I’ve been spewing accolades about Eric Young Jr. all year in my “New Kids on the Diamond” column for RotoExperts.com and Yahoo! Sports; I’m not about to stop now. See, EY Jr. is the type of kid you aren’t going to find in your vanilla prospect list. But, on a fantasy-focused prospect list, like here at MLBFP, Young is front and center because of his fantasy-precious tool—exceptional wheels.
Young was hitting .299, with 7 HRs, 118 Rs, and 58 SBs at Triple-A before he got the call to the bigs in late August. Baby Young has posted a .324 BA, with 1 HR, and 2 SBs, in limited action (34 ABs), since his promotion. The best is yet to come, my fantasy prospect friends.
This 5’10”, 180 lb sparkplug will be a fantasy force despite the lack of hype. Like Daddy, Young has a sweet, short swing (82% contact rate at Triple-A) that will produce plenty of knocks in the wide open spaces at Coors Field. Seriously, Young is going to run for days when he slaps doubles in the gaps in the Mile High city. Scary.
The 24-year-old is learning that walks are as good as doubles given his speed. In 2007, Young BB/K rate was a measly .44 at High-A. This year, he pumped that rate up to .71 with some added patience. Some more walks would pay huge fantasy dividends for Young’s owners. Trust me, it will happen with Young Sr. looking over his shoulder. This kid is ready to become the NL-style version of Chone Figgins at the top of the Rockies’ order. He will routinely hit .290, with 80-plus runs, and 45-50 SBs in the majors. Book it.
Young is on my short list for top 2010 impact rookies. He has been playing both OF and 2B in his audition this year. C’mon, Clint Barmes is not a starting 2B. Barmes is only hitting .243 with a .291 OBP for the Rocks. Sure, he has 22 dingers. This squad, however, needs Young’s leadoff skills much more than Barmes’ bop.
While EY Jr. has a slightly below-average glove, it is improving and won’t hold him back. Young will make a fantasy impact at a premium position in 2010. Make a move for him in keeper leagues; keep him in the back of your fantasy mind for 2010 re-draft leagues.