The New York Mets added extra depth to their team by acquiring outfielder Eric Young Jr. from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for cash considerations, as announced by the team. He will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.
The Mets have acquired INF/OF Eric Young Jr. from the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. He will report to Las Vegas (AAA).
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 22, 2015
Young, 30, has spent most of the 2015 season playing for the Braves Triple-A team, the Gwinnett Braves. While in the minors, Young posted a slash line of.248 /.349 /.312. But before being relegated to the minors, Young did record 80 at-bats with the varsity team, hitting a measly.169 with three stolen bases.
Mets’ fans will remember Young as he spent parts of the 2013 and 2014 seasons as a member of the Mets. Originally acquired in mid-June of 2013 (via MLBTR), Young impressed the Mets’ with his game changing speed. In 2013, Young hit.251 for the Mets through 91 games, but did steal 38 bases. In total, he led the National League in steals with 46 between the Mets and Colorado Rockies.
Then, in 2014, Young broke camp with the team, regularly receiving playing time in left field. But he did not fare as well in his second season (first-full season) with the Mets. While his speed was still present (30 SB), Young struggled to consistently hit (.229 BA) and get on base (.299). Young also battled a hamstring injury in 2014, adding to his overall struggles on the season.
In reacquiring Young, the Mets get a player who could play a pivotal role for them come September. Thus far in 2015, the running game has not been a key to the Mets’ success. The Mets’ leader in stolen bases is outfielder Curtis Granderson, who has 10 steals on the season. No other Mets are even in double-digits. Juan Lagares is the next closest base stealer, with seven swipes.
At the moment, Young is ticketed for the Mets’ minor-league team in Las Vegas, but that will likely change in the matter of one week.
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com writes that the Mets plan on calling up Young as part of the teams September call-ups. For those unaware, all MLB teams may expand their rosters up to 40 players in September.
Additionally, since he was acquired before September 1, he is eligible for the Mets postseason roster. Having that type of speed on the bench excites Mets’ manager Terry Collins, who spoke to DiComo about the acquisition.
“[Young] knew his role, and he got ready to play. Every day he came with a smile on his face and did his job, and played as hard as anybody. We won games. He was pretty valuable two years ago when he led the league in stolen bases. This guy was a huge piece of our lineup for a while. Tremendous guy in the clubhouse. [He] will get ready to play and do whatever you ask him to do. I think it was a great move, because he’s well-liked here.”
Collins also recognizes the need for speed in Queens and is happy to have somebody fill that role in due time.
“It’s a dimension we don’t have. It would be very important for us to have a guy like that.”
[Image by Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images]