Eric YoungMost of the discussion around the blogging world since the Mets season has ended has mostly surrounded corner outfielders and shortstops (with a sprinkling of first base thrown in). This is for good reason as the Mets have needs in both of those areas. The outfield discussion has been all around acquiring power hitters for that spot, which is again important.

What’s being forgotten is the leadoff spot in the order, manned by Eric Young Jr. for the final 91 games and a smattering of other players prior to Young’s acquisition. Should Young be our leadoff hitter next year? It’s an interesting question, that doesn’t have as simple of an answer as one would think, considering Young’s numbers and the other players available on the market who have experience in the leadoff spot in a batting order. On the free agent market, the following players are available that either batted leadoff this past season or have history in that position (only the players that are fits for the Mets will be mentioned): Nate McLouth, Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury. Rafael Furcal is available, but he missed all of 2013, is getting up in age and the Mets have better options at short on the free agent or trade market, so the likelihood of Furcal being a Met is very low. Recent reports from Colorado are stating that Dexter Fowler will be available this offseason, another potential leadoff option, along with the Mets returning to Young as an internal option.

So, how do these various players compare? Drew, Ellsbury and McLouth played in the American League this past season. Leadoff hitters in the American League are normally more complete hitters, and less about speed and OBP. American League managers have historically put run producers at the top of the order due to the lack of a pitcher hitting, making it more likely that the leadoff hitter will get to the plate with runners on. A perfect example of this was the Royals employing Alex Gordon, a middle of the order hitter normally, as their primary leadoff man this year.

In the National League, the leadoff spot can be manned by a player whose best attribute is speed and getting on base. Number eight hitters in the National League hit under .240 this past year, while number nine hitters hit under .200, meaning that leadoff men in the National League rarely came to bat with players on base. What does all of that mean? Power and slugging percentage in a leadoff hitter in the National League isn’t as important as in the American League. In fact, an argument could be made that any hitter who can regularly hit over 15 home runs in a season is wasted in the leadoff spot in the National League.

So, then what is the definition of a leadoff hitter? It’s fairly simple. A leadoff man needs to get on base and get himself into scoring position. If he can score himself with a home run on occasion, that’s fine, but since he’s not in RBI situations all that often, hitting too many home runs isn’t all that beneficial to the team. What is beneficial is that player being on base to start innings or get innings started that have started with one or two outs. That concept is especially important in the National League, where, as mentioned earlier, leadoff men are often getting up to bat with nobody on and one or two outs.

With all of that in mind, let’s go through these options one by one, starting with our incumbent, Young.

Young – Young’s overall numbers don’t look like a player the Mets would want as a leadoff hitter. Young, overall, hit .250 with an OBP of .313 and an OPS of 642. These numbers lead to the argument that Young is a valuable player, but not in an everyday context.

However, a deeper look into his numbers shows a different story. Young, in the purest of leadoff situations (leading off a game or an inning), hit .313 with a .387 OBP and a 10% walk rate. Young was in those situation’s 168 times, 40.2% of his plate appearances. Amongst the 15 National League hitters who lead off at least 60 plus games for their respective teams, Young ranked 3rd in these situations in AVG, 3rd in OBP and 3rd in walk rate. The only two players ahead of him in those three categories were Fowler and Choo. He finished ahead, in those categories, of leadoff hitters Matt Carpenter, Starling Marte, Carl Crawford, Norichika Aoki and Denard Span.

In all lead off situations (leading off an inning or game, hitting with nobody on and 1 or 2 outs in the inning), Young hit .277 with a .349 OBP and a 9.2% walk rate. Among those same National League hitters, Young ranked 8th in AVG, 5th in OBP and 3rd in walk rate. Again, in these situations, only Choo and Fowler had a higher walk rate than Young, while only Choo, Fowler, Carpenter and Aoki had a higher OBP. Although Young was middle of the pack in AVG, he was only nine points behind the two players tied for third place, Crawford and Marte. Nine points in AVG, over the course of an entire season of ABs (say 650) is only six hits.

