Eric Young 1 (Baron)

Who should bat leadoff for the Mets?

Eric Young Jr. could be the Mets’ leadoff man in 2014, over Juan Lagares or any other players, Terry Collins said (Rubin).

But, “anything is possible,” Collins said.

Young Jr. and Lagares could see a competition or platoon in center field, heading into Spring Training.

In 2013, in 91 games with the Mets, Young hit .251 with a .318 OBP. Lagares, over 121 games, hit .242 with a .281 OBP. Young posted a 79 OPS+, a 0.9 bWAR and 0.8 fWAR. Lagares had an 80 OPS+, with a 3.7 bWAR and 2.9 fWAR (Wiggin).

When batting leadoff last season, in 122 games between the Rockies and Mets, Young hit .254 with a .318 OBP, while Lagares appeared in just seven games batting in the first position, posting a very small sample size line of a .207 average and .233 OBP.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Lagares is a superior center fielder to Young, so he is owed every opportunity to improve at the plate. His defense alone contributes to winning by his ability to cover ground, throw runners out and save runs. Young may handle the bat a bit better, but he showed last year he is not an everyday player.

Maggie Wiggin, Contributor

Young Jr. doesn’t offer sufficient skills, on either side of the ball, to warrant a spot in the everyday lineup. While that may mean the Mets don’t have a prototypical leadoff hitter, creativity can provide them with plenty of production from that spot.

Daniel Murphy is another option to leadoff . He’s far from perfect as he only had a .319 OBP last year, but for his career, it’s .333 and he’s a smart baserunner.

If the team is open to tweaking the lineup based on the opposing pitcher, he would make an excellent leadoff platoon with Chris Young, who also has some speed. Murphy’s OBP against righties is .344 and Chris Young’s OBP against lefties is .363.

Mostly, I think the team would do well to focus less one what a leadoff hitter is supposed to look like, and focus on putting the eight best players out on the field.

Andrew Wharton, Contributor

I’m not willing to sacrifice defense in by swapping Young Jr. for Lagares at this point. You have to give a guy like Lagares every chance to prove he can hit at this level because his glove is phenomenal. Young Jr. has good speed and can play multiple positions, so he’s perfect for a role coming off the bench as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner. Anything more could be stretching his value.

I’m starting to warm up to the idea of Murphy leading off. I have been against this move in the past because of his declining on-base percentage. In 458 career plate appearances leading off an inning, Murphy’s hit .309 with a .360 OBP and .531 SLG, so my original assessment was incorrect. He’s certainly shown an ability to perform in that role, and I believe he should be given the opportunity to sustain that production, just like Lagares should be given a chance to play everyday at the major league level.




134 comments
metfan8669
metfan8669

Hahaha, now these writers are saying what I have said all along.

Guys, just write down everything I say and spit it back at us 2 months later. It will save you having to hurt yourselves thinking later.

I was saying all this when complaining about everyone wanting "a typical leadoff hitter."

This site is comical.

haha - Wharton "was wrong about his Murphy assessment."

Maggie includes Chris Young as an option.  And Baron states the obvious.  HAHAHA.  Oh man.  I wrote this exact assessment the day the Mets signed Chris Young (November), and again when they signed Granderson.(Dec 6th.)

Oh man, I don't know whether I am enjoying this so much because its comical or just embarrassing for these folks.

As long as Lagares doesn't implode, and shows improvement at the plate, then there is no competition here.  EY is a great role player.  But he is a POOR defender.

I like the guy, and glad to have him on the team.  But leading the league in steals doesn't translate.  46 SBs would have league the NL only 4 times since 1963.   This is not like Tim Raines or Kenny Lofton.  HAHAHA... oh stop, my ribs are hurting.

troyarcher
troyarcher

Great post by everyone, especially Wharton!

Legares does not need pressure hitting at this level unless he proves to be a natural at lead off ?

Murphy thrives on challenge and adapting to new roles,

Eric Young 's speed is consistent and a given.

One outfield platoon or sharing 486 starts among four may have some merit?

Ike vs Derek Jeter proves that leading off or starting a rally against a pitcher with some momentum is not always ability but taking a strike, shrinking the strike zone, fouling off many pitches, trying to frustrate a dominate pitcher in or seeking a rhythm etc...

It takes commitment, self control, purpose, putting the team first, leadership by example, great patience, confidence and a coaching staff that backs you up...

It can lead to breaking a pitcher , not in first inning alone but starting a crucial rally against a great team in the playoffs ...

nymets6
nymets6

these writers are hating on EY after leading the NL in steals...

JCOHEN68
JCOHEN68

Platoon EY and Lagares, until one of them dominates and takes over.

