And Lagares has continued his hot hitting, beginning in Winter League ball (.342 BA), and continuing through his two-run single during the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Lagares’ spring batting average now sits at .318, his OBP a respectable .348.
So why is there still talk of Eric Young, Jr. being a starting outfielder? Just because a guy can hit leadoff, doesn’t mean he is good at it. People keep saying Young is a much-needed “spark plug” for the Mets; he’s actually more like a faulty defibrillator, and if the team thinks this season is already eating Spaghetti-O’s in Death’s living room, then sure, let Young keep stealing empty bases on your dime. Those .52 runs per game he produced out of all that running are totally worth it.
Yes, for a season-and-a-half’s worth of games, Young has hit leadoff. Well, “hit” may be a strong word; in 252 starts, Young’s career average from the one hole is .245. You don’t want to know his on-base percentage (hint, it’s the same as his slugging percentage this spring. Sorry, that would be .318).
As I’ve stated before, all this talk might be some deep psychological plot by Collins to keep Lagares motivated. If that’s true, then the plan is working wonders. Bravo, Mr. Manager!
If not and all this chatter about one – or both – of the Young Duo as the honest-to-goodness leadoff hitter in 2014, sticking Lagares in the fourth outfielder role, then, just…
Wow. Wait, let me rephrase: WOW!
This is a simple game, and the Mets are making it very complicated. You throw the ball; you hit the ball; you catch the ball. One guy is doing all three; the other two?
Let’s just say that if the Young Duo were a lumber-jacking company, they’d be called “Murder, Inc.”