Finally, Young ranked extremely high in a statistic I believe I invented, Scoring Position Percentage. This stat is simply how often a player either gets himself in scoring position or scores himself, whether that’s via hit or stolen base. To compute this, simply add a player’s stolen bases, doubles, triples and home runs and divide it by their plate appearances.

Using this stat, Young got himself into scoring position, or scored himself in 14.6% of his plate appearances. Only Marte, amongst the 15 National League hitters, had a higher rate at 15.8%. So, even though Young’s OBP overall was only.313, he still got himself into scoring position more often than the likes of Choo, Aoki, Span, Crawford, Carpenter, Fowler and Angel Pagan, all who had higher overall OBP’s than Young. This difference is due to Young’s speed, which helped make up for his lack of extra base hit ability and made sure that, every time he was on base, he was a threat to get into scoring position.

Basically, Young was a lot better player than people think. He was even league average with RISP by hitting .250 in those situations. So how did his season’s numbers end up where they did? Young had 50 PAs in which he hit .095 with a 357 OPS. Considering that was approximately 12% of his PAs, it shows that 88% of the time, he was either a league average or above average player, meaning that he should get strong consideration (since he’s already on the team) to be the leadoff hitter next year.

Fowler – Fowler was elite in lead off positions this past season. Fowler had a higher walk rate than Choo in all lead off situations (inning, game, no runners on with one or two outs). He had the fourth highest OPS in all lead off situations and the 2nd highest OPS in pure leadoff situations. He’s a switch hitter who has excellent speed and more power than Young. His home road splits, playing in Colorado his whole career, are concerning, but his triple and double numbers should continue in Citi Field, if he were acquired by the Mets, so the splits aren’t as concerning as they might appear. He has been an inconsistent fielder throughout his career, but if he can be acquired for say, Ike Davis, Jenrry Mejia and Justin Turner, than the Mets should make the move.

Drew – Drew didn’t hit leadoff last year, but has hit their historically with the Diamondbacks. There is a realistic chance that Drew is the Mets shortstop next year, and if they decided not to bat Young leadoff or not to acquire another hitter to bat leadoff, there’s a chance Drew will fill that slot. Leading off an inning, Drew hit .280 with a .365 OBP and a .400 SLG. His walk rate was at 10.6%. These numbers, in the National Leauge, would have ranked him 9th in AVG, 4th in OBP, 10th in SLG and 3rd in walk rate. His scoring position percentage was 11.2% in his overall ABs, which would have ranked him 5th, behind Marte, Young, Everth Cabrera and Crawford. The numbers represented above are close to his career numbers as a leadoff hitter, so Drew in that spot, if he is the Mets shortstop next year, isn’t a bad choice.

McLouth – His inclusion is because he’s a free agent outfielder (a Mets need) and has hit leadoff much of his career. The years of McLouth being a 15 home run leadoff hitter are behind him and his numbers in lead off situations, with the exception of SLG aren’t that much of an upgrade over Young. Basically, if the Mets make no moves in the outfield and sign McLouth, then fine, bat him leadoff, but they also, in lieu of doing that, might as well just put Young back in leftfield as he’s younger and cheaper.

Ellsbury- Ellsbury is an upgrade over Young, but not necessarily a better fit than Fowler. Fowler is younger, a switch hitter and cheaper over the next two years than Ellsbury. Ellsbury is also a significant injury risk, especially considering that he’s going to make at least 15 million a year. His numbers are great in the leadoff spot and his scoring position percentage of 15.7% is best amongst all leadoff hitters in the game. He is a terror on the base paths and a good hitter, but actually doesn’t have all that great a walk rate. In the end, the injury risk and price tag aren’t worth the upgrade he’d bring. The Mets are better off spending that money on a corner outfield with power.

