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.
This keen-edged move may just put the Angels a notch better than the A’s.
How will Billy Beane deflect the pressure?
Tune in next time….
Ben Revere will be a good guy to have around JR, they could work on technique together
Eppler belives DEEPLY that deeply that defense and speed are undervalued in this market.
Larry David's Joe Pepitone Jersey
One former Met who I’m always rooting for to find work.
I wonder if the angels would look into bringing Weiters in to catch. I have a feeling Cron will be traded plus a prospect for a pitcher.
Solid pick up. Could be a solid defensive replacement. If he makes the Angels open day roaster. And could be used as a pinch runner.
These days, a pinch runner is a luxury only the teams with the best rosters can afford. With most carrying large bullpens and only four field subs, versatility is at a premium.
EY Jr. is redundant as an OF and is doesn’t play multiple positions. Nor is he a run-producing threat at the plate.
The Angels’ roster has too many holes and quality issues to carry yet another AAAA guy, even if he has had some speed in his game in the past.
As to the “roaster” gaffe, it could get “hot” for Scioscia if this team doesn’t get out of the gate fast. Could be a long season looking up at the rest of the AL West, even with Trout.
Did you read anything I wrote? I said he can be a defensive replacement and a pinch runner. Late in a game, with his speed he can help scoring where some of the starters don’t run very fast. And you do realize that EY Jr came up as a second baseman right? I know that he struggled as a second baseman. But in a pinch, and need be, he can play second.
Yes, I read it all. Nothing you replied negates what I wrote.
I know what pinch runners and emergency 2Bs do. The Angels can’t afford to keep a guy for the rare occasional use of those roles.
Dude, all he is saying is that he can compete to be a 4th OF and an emergency 2b with some speed. Any team can use some competition for a 4th OF.
EY Jr can play all three OF positions. What holes are you speaking of? They’ve added Danny Espinosa at 2B. Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere in LF. Their bench is deep with Luis Valbuena and Jefry Marte. They have managed to build what could be a dangerous lineup with the kind of speed on the bases they were famous for 10 years ago. Adding EY Jr is an option that fits in perfectly with their depth chart in the OF. An OF btw that is projected to have the highest WAR in MLB by FanGraphs. The way their offense is built going into 2017, a pinch runner option like EY Jr makes total sense.
With the Angels’ roster of two star players, the rest retreads, fillins, and AAAA guys, you lost me at “dangerous lineup”.
EY Jr on the Angels is not Herb Washington being the missing piece on the A’s championship teams.
I’ll wager that EY Jr. doesn’t make Anaheim’s Opening Day roster unless someone is hurt or a trade happens.
Trout, Simmons, and Calhoun are far from 2 stars.
OK, one superstar, one budding star, and one solid regular. The rest retreads, fillins, and AAAA guys. Not even any placeholders, because the Angels’ farm system is abysmal.
A couple of power hitters does not make a “dangerous lineup”. Adding a pinch runner to it would have minuscule impact.
Cron the second best player on the Angels this last season is laughable. Trout, Calhoun, Simmons and Pujols all had a better year than Cron. I guess everyone keeps forgetting that Pujols had over 30 homers and 100 RBI’s. As far as EY Jr, Mayben is injury prone. Rever other than in Philly, he has never been able to put up decent numbers. EY Jr is below average with the bat. Is still an option.
Having so-called retreads and fill ins does not define a team as being bad. All teams, especially those with money have plenty of those types on their roster. What do you think happens when teams go out onto the market to fill holes? You should try taking a look at the OBP’s of the players the Angels have added along with their defense. Just go to BR or FanGraphs. Those places will answer a lot of questions. EY Jr isn’t even expected to make the opening day roster and is supposed to be an emergency option at AAA. So I don’t know exactly what your gripe is with him.
Great guy to have around in spring. Hopefully the regulars and young guys can pick up a few baserunning tips before the season starts. Almost like signing a player coach in that regard
I keep reading comments about how much better the Angels will be. Other than Oakland , what team in division are they better than?
if you ask any other fans than Angels’ fans, Anaheim will be better than the A’s. Or maybe not even that good.
If you ask Anaheim fans, they’ll be better than all but one unspecified division champ; i.e., they’ll at least get a wild card berth. Some Angels’ fans say they may even win the West.
Or as the Mamas and Papas called it — California Dreamin’.
Go to FanGraphs. You’ll find a lot of answers there. You’ll even find the Angels projected to tie with the Mariners for the first WC. If you don’t understand why. Well here’s one example. The Rangers won the division the last two years with a pitching staff that was 13th in the AL in ERA in both seasons. In 2016 they only had a plus-8 run differential, which is only equal to an 82-80 record. They won it because they hit the bullpen mix jackpot early enough to set a record for most wins in one run games, which means their season was a total fluke. And they haven’t done much of anything this offseason, and lost Prince Fielder for good. Meanwhile the Angels have been going nuts this offseason. Places like FanGraphs will help to go in depth with that kind of stuff.