While his contact skills and batting average (.231) is nothing to write home about, there is no denying the fact that Eric Young Jr. is a bonafide spark plug at the top of the Mets’ batting order.
Maybe he doesn’t get on base at the best of clips (.319 OBP) either, but Young Jr. does cause havoc when he does get on base. Even though he missed nearly three weeks of action, Young Jr.’s 17 stolen bases still rank tied for fourth in the NL.
And ever since he came off the disabled list on June 16, he has hit in five straight games, going 6-for-19 in the process. Since he has assumed the lead-off spot in the last three games, the Mets have gone 2-1, and he was very instrumental in helping stop the bleeding on Wednesday in a win over the Cardinals, going 2-for-4 with two doubles with two RBI’s and a run.
Obviously, his shortcomings will rear their ugly head sooner or later, but for a team that has trotted out Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, Ruben Tejada, Curtis Granderson, etc. at lead off, Young is clearly the best option the Mets have.
His meager slash line (.228/.317/.316) wont get him in the Mets’ hall of fame, but his speed and athleticism atop the Mets’ lineup seems to energize this team. Sure, a lot of players on this Mets’ team have their faults, but some of the assets that Young Jr. possesses are too hard to ignore and they somewhat overshadow his deficiencies .
When Lagares is ready to come back, Young Jr. should still stay in the lineup and atop the order. His surname namesake Chris Young is the one who should grab some pine, as that signing has proved to be misguided.
Again, the presence of Young Jr in the lineup will not make or break the Mets, but with his inclusion in the lineup, he gives the Mets their most optimal lineup.
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