Choo- All this comes down to Choo. Choo was the best leadoff hitter in the National League last year, although Fowler, in lead off situations, actually had a higher walk rate and was close in OPS. The issue with Choo isn’t contract, because he’s worth the 15 million a year he’d get. It’s position. Choo has hit, over the course of his career, in nearly every spot in the order, but has primarily batted leadoff or third. If the Mets sign Choo, he would work best for them in the three hole, where they can take advantage of his power. Choo isn’t going to hit 30 home runs as a Met, but to expect anything less than 18 is wrong. Yes, he played in the band box that is Cincinnati and his slugging percentage was drastically different at home than on the road, but that was only because he hit a few triples at home and a whole lot more singles. In fact, in nearly the same plate appearances this year, Choo actually hit one more home run on the road than in Cincinnati and only two fewer doubles. He had around 20 more hits at home than on the road, but most of those extra hits were singles, which can translate anywhere. If Choo comes to the Mets, expect 17 to 20 home runs, which would be wasted batting leadoff. Choo also has issues with lefties, which is accurate, but he still mainted a .347 OBP against them this past season. Imagine a scenario where Fowler is batting leadoff, followed by someone like Daniel Murphy or Drew and then Choo. David Wright would have a whole lot more people on base than he’s been used to over the past few years.

So where does this all leave us? The leadoff spot in the order should be Fowler’s (if the Rockies price isn’t too high) or Young’s next year. The next best alternative would be a combination of Young and Drew, as Drew struggles against lefties. The Mets, in that situation, would have a platoon set up where, against lefties, Young would play second and bat leadoff while Wilmer Flores played first. Against righties, Young would be on the bench, while Drew lead off with Flores playing second and Lucas Duda or Ike Davis playing first (depending on who wasn’t traded). Choo, if signed by the Mets, should not be allowed to hit first as, although his OBP is great, would be a loss of value for the Mets. 15 million should go to a power hitter, or middle of the order hitter, not a leadoff hitter, especially when you have Young already on your team, who can do just that.

35 comments on “Eric Young Jr., an answer in the leadoff spot?

  • pete

    I don’t worry about Choo hitting 30 home runs in Citifield. He’s a professional hitter and will adjust accordingly. Let him lead off. His home run total will drop but that’s irrelevant when you’re talking about a player who got on base over 300 times last year. How many tough left handed pitchers are there in the National League? 2? Lee and Kershaw? Package Murphy,Davis or Duda, and a minor league pitcher for Cargo and your outfield becomes an asset instead of a liability. Young moves over to second base batting second and you now have speed at the top of the order. Wright third, Cargo clean up.

  • Julian McCarthy

    Great article! There was very great analysis on each of the possible options. Personally, I think Fowler, Choo, and Ellsbury are the best options in the outfield.

  • Brian Joura

    I realize that your Scoring Position Percentage stat is a quick and dirty measure but I think there are problems with it. It treats all of the events as being equal when clearly they are not.

    There’s no way a single and a SB are equal to a HR.

    A double is more valuable than a single and a SB. It’s not a huge difference, but if there’s a runner on first base, a double has a good chance to score him while a single does not.

    It also has the issue of double counting. If a player hits a double and steals third or steals second and third – he’s getting more credit than he should.

    It does not take into account the cost of a CS.

    Plus, we have no idea if this stat is predictive or merely descriptive.

    A Linear Weights approach would be better.

    • guarm

      You’re right about the need for CS to be included as well as the double-counting redundancy involved in a steal of both second and third or a steal of third after a double (basically, any steal of third base).

      However, I do not agree that SB, 2B, 3B, and HR need to be weighted. This is a stat for the hitter being in scoring position, and has nothing to do with any runners already on base like you suggest in your argument detailing how a 2B is better than a single and a SB. In either of these cases, the hitter is still on second base in scoring position, which is all the statistic is intended to measure. The same logic goes for the difference between a double and triple, as both are still considered to simply be scoring positions.

      Building off your idea, a formula looking something like [(SB – SBnotofsecond) – (CS + pickedoff2ndor3rd) + 2B + 3B + HR] / PA. I use “pickedoff2ndor3rd” as a separate stat because there are instances in which being picked off is not considered to be stealing and a pickoff at first is not taking the player out of scoring position because he never made it there. Since CS and pickedoff2ndor3rd immediately take a runner out of scoring position, it should count negatively towards SPP.

