bad. But he has to be better if he wants to start full time.

Michael Fichera
Michael Fichera

@Starz31  I didn't care much for Castillo but he was way better than EY could even dream of. Castillo was a 3x all-star, 3x gold glove winner, 2x stolen base holder, and finally he accomplished a 35 game hit streak; I don't think EY has 35 hits in a season.

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

Exactly! Chris Young in Center, Curtis and EY in the corners. Especially if we are facing a tough right hander.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@helloboy @amazagainThere aren't too many bats around in general; they have to trade some arms to get them and i think the arms need another year to max on value; also clearly they can't afford a big contract yet.

I REALLY wanted Cano this winter.  To me, they messed up because that was the 2014 playoffs right there.  I think we're an 81-83 win team this year and I do believe Cano gets you there.

Buddy Baby Johnson
Buddy Baby Johnson

@Michael FicheraWhen, over the course of his career, has Juan Lagares ever taken "a few more walks"? He's been in the Mets system for almost 7 years, and for 7 years, he's been a free swinger. He's not going to learn plate discipline. Just stop, man. I know he's a home grown kid... he's a 4th outfielder. Besides, even if Lagares hits better, he'll never walk, so he's never going to be any more than a bottom of the order hitter, *of which the Mets have plenty*.


I'm also not trying to make EYJr any more than he is - but he fills a greater need than Lagares does, and that's someone at the top of the lineup.

Buddy Baby Johnson
Buddy Baby Johnson

@billysuede  Chuck Carr... nice throwback! Chuckie hacks on 2-0!

I think "poor man's" is unfair.. he could just *be* Chuckie Carr... or he could be better and more consistent... either way, as of right now, the way the team is currently set up - he's the best option batting lead off, and the team would be better with him in Left and Chris Young in Center.

helloboy
helloboy

@Mike Dell Italia @Buddy Baby Johnson  I doubt it will be a regular rotation when one of those guys makes over 6M more than the others.  You may get  Lagares in the OF 2 times a week, maybe a third on a day when Murphy gets a rest or moves to first and EY gets a day at second or if they DH Grandy in AL interleague. However, i think you are more likely to see Lagares as a defensive replacement for EY late in games. Lagares will get occassional games in when Granderson gets off against tough lefties, like Cliff Lee, given his age.  I think with fully healthy seasons you see:

Granderson: 580 ABS 

C Young: 510 ABS

EY: 487 (including games at second)

lagares: 360

Buddy Baby Johnson
Buddy Baby Johnson

@Mike Dell Italia   I get what you're saying, but EY can be a better hitter than people give him credit for. He's not an All-Star, nor will he ever be... but he consistently had a lack of playing time in Colorado with Cuddyer, Fowler and Gonzalez in his way, and not everyone has to be All-Star quality to contribute.

Plus, he certainly shouldn't be pushed aside, especially not for Lagares to start... EY *can* lead off. No one else on the team can. The pros outweigh the cons.

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

Agreed with the Murphy comment but where everyone gets it wrong is pinning EY against Lagares. That's not it. I want to see Juan developed and I want to see him in Queens. Its not a given that Chris Young will be this years Marlon Byrd but if that's the case then yes, send Juan to Vegas and develop his hitting.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Josh Kaye @Darwin Hernandez "Fact is, EY is a career .258 hitter with an OBP of .325 which isn't bad."

You think that's good?...when you factor in there is zero power to speak off?  It's abominable.  There's a reason he had the 7th worst wOBA among all regulars last year.

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

The skill of stealing a base and being in scoring position. He led the NL in that dept after we traded for him.

Maury Feldman
Maury Feldman

@BringBackDaveTelghe @Darwin Hernandez  If we could choose from every player in the game, EYJ might not be our choice.  But we are talking about corner OF where the alternatives are poor hitters.  I think EYJ's speed tool, decent OF defense, and mediocre offense are qualities we may find value in.

Another way of saying that is that I think it's possible one or both of Lagares and C. Young will be so bad at the plate that we will see EYJ in LF regularly.  Defense is important, but is LF defense so valuable that we can afford two OFs with .280 OBPs?

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Darwin Hernandez Vastly overrated when you have numbers as bad as this guy.  If he had 20 less steals, but was on base 20 more times you know how more valuable then that is right?