As the Mets continue to seek anything resembling offensive consistency from their lineup, Chris Young may have played his way out of the Majors 68 games into the season. The veteran outfielder has fallen short of all expectations thus far, hitting .196 with four homers and 15 RBI through his first 163 at-bats as a Met. Things hit a new low during Saturday's 5-0 loss to Milwaukee, as Young went 0-4, donning the Golden Sombrero with four strikeouts on the day and heard the deafening boos of the Citi Field faithful.
When the Mets signed the 30-year old to a one-year, $7.25 Million contract last offseason, they were hoping to add a veteran bat with a little pop to an order that sorely lacked offensive production from the outfield positions. While Young has had his moments, such as his All-Star season in 2010 where he hit .257 with 27 homers and 91 RBI, he's mostly been a below average contact hitter with moderate to good power numbers. Going into the 2014 season, Young held a career stat line of .235/144/448 over eight MLB seasons and had not come close to matching his 2010 numbers in the three seasons since. The signing seemed a bit pricey for the budget conscious Mets, who made Young their fourth-highest paid position player for 2014. Even more curious was the Mets interest in Young given his abysmal stats at Citi Field, which haven't improved any, as he's just 20-for-122 with two homers and seven RBI in his career on the Mets home turf.
While injuries to Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. and Lucas Duda's permanent move to first base have left the Mets shortstaffed in the outfield, Young has failed to produce at a clip that would put him ahead of the other outfield options, such as Andrew Brown, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker, who have produced similarly mediocre numbers in their own right, all while making significantly less than Young. 41-year old Bobby Abreu has suddenly re-emerged as an offensive force in recent days, boosting his average to .307 with one homer and 11 RBI through 72 at-bats.
With Curtis Granderson in right, Young's only edge at this point is that he can play centerfield, an advantage that will only serve him well until Lagares returns if he continues to fail at the plate. With the organization looking to build towards the future and Young clearly not able to adjust to Citi Field, it would be best to sever ties and let guys like den Dekker and Nieuwenhuis ride out the season to see if they'll factor into plans for 2015 and beyond.
Tags: Andrew Brown, Baseball, Bobby Abreu, Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, Eric Young Jr, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, Matt Den Dekker, MLB, New York, New York Mets