      Also, the stat is descriptive considering that it is only taking into account prior performance. In order for it to be predictive, one would have to take into account ballpark differences (which will not affect SB/CS because all diamonds are equal, will obviously affect HR potential, and to a lesser and arguably negligible extent will affect double and triple potential) as well as age extrapolation, yadayadayada.

    • guarm

      Actually, now that I think about it, FC situations in which the player is put out as a result of a FC while advancing from 2nd or 3rd base would factor into maintaining scoring position as well. Also, CS on an attempt to take second base shouldn’t factor, since the player never had scoring position to lose. CS on attempts of 3rd or home only would factor in.

      I want to stress that the stat is termed “Scoring Position PERCENTAGE”, and not “Scoring POTENTIAL”, which could then take into account the likelihoods of scoring from second or third base as well as HR. SPP seems to be a rawer stat signifying the frequency per PA with which a player reaches scoring position (and maintains it if CS3rdorhome/pickoffsof2ndor3rd is factored in as suggested), whereas something like Scoring Potential would be a more advanced statistic.

      If all that wants to be calculated is the attainment of scoring position, and not the maintenance, then CS3rdorhome/pickoffsof2ndor3rd would not even factor since the runner actually did attain scoring position, and afforded the opportunity to be driven in by another batter.

  • steevy

    Who says Gordon is a middle of the order hitter?He has been primarily the leadoff man the last 3 seasons.

  • Jerseymet

    I agree that Young is better than many fans think he is. Is there a stat for how many extra bases and runs he generated while on base? What measure reflects the extra stress put on pitchers, catchers or infielders? As a consumer of entertainment, I found Eric Young exciting. 2014’s team will have plenty of marginal players. EY’s play has earned him a starting position.

  • Scott Ferguson

    I get what your saying about the stat, and admit it is simplistic, but disagree about the weighted approach. Leadoff HRS, in my opinion, is an overrated concept. Everyone made a big deal about the fact that almost all of Duda’s HR were solo jobs, but no one says the same thing about Choo. Imagine how productive his 21 hr and 34 2B would have been hitting 3rd or 4th in the Reds order. Look at Phillips numbers with his under 300 OBP.
    The point is that a HR isn’t really that much more significant than a 2b and someone stealing 3rd, giving the team 3 outs to knock them in, not to mention the factor of a speed guy on the basepaths causing a pitcher to throw from the stretch and be distracted, which Reyes used to do all the time and Young and Ellsbury did this year. When someone hits a solo home run, great a run had scored, but it doesn’t effect the rest of an inning. Runners on base, especially with speed change the whole course of inning, from the placement of infielders to the strategy and literal pitching motion of the pitcher.
    I would even argue the point about doubling up on steals and taking out caught stealing. I thought about both of those things when doing my statistal research, and concluded that it was unimportant. Stealing third grants a higher percentage chance that a player will score with less than two outs. So, if a player steals second, putting himself in scoring position, he can only be knocked in with a hit, which occurs approximately 25% of the time. Moving himself to third, independent of other players doubles that percentage. So, if I weighed the stats differently, as well as added in CS, I’d come up with the same distinction between players. Ellsbury would be even higher giving HRS extra weight and he was only caught 4 or so times, while Choo would be even lower due to how often he was caught stealing and because I couldn’t give that much extra weight to the home run. I love Math, so I think I’ll do it just for the fun of it, but the actual number wasn’t as important as the proof that Young is more valuable than he appears.

    • Jerry Grote

      Depends on what you mean by “not that much more significant” when comparing a HR and a runner on 3rd with no outs (regardless of how he got there). Is 12% significant? or 8% more runs scored? Is it a counting situation (IOW, percentage doesn’t matter. For any individual team, the plus-minus in runs can be measured on one hand but cumulatively across all teams it is significant). How many runs = one win?

