Source: Young will be Nats' new first base coach

Eric Young Jr., the former Rockies and Mets outfielder who led the National League in stolen bases eight years ago, will be the Nationals' new first base coach, a source familiar with the decision confirmed.

Young, 36, hasn't officially been named to manager Davey Martinez's staff yet, but a formal announcement of the club's full 2022 coaching staff is expected in the near future. His hiring was first reported by, which learned about the news from Young's father, Braves first base coach Eric Young Sr.

Though this will be Young's first coaching stint in the big leagues, he appears to be a natural fit for the Nationals, who earlier this month reassigned first base coach Randy Knorr and third base coach Bob Henley to player development roles within the organization, creating two openings on Martinez's staff.

Thumbnail image for Nats-Park-Dugout-Roof-sidebar.jpgYoung, who played parts of 10 seasons in the majors from 2009-18, was one of the sport's best basestealers during his career and rated as an above-average left fielder and center fielder (his two primary positions, along with minimal time in right field and at second base). The Nats prioritized hiring new coaches who could be in charge of both baserunning and outfield instruction, roles that had been held by Knorr and Henley even though neither had much background in those specific areas as former catchers.

Young spent this season, his first after retiring as a player, on the coaching staff of the Mariners' Triple-A club in Tacoma, where he played in 2019. He was set to play in the Mexican League in 2020 before the season was canceled due to the pandemic.

A 30th-round pick in the 2003 draft, the switch-hitting Young made his major league debut in 2009 for the same Rockies franchise that made his father an All-Star two decades earlier. During his only full season as a big league regular, 2013, he stole 46 bases to lead the National League. For his career, he stole 162 bases in 201 attempts, a healthy 80.6 percent success rate.

With Young set to take over as first base coach and Darnell Coles previously announced as the new hitting coach after Kevin Long departed for the Phillies, the Nationals still need to hire a third base coach to replace Henley. They could also have some other changes or additions to their staff, which may include newly created positions.

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