Eric Young Jr. could provide nice bang for the buck

Some Mets’ fans have shrugged at the idea of acquiring the services of Eric Young Jr. (traded for Collin McHugh on Tuesday night) from the Colorado Rockies, saying he is nothing more than filler with no real upside and one who will fit right in with the Mets’ under-qualified outfield.

The naysayers have a point. After all, Young’s career slash line is a modest .261/.329/.342. That’s not exactly eye-opening numbers.

However, Young could be placed in an ideal situation to succeed in Queens if given the chance for everyday at-bats.

You see, while not the greatest hitter in the world, Young never got a fair chance in Colorado, as the Rockies had a plethora of quality players who could play the outfield (just think that Tyler Colvin wasn’t good enough break camp this spring with Colorado, and if Colvin was with the Mets, he’d be by far the best Mets’ outfielder)—quite the opposite scenario here in Flushing.

When given the chance to play, Young has showed great wheels on the basepaths, stealing 70 (with a career-high 27 in 2011) bases in 314 games. Given that the Mets lack a player with a good set of wheels, Young gives the Mets an added dimension on the basepaths.

While he won’t remind anyone of Jose Reyes, Young is the best lead-off option the Mets will have had since Reyes left. Although a career on-base percentage of .329 isn’t ideal, Young at least is a threat to cause havoc when he gets on base, which is something the Mets have clearly lacked for the last two years.

Young can now safely be plugged into center field and if the experiment works, the Mets could conceivably kill two birds with one stone—getting a speedy lead-off hitter who could also play center field.

It’s not like every member of the outfield has to be some hulking slugger. A player with solid, contact-hitting skills who can run is an asset that the Mets could certainly use. It’s nice to have a table setter, but Young won’t be all the productive if the guys behind him don’t drive him in.

Again, the Mets don’t need Young to be the second coming of Rickey Henderson. Heck, even if he is half as good as his father, then the Mets will make out in this trade.  If Young can get on base, steal a few bases and show some solid leather in center field, then the Mets should get a positive return in this deal.

21 comments for “Eric Young Jr. could provide nice bang for the buck

  1. June 20, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Collin McHugh had no future with the Mets so to get anything for him was a plus. As for EY Jr. at least he has a chance to post an OBP over .300, which puts him ahead of most of the other guys they’ve used out of the leadoff spot this year.

    It’s hard to judge his numbers because of the Colorado factor, so I’m fine with giving him the job for a month to see what he can do. It’ll be hard for him to be worse than the collection of warm spit that’s manned the position so far this year. For those that played more than two games in CF, the highest OPS belongs to Jordany Valdespin with a .668 mark. League average is .714

    • Name
      June 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Mets are quickly becoming a team for Rockies castoffs.
      We now have EY jr, Andrew Brown, Q, and Carlos Torres. Can count Scott Rice too who has been in the minor league system only and Hawkins pitched there in 07 too. Wow, that’s many more than i orginially thought.

      Perhaps CarGo is not so farfetched…

  2. blastingzone
    June 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    SA type of trade a player with no future with mets to the Rockies for a player who is cheap and who has a low risk high reward and had no future with the Rockies!!

  3. Joe Vasile
    June 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I still think Cowgill didn’t get a fair opportunity to play. If we could’ve DFA’d someone other than him I’d have been happier with the trade.

    • za
      June 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Who would you have proposed?

  4. Jerry Grote
    June 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Since 2011, Eric Young’s had a full season of play (609 PA, 541 AB) and he’s put up nearly a 340 OBP, 49 steals in 59 attempts.

    All I’m concerned with is 340 OBP and I think a 30% swing is about right for his deviation. Anything beyond that is pure gravy. Outside of David, there is literally no one on the team with that high of an OBP. And yeah, 50/60 SB?

    Your upside here, to me, is a little less than Bourn. Hard to swallow, but that is the fact … a 360 OBP guy with 50 steals and good-not-great defense.

    • Jerry Grote
      June 20, 2013 at 10:59 am

      side note, if Young is nearly what I think he could be …

      Niese for a different Carlos. Quinton, under a very reasonable contract for the next three years.

      Keep Duda at 1B, Murphy at 2B, and combine Flores with someone to get Junior Lake. Color me happy, and you have a young-ish team, all under reasonable contract.

      • za
        June 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

        Niese for Carlos Quentin would be us getting ripped off hard-core. I also think that Flores offers more to us as the 1B of the future than Junior Lake, although it would be nice to have a solid SS prospect in the system (Cecchini notwithstanding). I actually like Arismendy Alcantará over Lake if given the choice of Cubs SS prospects not named Javier Baez – strong walk rates, switch hitter, and 9 dingers this year.

        Also, Duda’s at .800 OPS! I was happy to see that and I think he can push it to .900 by the end of the year.

        • Jerry Grote
          June 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

          Wow not seeing that at all on Carlos for Niese. Quintin’s averaged 2.5 WAR for three straight seasons. Niese has had one season where he delivered better than .5. Granted Niese has the better contract, but that hardly equates.

          I think you’d be alone in valuing a clear #3 starter over a an OPS+ guy of around 145.

          Flores for Lake is a lot like McHugh for Young; trading surplus at one position for need. At 1B you’ve got at least four or five guys in the organization.

          • Name
            June 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

            He’s not alone.
            Quentin’s problem is that he can’t stay healthy. Averages about 100 games per season over the season. Jon Niese posted a 3.4 bWAR last year; Quentin’s highest in recent years was 2.6 bWAR. Fangraphs also rates Niese as much better over the last few years.

            • Jerry Grote
              June 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

              as stated, from bb-r, he’s done that ONCE. GM’s place a premium on doing things regularly.