      A secondary question: how often does a leadoff HR lead to multiple runs being scored in an inning, versus a runner on third/no outs?

      I’d have to think that information is pretty available.

  • Scott Ferguson

    Regarding Gordon, he fits my point perfectly about distinguishing the difference between AL and NL options in the leadoff spot. Gordon is a doubles machine who hits 15 plus HR a year the perfect profile of a three hitter. would be wasted as a leadoff hitter in the NL, but due to the circular nature of lineups in the AL his extra base hit ability is still valuable, even batting leadoff.

  • BringBackDaveTelgheder

    I’m not so sure I like taking Eric Young’s crappy numbers and trying to distill some positives out of it. I think it’s a case of stat flux within a sample and I’m not even sure it’s actually relevant. He’s going to still bat the majority of times not leading off an inning. We saw enough out of him to know he’s not an everyday regular in any sense.

  • Cliffy44

    Eric Young would be an XLNT lead-off hitter; as was Reyas; because of his propensity to steal bases; and it would be a much better situation if Terry Collins was cheering for him, FROM THE STANDS.
    Terry Collins is the worst thing to ever happen to our Mets.

  • Jerry Grote

    Process of elimination indicates to me that EYJ was positively dreadful in every other AB beyond the 168 you’ve cherry picked. I mean, its nice and all, but he still has to hit the other 430 times.

    I do think there is compounding value to Youngs speed, insofar as having a grouping of players skilled at something (slugging, getting on base, defense,speed) puts pressure on the opposition. Having two players steal 73 for 80 (BRS), or three players steal 68 for 81 (NYM), changes a paradigm and leads to more runs. Hunter Pence’s 22/25 < Daniel Murphy's 22/25.

    It increases the pressure pitches the starter needs to throw, weakens the opposition tactically and that shows up over time. I'd have a hard time substantiating that concept, but empirically speaking it seems true to me.

  • Scott Ferguson

    I’ve actually been trying to look into how speed effects a game. I’m thinking that’s the next post.
    Yes EY is at his best leading off an inning, but he’s actually only dreadful over about 50 PAs
    As a Met he had 368 PAs where he got up with nobody on or RISP and he hit. 271 with a. 337 OBP and an 8.7 walk rate. Those numbers are a little down because he was notably more aggressive with RISP where he hit. 250, which was league average last year, and had a low walk rate. His speed is what takes him from average to starter worthy. He’s not a superstar, but he’s worth more than a bench role.

  • Chris F

    EY is the perfect example of the type of Stockholm Syndrome many Mets fans have. I get it. I watched every game (well, almost) this year. When EY showed up, there was an electricity. He scored some amazing runs through speed. He was a constant threat, and that for sure put the defense on high alert. He was stealing nearly at will. I also watched him take away quite a few hits through some pretty exciting dives to get fly balls. He was such an immediate improvement over Duda in LF that he looked like a knight in shining armor. All true

    But the numbers are what they are. We can dice and dice and find particular strengths; and for sure youve recognized some. But facing reality is that he’s a 4th outfielder. He’s a pinch runner in a tight situation. He would not be playing for a playoff team every day. Watching the WS this year clearly stressed the distance we need to go. We need 15-20 wins to play meaningful baseball in October, and EY, much as I like him (and I do), just isnt carrying enough weight to be an every day guy.

    Having said that. The ’14 Mets are hardly shaping up to be a very competitive team. Everyone can belly-ache about SA saying things about this coming year as the turn of the tides, but I dont believe it for 1 minute. The gaps to be filled are so substantial and the extreme caution that SA approaches his job means to me that not alot is gonna happen. We are not only “Choo away from competitive.” Expecting much is more hope that reality for next year. On THIS team, EY may just be an every day guy. Maybe a full year tryout gives us a better look and see of he develops. Im not betting on it though.

    The reality is that Wilpon was right the other day, there are only a few people who should be considered as part of a potentially winning team.

