In 21 games since joining the Mets, Eric Young Jr. is batting .290 with a .368 OBP and seven stolen bases.
“He’s the prototypical leadoff guy,” Marlon Byrd said of Young, talking to the New York Post. “I’m just so glad we have him over here. He just never got that consistent playing time [in Colorado] and over here he’s got that chance. He sees the opportunity and knows he’s going to be out there every single day. He’s showing what he can do.”
“I love it here,” Young told the Post. “It’s a great bunch of guys. I see a lot of drive and fight in everybody and I think we’re going to make it exciting in the second half.”
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Young’s really been a nice addition. There is no question the offense has been far more fluid and effective since he joined the team. Is it all on Young? I doubt it. But, he’s clearly a factor. He continues to remind me more of Luis Castillo than a Jose Reyes, and that’s fine.
The Mets still need more power, which is something Sandy Alderson seems set on finding. My guess is they’ve got their center fielder in Young, who they probably hope to bring back in 2014. I mean, I can’t see them trying to acquire him twice in two years, finally getting him, having him do well and then non-tendering him. That makes no sense.
Plus, according to our friend Chris Walendon, Young is out of options, eligible for arbitration each of the next three seasons and he’ll be a free agent after 2016.
So, if Young is in center next year, who’s in left and right field? Alderson essentially told WFAN last month that the jury is still out on Lucas Duda. Does that mean he intends to acquire two outfielders? If so, how? One by trade, one by free agency? If it’s a free agent, is it Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury, or someone else? If not Choo or Ellsbury, who? It’s going to be a fun next 12 months.
MetsBlog contributor Robert Brender recently caught up with Young in San Francisco.
To listen to the Q&A, click here > Subscribe with iTunes|
Robert Brender: You’ve been here now for almost two weeks, how do you feel so far being a New York Met?
Eric Young Jr.: I’m having a great time. The guys have been great, coaching staff has been great. Had a lot of exciting games and that’s all you can ask for.
Brender: You got an opportunity to play a couple series, one in New York at Citi Field. You’re from New Jersey, what was it like to play there given that you’re from the area?
Young: It was great. My family was probably more excited than I was. I got to go out there and still play baseball regardless of the field. But my family was really excited to just drive maybe an hour and get to see me play now.
Brender: You add some speed to the top of the lineup. Have they told you from the minute that you got here ‘Hey, we want you to get on base and utilize that right away?’
Young: Just more so go out there and enjoy playing the game, and do what I do. Not really to put too much pressure on myself. Fortunately I’ve been able to do that so far.
Brender: You played a lot of left field so far with the Mets, do you have a preference with where you play defensively?
Young: I can’t complain with seeing my name up there every day. Regardless of the position if I get that every day, I’m good.
Brender: Take the fans through what it’s like to get traded.
Young: It’s interesting, there are couple days with a lot of uncertainty, with my family and I. But as soon as I got the call, there’s nothing but excitement. Ready to strap it on and go play.
Brender: How much surprise is associated with that as well?
Young: To a degree, because you’re not sure what phone calls are being made on you. Who’s calling trying to trade for you. You’re hearing this, you’re hearing that. When you finally get that call you go ‘okay good, we have a destination’ and now it’s time to go play.
Brender: What do you think about this team?
Young: I see a lot of fight. A lot of our games, even the ones that we’ve lost, have gone down to the wire. Difference in one or two runs, we could be sitting in a difference spot in the standings. Still got the second half to go. We’re excited about that.
Brender: There’s some excitement going forward with the organization, isn’t there?
Young: All I can control personally is all I do each day. I let the front office people handle what the future may hold. I’m excited about being here for the future and hopefully we make that happen.
Robert Brender is a contributor to MetsBlog and Mets Minor League Blog. You can follow him on Twitter.