I apologize in advance as I catch up on baseball news after a week-long vacation… oh what’s that? The Rox have lost six of their last seven and are fresh off of a sweep in Arizona? Ok then, I guess I caught up faster than I thought. What a rough week in Rockieland, eh? But while the wheels appear to be dangerously close to falling off our beloved team’s season, just days before the return of some much needed firepower, one bright note did catch my eye today while surfing headlines.
Eric Young Jr, the former Rockie and penultimate utility man, has been making somewhat of a splash since his “trade” to the New York Mets. In 18 games with his new club EY has batted a respectable .300 with 7 doubles, 10 RBI’s, and 5 stolen bases. In 57 games with Colorado Young only managed to hit .242 with 9 doubles, only 6 RBI’s, and 8 stolen bases. It appears that a change of scenery is exactly what Young needed, and he is making the most of this opportunity.
June 30, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr. (22) makes a catch against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports
When you step back and compare EY’s production in his short time with the Mets he far surpasses the output of journeyman Rick Ankiel and the heralded-then-traded young gun Collin Cowgill. Young has even bested another former Rockie, Andrew Brown. When looking at overall output you could actually make a pretty sound argument that Young is the third best outfielder on the Mets big league roster at the moment. In fact I almost made a move to pick up Eric Orlando Young Jr onto my fantasy team this morning, but balked when I had to decide which of my three All-Star outfielders I would have to bench to make room for EY… Sorry, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. And yes, that was an unabashed plug for my ridiculously stacked fantasy baseball team.
Ok yes I know. I am writing in support of someone not in the Rockies organization. But I have always loved watching Eric Young play. Alright, alright so I enjoy watching him more on offense then defense as his silly routes to fly balls made me constantly cringe. He is a classic case of speed trumping talent in the outfield — except for when he botches key plays. And yes it was super frustrating that he never seemed to get the hang of how to harness that speed to consistently steal bases (He only stole 70 bags in just over 300 games while in Colorado). Then again he also made what seemed to be a ton of base-running blunders that seemed to always kill a rally. So maybe I never did fully enjoy watching EY play on the big league club. But when he got to full-speed flying around the bases, boy was he fun to watch. Sure I am a little bias and am making up excuses. I cherish the Young family as Rockies royalty. Seriously who could forget (especially with ROOT sports playing the commercial 5 times every game) how Eric Young Sr hit the first home run in Rockies history over that elevated outfield fence at old Mile High Stadium. The fact that his son played and contributed for the same team is special.
Overall Eric Young Jr has proven that he deserves the chance to be an every day major league player, and perhaps some more reps in an outfield slot will turn him into a legitimate fielder. The fact that the Rockies have tons of outfield depth assured EY that he would never get those valuable and consistent opportunities while in Colorado. One thing is for sure: EY is doing nothing but helping his case to be an everyday name in the New York Mets organization. And I am positive they are more than happy to have unloaded some nameless pitcher in return for an immediate contributor. Yes… all-in-all Mr Young is doing just fine, thanks for asking.