  • Sean Flattery

    You’re preaching to the choir for me. I’m not saying he’s the long term answer as a leadoff man, but EY deserves the job next year. He’s earned it!! I’m not gonna criticize the guy for not being Jose Reyes or Choo or anyone he’s not. I think we haven’t seen his best year yet, hopefully that’s next year!

    • pete

      Sean what has EY earned? Other than the fact that he was able to do better than Cowgill and all the other rejects the Mets tried at lead off. That doesn’t mean that he “deserves” to lead off again next season. So the team does not need to try to sign Ellsbury or Choo because they have their lead off hitter for the next 3-4 years? Wouldn’t either player be an upgrade? Just like Young was an upgrade to what the Mets previously had? If the Mets were to acquire a free agent lead off hitter I wonder if the team would even bat EY second? Wouldn’t Daniel Murphy be a better 2 hole “hitter”? That means he would bat 6 or 7th if he’s in the line -up at all.

      • Sean Flattery

        As the roster is constructed now, he’s earned it. Signing Choo or Ellsbury obviously would change things. The guy stole 46 bases last year and scored runs. He’s got room for improvement of course, but really has never been given a starting job. I think he’s capable and of hitting at least .280 for a season. Just my opinion

  • Tom

    Why exactly does Nate McClouth deserve the respect of even being apart of the conversation? The last time he put up a respectable season line and stayed healthy was the year the Pirates traded him to Atlanta in 2009. Since then, he’s either only played half the season due to injuries, gone into bad slumps or simply not adequately produced. If this an alternative to Eric Young Jr., that is very sad. Even though McClouth is sound defensively, EY is being considered for a good glove now and has the versatility to play 2B, if needed. Regarding Choo, it all comes down to money. My guess is they won’t open their wallets big enough for him and they’ll either sign or trade for that big bat. My guess is they’ll settle for Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta at SS, keep EY and Ike or Duda.

  • […] Scott Ferguson, Mets360 […]

  • pete

    But once David Wright got hurt there was no imminent threat of someone driving home EY. So you need a balance on both sides of the equation for your point of view to work.

  • pete

    Hey Scott! Why would Young be more aggressive with runners in scoring position? Doesn’t that take away from what he should be preparing himself mentally?(getting on base and extending a rally or inning) You put suppositions to explain why a players average is low. Maybe he’s just not capable of hitting consistently with runners in scoring position. Sometimes we tend to over-analyze things to death and just need to trust our eyes and instincts.

  • Metsense

    Upgrading left field is the team’s third priority (after RF and SS). If the Mets have to trade for one of these positions, and Murphy is the bait, then I can see Young at 2B where his offense would not be as big a detriment as it is in LF. (The avg NL LF had a .745 OPS and the avg NL 2B had a .714 OPS while Young had a .647 OPS). Otherwise Young will become a very good utility player who has excellent base running skills.
    You made a very good point differentiating between lead off batters in the AL and NL. If the Mets should land Choo, he should bat 3rd where his homeruns would matter and his OBP would enhance Wright’s RBI total. If they land Drew, he also would serve better as a 2 hole batter because of his power.

  • guarm

    To start, I think the Mets need Choo for RF. After that, attempt to trade for Cargo with a package that includes Murphy, one of Ike or Duda, and a minor league arm or two, then slide EY to 2B if it happens. Sign a FA SS such as Drew (who isn’t a star by any means but is an upgrade on both sides of the ball) or try to land Aybar in a trade with the Angels. If Cargo won’t happen, then I don’t see Fowler as an option unless reliable power comes from another position, which is gonna be tough to find unless the logjam at first is fixed and maybe a guy like Trumbo can be had along with Aybar or a signing of someone like Adam Lind happens if he’s available. Re-signing Byrd to play in LF might not be a terrible idea either, given that his price will probably still be a bargain even if he’s only expected to be a 15-20 HR producer rather than the 24 HR guy he was this year.

