Eric Young Gets New Life in New York

When Eric Young joins the Mets in Atlanta on Wednesday, a lot more is going to change than just his address and uniform. His playing time, the Mets leadoff situation and, of course, his fantasy ownership percentages are all due for an increase thanks to the trade that sent minor league pitcher Collin McHugh west to Colorado in exchange for the speedy outfielder. Perhaps because he is not a marquee name and all Mets eyes were glued to Zack Wheeler’s debut, the deal fell somewhat under the radar, so if you’re in need of a quick burst of speed and he’s available in your league, then a waiver claim is definitely recommended.

Young’s ownership percentages should tell you just how readily available he is right now in most leagues. Owned in just one-percent of Yahoo leagues, 0.8-percent on ESPN, and a big, whopping four-percent on CBS, the speedster has been overlooked for some time now without a regular job on the Rockies. He’s received some opportunities here and there, but with Dexter Fowler controlling center field and the team leaning more towards power than speed (Coors Field, duh), it hasn’t been easy for Young to break through and gain regular playing time. That should change with his move to the Mets as Collin Cowgill was sent to the minors, leaving just an inexperienced Juan Lagares and an under-performing Kirk Nieuwenhuis manning center field. Young immediately becomes a more attractive option.

Then there’s also the immense need for a leadoff hitter. So far, this season, the Mets have gotten bupkus in the way of production out of the leadoff spot as the hitters who have auditioned there have combined to produce a .207 average with a woeful .261 on-base percentage. From the top spot, they’ve combined for just 29 runs scored, three stolen bases and a dismal 5.8-percent walk rate. Now Young is exactly the master of drawing walks, but he has shown the ability to do so to a certain extent (career mark of 8.3-percent) and with normally strong contact rates, has been able to produce a career .329 on-base percentage. His current .290 OBP is dragging that number down right now, but he posted a career-mark of .377 just last season. With a regular opportunity atop this lineup, he should be able to improve on all of these numbers.

And let’s not forget that with the Mets ranking just 25th in the league in runs scored and just 23rd in stolen bases, they are obviously going to take as much advantage of Young’s speed as they possibly can. The team is in need of someone who can disrupt things on the base paths, get themselves into scoring position and help manufacture runs when necessary. Daniel Murphy has proven to be an excellent number two hitter and with Young getting on-base in front of him, the two should be fairly successful in setting the table for David Wright and the rest of the middle of the order. Maybe it’s just a managerial tendency or maybe it’s a lack of faith in what he has had to work with, but Terry Collins hasn’t exactly been generous with the green light on the bases this season. Perhaps that changes with the addition of Young’s legs.

I’ve said it time and time again — the stolen base category tends to be one of the easiest categories to move up in. The simple addition of Young should put you in a very favorable position to start moving up and stealing some points. Don’t miss out on him.



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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site,, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at

20 Responses to “Eric Young Gets New Life in New York”

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  1. jim says:

    i hope someone trades for campana, guy steals bags for days kiddddddddddd

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  2. Max says:

    what are the chances he plays 2b?

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    • Steve says:

      I was wondering this too, but I looked it up and he’s only played one game there this season for Colorado. They could play Murphy at 1B (I think they’ve done this only once since demoting Ike Davis), but if that was something they planned to do with any regularity, I think they’d just call up Wilmer Flores (a 2B, one of their top position prospects).

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    • JR says:

      Absolutely none. Murph is the 2B and they need to fill OF spots badly.

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    • Nodlew says:

      Yeah they shifted Duda over to 1B for game one of yesterdays double dip, and that wasn’t exactly ideal. Murphy will man 2B because they are a better team when he stays there.

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    • Jon L. says:

      I think this only happens if there’s an injury, most likely to Murphy.

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  3. Ryan says:

    Would you guys drop Rutledge for him? Kinda covered at MI with Hardy and Rendon and need SBs…

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    • Howard Bender says:

      Well yeah, if your MI is covered…

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    • SteveJobs says:

      I wouldn’t necessarily say you are covered. Davey Johnson loves Espinosa, there is no guarantee Rendon isn’t going to see more time in the minors this year. It would be the wrong move, but managers and organizations don’t always do the right or smart thing.

      For the time being, you are fine.

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      • Brian says:

        Rendon’s playing time is safe for now. Espinosa got sent to Triple-A after he was activated from the disabled list.

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  4. MG says:

    Take it from a Rox fan, you don’t want to see EY at 2b. It’s not pretty. Takes terrible routes on balls in the OF too, but at least his speed masks some of that.

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  5. Millsy says:

    ZiPS ROS projection of 96 wRC+ is now considered an excellent #2 hitter?

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  6. dirck says:

    The Mets are better off with Duda at 1B ,Murphy at 2B ,and Young in CF until/if Davis comes back up . Duda is the third worst outfielder in the majors this year and Murphy looked lost at iB in the game he played there . Young is probably better than Nieuwenhuis in CF ,and Nieuwenhuis is miles better than Duda on either corner .Now if any of them could hit,the Mets might give Miami a battle for next to last in the division .

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    • Steve says:

      “Now if any of them could hit,the Mets might give Miami a battle for next to last in the division .”

      What? The Mets are 6.5 games ahead of the Marlins.

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  7. Atreyu Jones says:

    Is Young a better bet than Peter Bourjos?

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  8. Max says:

    i think borjous is the better hitter. Young has better speed though and may steal more bases. Borjous has been a disappointment in the sb department.

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  9. who’s the better option over the next few weeks- Blanco or EY?

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  10. rockymountainhigh says:

    I almost think EY is worse in center than at 2b. Luckily, the Mets are one of the few teams bad enough offensively to let him play one of the corners. He’s got some ability offensively. He was one of their best players at times in the second half last year. He could just never sustain it. A good, long look with a bad team is exactly what he needs to see if he can put up numbers.

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  11. Nick says:

    EY, Gregor Blanco or Ichiro for steals?

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