Eric Young Jr. led the National League in stolen bases in 2013 with 46. He stole 8 of them with the Colorado Rockies and the other 38 with the New York Mets. Swiping bags was the best thing he brought to the field. A lifetime .245 hitter, he was a rather one-dimensional player whose career fizzled out very quickly.
In 2014, Young played the full season with the Mets. He logged 100 games, 316 plate appearances, and did something no Mets player has done since.
In 2014, Eric Young Jr. stole 30 bases for the Mets and nobody has reached the number since
The Mets and stolen bases haven’t gone together well in recent seasons. They aren’t a team built on defense, bunts, or doing any of those things dying in this great game. They wait for the three-run home run like every other franchise will.
This doesn’t mean the entire history of the Mets has ignored stealing bases. Not long before Young, Jose Reyes was setting franchise records and going north of 60.
Mookie Wilson. Roger Cedeno. Vince Coleman (ugh!). They have years on the back of their baseball cards with some fantastic stolen base numbers.
From 2015 onward, stolen bases have taken a backseat. Nobody has reached the 30 that Young did in 2014. I’m not sure when we’ll see it again either.
In 2015, the leader on the team with stolen bases was Curtis Granderson. He had only 11. A season later, Jose Reyes led the ball club with 9! The 2016 team was so ill-equipped to steal bases that the season ended with only 42 total for everyone who suited up for the club.
Reyes would be the leader yet again in 2017 with 24. Amed Rosario matched the total in 2018 and would go on to lead them with 19 in 2019.
The best candidate on the 2021 Mets to potentially reach 30 is by far Jonathan Villar. In 2016, he led the league with 62. Even in the shortened 2020 season, he managed to swipe 16 bases.
As any Mets fan knows, if Villar gets within shouting distance of 30 stolen bases, the club may have bigger issues. He was brought in as a reserve player and not meant to play often enough to get there.
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Likely, we’ll have to sit on Young’s 30 stolen base season from 2014 a little longer as the most recent occurrence in Mets history.