NEW YORK (WFAN) — Since being acquired by the Mets on June 18, speedster Eric Young, Jr. has been a spark plug for the Amazin’s.
Hitting out of the leadoff spot, the fifth-year player is batting .364 (8-for-22) with three runs, three doubles and five RBIs in five games heading into Tuesday night’s game against the White Sox.
The New Jersey native, who spent four-plus seasons with the Rockies before returning to the Tri-State Area, was thrilled when he found out that he was coming to Flushing.
“I’m excited, I’m going home,” Young, Jr. told WFAN co-hosts Marc Malusis & Kim Jones when explaining how he felt upon getting the call. “Obviously I was born and raised in Piscataway, and there’s no team in New Jersey, so New York is the closest team. My first reaction is, ‘I’m going home.’ I’ve been away from my family for so long because I’ve been on the West Coast. And being on the Mets I knew I could get an opportunity to play, so it was a win-win for me.”
He’s certainly gotten that opportunity. A natural right fielder, Young, Jr. has mostly played left field — with appearances in center field — in an outfield that is always ever-changing.
And on a team bereft of speed, the 28-year-old has been a natural to hit first in the order.
Coming into Tuesday night, the Mets are 30-42, 11 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves in the National League East and 12 1/2 games behind in the Wild-Card race.
But the Mets have played much better recently, taking consecutive series from the Braves and Phillies, and Young, Jr. believes that this team has what it takes to make a run.
“It’s better than what I expected,” Young, Jr. told Malusis and Jones in regard to the feel around the clubhouse. “With the new excitement, the new buzz around here … it’s still a long season, and you’re still in the first half of the season with the second half to go. There’s a lot of games to be played, and I’ve been on teams where you made runs that nobody expected you to make and you found yourself in the hunt.
“I think with the new playoff system, with the additional teams now in the playoffs, I don’t see why we can’t fight for one of those final spots.”
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