Eric Young Jr. is not an ideal leadoff hitter. He is the best candidate on the New York Mets, but that is not saying much. Once Juan Lagares returns, Young Jr. should not even be in the conversation as an everyday player.
Since Young Jr. made his MLB debut in 2009, he only exceeded 100 games once (in 2013). Last year he posted an underwhelming .249/.310/.336 slash line. Young Jr. was a spark when he was traded to the Mets last June, but he became an automatic out down the stretch.
As of April 22, Young Jr. was hitless in eight games. He struck out in 19 of his first 65 at-bats and is hitting just .231 with a .636 on-base plus slugging. Throughout his career, Young Jr. is a .256 hitter with a .659 OPS.
His defense does not hurt the Mets, but it is not impressive. Young Jr. is able to cover ground with his speed, but his read of the ball’s trajectory is poor at times and nowhere near the level of Lagares. Young Jr. also has a weak throwing arm that is not even in the same stratosphere...