              In six seasons, he has 3.6 WAR. 3.4 of them in one season, and this year he has shown absolutely NO capacity to repeat that ability. His peripherals have regressed almost exactly to 2009-2011.

              If you read this >>> 98,93,88,112,88 … what is the next number in that sequence?

              Granted, Quintin has his problems staying healthy. That is his only fly; otherwise, you couldn’t touch him near for Niese. But, while we’re at it, WAR does essentially take into account games played. Hence, still not worth it to a GM.

              • Name
                June 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

                Niese’s stats are skewed badly by 2 apperances in early May vs Pitburgh and Atlanta during which he gave up nearly half(15 of 34) of his earned runs this year and almost a 3rd (9 of 33) of his walks. Take those two starts out and he has a sterling 2.61 ERA over 11 starts.
                I attribute his troubles in those starts due to a couple factors:
                The first was his brutal April schedule. He had the unfortunate luck of pitching at both Colorado and Minnesota on that brutal trip, which may have led to the second point which was that he said that he had been battling some sort of injury so he was pitching thru pain.
                Granted, he still doesn’t have good secondary stats even if you take those two starts out (5.51 K/9 and 3 BB/9) and that I don’t know why.

                An encouraging stat on Niese:
                1.93 ERA since May 16th, and that’s with a .316 BABIP with a 6.33 k/9. If he continues at this rate his ERA will finish in the same range as last year’s.

                And now an interesting tidbit on Niese:
                1.80 ERA on regular rest, 6.39 ERA irregular rest.

                • Jerry Grote
                  June 20, 2013 at 5:41 pm

                  Irregular rest. Wonder how the six man rotation is going to work out for him.

                  I admit to not looking at Fangraphs much, but I did notice his pitch selection seemed to change a whole bunch. He’s using his change-up a lot more, and unless I am reading it incorrectly, he’s throwing his fast ball less, and throwing it slower. And throwing his change up faster.

                  You can draw some negative connotations on information like that … like he’s losing confidence in his fastball. One way or the other, having only 5 MPH separation of your change and your fastball is a good way to get your ass handed to you.

          • za
            June 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

            Niese has put up 6.8 WAR going back to the 2010 season. Quentin has put up 4.9. Furthermore, Niese is a young, cost-controlled lefty starting pitcher with the chance at getting a bit better than he is right now. Quentin is at the peak of his value, poor defensively, and solid offensively. We can get better production than Quentin by signing Choo and not having to give up a piece as valuable as Niese. In a vacuum, I would like having Quentin on the Mets. If it required getting rid of Niese to do so, it would be robbing Peter to pay Paul, an especially poor move considering the other available options.

            In short, it’s an impossible trade assertion/scenario to recommend.

          • za
            June 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm

            By the way, the following sentence clearly misses the point of trades, which is to notably improve a team:

            “I think you’d be alone in valuing a clear #3 starter over a an OPS+ guy of around 145.”

            First off, you’re wrong – Niese is inarguably the more valuable player in a vacuum. Secondly, your premise is wrong because we don’t have to give up an above average player to replace him with a similarly above average player because the net gain is virtually non-existent even if Quentin *is* the slightly better player.

            We can improve the OF without having to trade Niese for such a terrible haul – Shin Soo Choo can put up a similar 140 OPS+ while providing better defense than Quentin while also not forcing us to trade from a position of (relative) strength.

            In short, there’s absolutely no logical way one can defend a Quentin for Niese trade straight up, unless one is a San Diego Padres fan.

            • Jerry Grote
              June 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

              Quentin and Choo are not mutually exclusive. But, given that they were, Choo is going to cost at least about $15-20MM more than Quentin.

              The consistent belief here between many of you is that you value Niese based simply on one statistic – what you are seeing at fangraphs.

              IF Jonathan Niese stays with this club, he will become the #4 pitcher, falling behind Montero, and ultimately Syndergaard passes him on his way to #5. Most other teams that want to win something would see him the same way.

              And the only reason San Diego gives up a legitimate, middle of the order bat that will be paid like a 2B in order to obtain a mediocre pitcher (lifetime ERA+: 94. WHIP: 1.4; after 2013 still will not have been a 200 IP player) is because Carlos has an injury history.

              Would any of you take him over Kyle Kendrick? Maybe. That’s normally the Phillies #4. Mike Minor is the listed #4 in Atlanta. Washington? OK. He’s better than Ross Detwiler has been in the past, but not better than Detwiler has been this year. I don’t know if I’d take him over the #5 pitcher in Arizona or St. Louis. He gets to #4 in LA.

              The reality of Jonathan Niese is that he is at best the #4 pitcher on a team with any quality depth on the mound. In that context, his “reasonable contract” loses some value.

              At the end of the day, this team will trade Niese, because he’s simply not that good. And it will surprise you to find the sweeteners required to get another team to give up a power hitter. Because other teams just don’t make that trade.

              Let’s look at that idea. How many times does a team trade away a legit, 20-30 HR hitter/130 OPS+ guy? And how often do they trade a #4 pitcher? You’ve got your values all screwed up.

  5. za
    June 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Incidentally, Marlon Byrd has been a far better OF than Tyler Colvin this year.

  6. jim
    June 22, 2013 at 2:56 am

    I look at this trade as, we now have a pretty decent forth outfielder. That means we still need two outfielders, a first baseman if Davis doesn’t make it back, a ss who can hit .270-275, and a catcher that can hit .270, and hit 15-20 home runs. Thank god Wheeler is up. Who do we trade, or sign as a free agent to help this mess?

    • Name
      June 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Duda. D’arnuad. Remember them?

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