Sandy Alderson focused on the Mets’ record over the last 100 games of the season in his interviews on SNY and WFAN, and one of the reasons for that record, according to him, was left fielder Eric Young Jr. Acquired in exchange for Collin McHugh on June 18, Young put an end to the Lucas Duda outfield experiment.
Young is undoubtedly fast. He stole 38 bases in 91 games with the Mets and totaled 46, which was the top mark in the National League and second only to Jacoby Ellsbury in baseball. And Young was caught stealing 11 times, which means he was successful in 81 percent of his attempts.
Aside from speed, however, Young wasn’t very good. Among sixteen qualified left fielders in Major League Baseball, he ranked dead last with a 79 wRC+. The second-worst left fielder in the metric was Alejandro De Aza, whose 97 wRC+ was significantly higher. While Young’s defense was obviously an upgrade from Lucas Duda’s, it wasn’t anything to write home about, either.
By MLB Trade Rumors’ estimate, Young would earn $1.9 million in 2014 via arbitration. It certainly sounds like the Mets will keep him around. But if he’s retained with a significant raise, he shouldn’t be penciled in for an everyday gig in the Mets’ offensively-challenged outfield.