Guerreros de Oaxaca signed CF-S Eric Young Jr. to an unknown contract
Last year for the first time in his career Young found himself out of affiliated baseball. He had always been a decent enough roleplayer to keep a job either as a bench player on a Major League Baseball club or as a depth pieced stashed away on some Minor League Baseball franchise. After a dismal few months with the Tacoma Rainiers, he was cut and found that no affiliated team wanted to take a chance on him. Young was quickly scooped up by Acereros de Monclova of Liga Mexicana de Béisbol and was an important player for them during the stretch run of their Serie del Rey winning season.
When Young didn’t receive much interest from affiliated clubs for the 2020 season I fully expected him to end up back with the Acereros. To the surprise of many, he instead will be taking his considerable talents to the Guerreros in the hope that he can help them back to Serie del Rey glory. Young is a big loss to the top of a Monclova lineup that counted on his speed and bat-to-ball skills down the stretch. He’s an even bigger addition to a Guerreros team that already features near 40-40 outfielder Alonzo Harris.
To be clear, the addition of Young elevates an already playoff-caliber Guerreros club to among the favorites to take home the LMB crown in 2020. For Monclova Young only amassed 129 plate appearances last season. In that short time frame, he was stellar at the plate slashing .315/.403/.432. With 15 walks and 5 stolen bases to only 1 caught stealing. In the playoffs, Young provided top-notch defense and steady on-base skills for a Monclova team that needed to score as many runs as they could and have solid defense back up a below-average pitching staff.
Where Young truly puts the Guerreros over the top is in the way he augments both their defense and offense. Young will allow the aforementioned Harris to stay in left while he slides into center. Young’s arm isn’t anything to write home about but the entire left side of the outfield being covered by Harris and Young equals a lot of balls being caught that otherwise wouldn’t. The Guerreros now have someone just as speedy as Harris who they can slot ahead of him in the lineup. Young has the ability to get on base and his competent base-stealing skills should mean he winds up in scoring position for Harris more often than not. It’s tantalizing to think of a Harris/Young combo at the top of an already good Guerreros lineup.
There’s little doubt that Young hopes to work his way back to affiliated baseball. That’s the goal of every player and Young is no different in that regard. For the time being he will have to be content with being a valuable addition to a championship-caliber LMB team. The Guerreros are good enough that if they win as they should and Young performs as he should they would probably entertain selling him to an MLB club to help their financial situation. I’m hopeful that doesn’t happen though, I really want to watch an entire season of Young and Harris at the top of the same lineup every day.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Unknown