The Angels and fleet-footed outfielder Eric Young Jr. have agreed to a minor league contract and an invite to Major League Spring Training, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Young is a client of MVP Sports Group.
The 31-year-old Young spent most of the 2016 season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, where he batted .263/.338/.339 and swiped 23 bags in 29 attempts over the course of 116 games (329 plate appearances). Young hooked on with the Yankees in September and served as a pinch-runner down the stretch, appearing in six games and scoring two runs despite logging just one plate appearance in the Majors.
Last season was the first since Young’s 2009 debut in which he didn’t appear in at least 30 Major League games. He’s been a regular only once in his career (in 2013 with the Rockies and Mets when he led the National League with 46 steals) but has consistently found work as a bench piece due to his excellent speed. Overall, he’s a .246/.314/.327 hitter in 1684 Major League plate appearances.
Young will bring a depth option to the Angels this spring and, quite likely, early in the year in Triple-A. He’s spent most of his Major League career playing left field but does have about 400 innings in center field as well. He also spent more than 250 innings in right field last season at Triple-A. Young has some experience at second base, too, but it’s been six seasons since he put in significant work there. The Halos likely view him as an outfielder, but with Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere and Jefry Marte all on the 40-man roster, Young seems likely to be bound for Triple-A if he sticks with the organization.