    Every move this off season is going to be very dependent on the previous move. Sandy is absolutely right in repeating that it’s best to see how the market develops a bit. My ideal realistic (not necessarily probable but plausible) lineup would look something like this for next season:

    EY 2B
    Choo RF
    Wright 3B
    Cargo LF
    Duda/Ike 1B
    Drew SS
    D’Arnaud C
    Lagares CF

    Maybe even spread the lineup a bit by moving Drew up to 2nd. Personally, I think Choo 2nd works well considering you want your 2 hitter to have a high OBP and he has the potential to have EY (who, as evidenced in the article plays best in leadoff roles) on in front of him to utilize Choo’s power – a sensible compromise in the Choo as leadoff/3rd hitter debate. Wright would need Cargo behind him in all situations to give him protection, which has proven to optimize his production in the past, and having more runners in front of him for the assumed increase in hittable pitches will only help. The 5 hole is where it gets a bit tricky, as I still don’t know whether to trust Ike/Duda, but either could be platooned with Satin depending on matchups OR maybe the Mets can somehow land Trumbo or grab Lind if money/trade chips would allow. I’d love to say I have the confidence to throw d’Arnaud there but I think he needs time to develop (though I do think a 5-hitter is right where he projects to be when he hits his stride, maybe even a 2-hitter with his reported opposite field ability). Drew/d’Arnaud seems to be a near interchangeable 6/7 in this lineup depending on d’Arnaud’s progress. Lagares 8 is a no-brainer with a lineup like this, and having Lagares bat 8 would be more than fine in relation to other 8th place hitters in the NL.

    • guarm

      maybe even Loney for 1b instead of Lind or Trumbo if money is available. with the power elsewhere, Loney could fit in.

    • Metsense

      It would be great if the Rockies accepted your Cargo trade. I also wouldn’t dismiss Peralta as a FA SS because he should be cheaper and draft compensation would not be necessary. The Mets only have enough talent, and minor league pitching depth for one big trade. Choo would have to sign for $16 M annually to fit into the budget. ( so increase the budget!) Granderson and Beltran would fit the budget. Byrd would allow the Mets to sign a back end pitcher to compensate for the loss of the minor leaguers in the Cargo trade. Thoughtful post Guarm.

  • pete

    Good idea about Murphy in a trade for CarGo. I wonder where I read that?

  • John Zakour

    I like Eric Young Jr on the Mets but as a fourth outfielder / platoon second baseman. He’s only had one season with a bWAR > 0. I see where he can be a nice addition to the team but I feel if EYj makes 140+ starts for the Mets it will be another long year.

  • pablo

    This article offers great insight. Nice job!

  • Andy

    I have no problem with young playing 2nd Base….I make this simple stupid, put Murphy at 1st Base….he’s the best hitter on the team…stop looking for a 1st Basement…you have one…many teams have had guys like Murphy playing 1st Base…and won, won, over and over…Now, New York Mets…get your ass out of your face…Thank u, andy

  • SL

    “So where does this all leave us?” Proving that you can find statistics to justify any opinion.
    Young is a 4th outfielder. Nothing more, nothing less. A nice plus on a complete club.

  • Andy

    Yes, great idea and put him at 2nd base, move Murphy to 1st base…trust they Mets will win a lot more…Murphy is the bet hitter on the club….he made for Citi Park….trade both 1st basement or keep one…but Murphy starts….Mets, get your face out of your ass….Thank u..

  • pete

    Hey Andy! That’s pretty cool that you pat yourself on your back. But the team doesn’t need any home repairs for their basement. They need to find themselves a good reliable first base man.

  • Andy

    Yes you are right ,,,but is not about the pat ib the back, is about using what we have, right now how many 1st basements can line drive you to death…give murphy a position let him be, and he will grow as the team….we have ask of him to play many positions, he never said no….we have not had any luck with that position since Keith, so please don’t pat me in my pat, tell me whom can we get…

  • pete

    Depends on how much the team is willing to spend after they finish fixing their out field issues which should be a higher priority. Google Cot’s and scroll down the page to potential free agents by position. You’ll see there are quite a few available players. Question is how much is SA willing to spend? I do agree about your mentioning Keith somewhat but the team did have Delgado to protect Wright’s bat for a few years.

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