In Eric Young Jr., Mets have found at least a temporary solution

USA TODAY Sports

He's no Jose Reyes, but Eric Young Jr. has slotted in nicely as the Mets' leadoff hitter.

Since the Mets acquired Eric Young Jr. from the Colorado Rockies a little over a month ago, he has been very good. In 134 plate appearances with the Mets, Young has performed as well as he ever has in the big leagues, hitting .288/.366/.373, a line that translates to a .330 wOBA and 113 wRC+. He’s also stolen 10 bases and has been caught stealing three times, a success rate of 76.9 percent.

Among Mets hitters with at least 100 plate appearances, Young’s on-base percentage is second only to David Wright’s stellar .398 mark. Combined with approximately-average defense in left field, he’s earned 0.6 fWAR in his brief time with the team. The Mets have supposedly coveted Young for quite some time, and the Mets are looking good in the early going after getting him for 26-year-old pitcher Collin McHugh.

Young’s career numbers in the big leagues have not been this good, but what he’s done with the Mets doesn’t seem to be a mirage. His .347 batting average on balls in play is high relative to the league, but his career mark is .320. That gap may close a bit, but it wouldn’t be a shock if he remained above league-average because of his speed. His 10.4 percent walk rate is higher than his career 8.6 percent rate, but it’s not a huge cause for alarm.

It’s too early to say the Mets have found an everyday player in Young, but there’s no doubt the team made an upgrade in the outfield by acquiring him. If Ike Davis continues to struggle in his platoon role, it’s hard to see the Mets displacing Young to put Lucas Duda’s good bat and terrible defense back in left field. A Duda platoon with Josh Satin at first base with Young starting in left field and Davis either on the bench or in the minors seems a much more likely solution to the team’s potential roster logjam.

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