The Orioles have released outfielder Eric Young Jr. from his minor league contract, Young himself revealed to reporters Friday (Twitter link via MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko). He’d been viewed as a legitimate candidate to break camp with the club but will now head back to the open market in search of another opportunity.
Young, now 33 years old, enjoyed a strong spring with the O’s, hitting .323/.462/.452 with a homer, a double and a pair of stolen bases. With Young no longer in the mix, the O’s will go with Trey Mancini in left field, Cedric Mullins in center and a combination of Joey Rickard and Dwight Smith Jr. in the outfield.
Young spent the 2017-18 seasons with the Angels but, after a solid run in 2017, saw his offensive output crater in 2018. Overall, he hit a combined .233/.293/.361 with five homers, nine doubles, a pair of triples and 17 steals through 242 plate appearances with the Halos. Young paced the National League with 46 stolen bases back in 2013 as a member of the Rockies, and he doesn’t look to have lost much of a step, as his sprint speed of 29.0 feet per second (via Statcast) still ranked in the 91st percentile of big leaguers last season.