Jerry Colfer
Jerry Colfer

I can't believe the thought of Young and Lagares is at all serious. EY is a fast guy who doesn't hit or possess the fielding and arm of Lagares (or den Decker). He is a possibility at 2nd base and spot OF play. We had the Duda to the OF, Murphy to the OF, now possibly Satin to the OF....we have the mishandling of Ike and the log jam at 1st....SERIOUSLY!!!! Do we need more dumb tinkering behind decent pitching?

Bill Russell
Bill Russell

Can't believe the contributors don't realize the full impact of the stolen base. Eric young was on first by walks or singles 111 times and with 35 stolen bases he was in scoring position at least  30 times ( not counting stealing third base as an extra time in scoring position)  Another 22 extra base hits (18 doubles and 4 triples) put him in scoring position a total of 52 times without help from a teammate ( usually an out). Not bad for a man that only played 91 games, to be in scoring position more than half of his games. To give one a better prospective, David Wright was on second or better without help from a teammate (usually an out) 61 times in 112 games, a little less than Young. I am not saying Young is anywhere as valuable as David Wright but when players are exciting to watch and puts the team in scoring position, I consider that as talented ( especially when he is no slouch in the field).

eric88
eric88

Four starters under .210 last year. Three more under .245. Oh my god!

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

I just don't like the idea of a weak bottom of the order, meaning no average, or power down there, behind the likes of Granderson, Davis/Duda, Chris Young etc. This means Tejada/quintinilla should bat lead off, even if they aren't fitting to the spot. If they become an automatic out, maybe Murphy in the 2hole, becomes the real lead off guy, and that's  not the worst thing until a better hitting, or speedy leadoff SS is aquired.

Rob Martin
Rob Martin

Young or lagares. I'd go young 1st though if I had to pick.

steve333
steve333

Lagares will never have a chance to play and grow and neither will any rookie until the Mets get rid of Terry Collins.

TC will destroy this team from within

Mike Dell Italia
Mike Dell Italia

i think whoever our short stop is becomes our leadoff batter, and the outfield is grandy in left legeras in center, cy in right

supert
supert

Who should bat leadoff for the Mets?


Stephen Drew

tk2120
tk2120

Daniel Murphy!!! except, we aren't good enough in the 2 or 6 holes to justify this move...you bat Murph leadoff, then who hits 2nd? i don't mind CY at either of those spots, but i'd prefer CY & Murph 1, 2 rather than Murph & CY.....


if they signed Drew, he could hit in either spot, but then you have 2 similar hitters in Murph & Drew back to back...if the Mets were cool, and Ike had a clue, you could go Murph, DW, Granderson, Ike, etc.....butttttt, Ike can't hit...


my point is, Murphy is the best option, but that creates another hole & then we would answer the question of who should bat 2nd


womp womp

Zach14
Zach14

Any Mets-Islanders fans?

ReneNYK1
ReneNYK1

I'm with you Maggie until we get a real leadoff hitter Murph is our best option IMO.He hits for average and his OBP is our best option not clogging the bases.

Chris Biehl
Chris Biehl

Don't have a real leadoff hitter at the moment

Darwin Hernandez
Darwin Hernandez

I don't want EY to take Juan's spot but they need to find a way to have him bat leadoff. I don't care what his OBP is. There is ALOT of value on a guy that can get into scoring position in less than 4 seconds. Please stop dismissing his SB abilities.

Will Ackerman
Will Ackerman

Eric young Murphy Wright Granderson Davis Lagares Flores D' arnaud

lgm86
lgm86

Bringing Collins back was a terrible mistake.  This is such an easy decision.  First, EY Jr. was NOT a better offensive player last year - yes, he's fast.  But it says right here in the post that Lagares put up a higher OPS+!  So from an offensive perspective, the two players are very close.


Now, add in defensive value and Lagares blows EY Jr. out of the water.  He plays the 2nd most important defensive position at a stellar level.  This is extremely important for the Mets because the only way we're winning more than 80 games this year is by having a dominant pitching staff.  We play in a large, spacious pitchers park with talented pitchers who will put the ball in play very often.  Wheeler is our only high strikeout guy now that Harvey is hurt.  Bartolo Colon, in particular, is an extreme fly ball pitcher - Lagares is going to have massive value during his starts.

tommets
tommets

Option 1) Lagares

Option 2) Chris Young

Option 3/4) Daniel Murphy/Tejada


I do not want EYJR taking a starting spot away from Lagares at all. Lagares has much more overall abilities. He reminds me a lot of Carlos Gomez with the Mets. Showed a very strong glove with a limited bat. Look at the way he's hitting now. If the Mets are smart they'd give Lagares the Opening Day lead-off role. If it doesn't work out then still have him start. His glove is too good to be on the bench. Chris Young would be my next option. Possibly Tejada could work if he gets that OBP higher than it was 2 years ago (.333, and in all honesty he has the potential to do it. He just has to work harder than he has been.) 

