Michael Baron, ContributorIn his column for ESPN, Jim Bowden believes Mets OF Chris Young will be a bust for the Mets in 2014.
“Young has been in rapid decline over the past four years, as his OBP dropped to a career-low .280 in 2013,” Bowden writes. “He still has 20-home run, 20-stolen base ability, but his low average and high strikeout rate mean he cannot be an effective everyday player.”
In addition, Bowden polled an American League General Manager about which new signing would be a bust in the upcoming season, to which he responded with OF Curtis Granderson.
“I think his power will be reduced to 20 home runs in that park and the strikeouts will be a problem with their thin lineup,” the GM said about Granderson. “I also think the player will begin his decline over the next year and a half.”
People can play this game all day. In the end, there’s no way to know how each will fare.
Now, these are certainly reasonable arguments. There’s no denying both Young and Granderson have holes in their games, and it’s fair to wonder how their games will translate to a pitchers park like Citi Field and arguably thinner lineups on a regular basis.
In regards to Young, I do agree with Bowden, but only if Young is misused and overexposed. Young probably shouldn’t be an everyday player until he proves otherwise. He could be best suited as a utility outfielder against left-handed pitching, as he has historically struggled against righties in his career. However, limiting Young’s exposure could help maximize his strengths while creating opportunities for players like Matt den Dekker or Eric Young Jr. against right-handed pitching.
As for Granderson, his home/road splits have been fairly even from a power perspective over the last few years. Still, between his age, his expected decline during the life of the contract, the park he’s going to play half his games in, along with his high strikeout rate, it could get difficult at times to watch Granderson over the next few years.
Nevertheless, he’s an upgrade and should have a greater ability to produce at his position than any of their holdovers from last year.
Read more: GMs chime in on off-season moves (Bowden)