eric88
eric88

Does it matter, Davis .202 and Tejada .210 are starters. Add EY.243, CY .200 Lagares .223, .Add  Duda .235, Grandersen .245, d'arneau .200, and we suck.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Maggie nailed it above. EYJ has no skills on either side of the ball except for his speed. He led the league in steals last year but was still one of the worst hitters in all of baseball.

eric88
eric88

Collins already decided its EY. He constantly changes lineups which is probably why they all under performed. He over manages lineups but is a poor in game manager.  Murphy was the exception as he left him alone at 2B everyday.

sellwilpon
sellwilpon

The mets are such a pathetic dysfunctional team that the manager names the 4th outfielder as their lead off hitter

bigdirty
bigdirty

EY brought that extra dimension to that was missing when Reyes left. Lagaras is a termendous outfielder but the other 2 outfielders can cover more ground than what Lagaraes had to deal with last year. the difference he makes in the outfield might not be as great as anticpated.


I am all for giving the kid a shot but the offense needs a catalyst and speed at the top. If Young hits, then he should get a shot.


You got to score to win. Not everyball will be hit in to center field. 

paulio
paulio

Ugh. You just KNOW Collins is going to start EY and obsess over handedness matchups. Expect another season of botched player development.

Zacharie St-Hubert
Zacharie St-Hubert

Idk why people are so down on Murph. Murph is a top 5 hitting second baseman. His hitting skills are above average. His fielding may not be the best but he is productive. I would also like to see Lagares stick it out in CF. His defensive ability is very good. Although this would mean Eric Young Jr. not being in the starting lineup, that doesn't mean he can't contribute to the team. I like EYJ as a player with play-making abilities and a professional. I still see him getting a good amount of AB as a super utility guy on our team. He could fill in in the OF for all 3 spots and infield at 2B and off the bench as a hitter, pinch runner, defensive replacement. I could also see him getting some good time at either Outfield spot to fill in for injuries. Injuries happen and are apart of the game. I could def see him filling in for either Granderson, Chris Young or Lagares(I hope for not too long for either of those guys). Every winning team needs a player like EYJ to make things work. I could see it now, EYJ coming up in the clutch during a deep Mets playoff run.  

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

Interesting math. That would be seven starting players out of eight positions. I know that Wright and Murphy were definitely over .245. And if you were counting EY, he was over that mark too. But yeah, keep spouting nonsense, go ahead.

lgm86
lgm86

@cmetsfan  Dude.. that's a terrible idea.  The top of the order gets many more at bats over the course of a season than the bottom.  You would rather have a weak top of the order than a weak bottom?

eric88
eric88

@steve333   Your 100 percent correct. Look how he is jerking Flores around allover the field. a 23 year old top prospect

The Feels band
The Feels band

@Darwin Hernandez can you qualify the value with stats? He can't get on base OR hit, but let him lead off CUZ JUST IN CASE HE GETS ON BASE he'll get in scoring position... maybe. That's a really strange way to go about leading someone off. 

Mark Griffith
Mark Griffith

@tommets  I'm with you brother. He needs to be our CFer and his minor league numbers at least suggest he can be capable of handling the role of leadoff hitter. Let's see if his bat develops.

zoddie
zoddie

Are you kidding? Lageres was one of the best fielders in all of baseball. Anyone could see that with the naked eye and all advanced defensive stats say the same thing.

ericloz
ericloz

@Steven Matregrano You may want to check his defensive stats for last year before you come to any conclusions. His value lies in his defense and any offense is a plus. The issue is that his lack of offense is glaring when in this weak lineup. The isn't anyplace to hide him.  

eric88
eric88

@Steven Matregrano Yes, heis limited and I saw him miss ballshe should have gotten too. The Mets will build all their players up to compensate for their small payroll to sell tickets which average 3 dollars more per ticket than Yankees.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

EYJ didn't add anything, what were you watching? He makes an ungodly amount of outs and has no power which is slightly lessened from his speed.

metfan8669
metfan8669

@Zach Ripple - Key Word is LAST year.

It's a new season. -- I will bet you Eric that almost all of them hit above .210.

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@lgm86 Only because without lineup protection, Granderson/Wright etc, could get pitched around, leading to pressing. Certainly not ideal, but and people may disagree, but I'm not convinced it's more terrible than having Tejada's slump trickle down to Davis's slump, to Chris Young's, etc, etc. 

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

@eric88 But the bottom is where the power is, that needs protection.