The concerns didn’t stop at whether or not Young wanted to be here. He appeared in only 25 games at third base in 2012 and the Phillies acquired him with hopes that he can be their everyday third baseman, something he hasn’t done since the 2010 season. At 36 years old, can Young make the move back to third base? Well, it won’t be for lack of trying. Young is taking extra reps daily in Clearwater looking to regain his comfort at the hot corner. Young won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008 and primarily played second base and shortstop until 2009 when he switched to third base (and, subsequently, was named to the American League All-Star team). Phillies third base coach and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, along with Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, agree that Young has the ability to play third base for the Phillies due to his middle infielder instincts. Young recognizes the questions people have about his defensive play and said that he will let his play do the talking.
If there is one thing that Young has done over the course of his career is hit the ball. Despite bringing up Elvis Andrus to play shortstop and Adrian Beltre to play third base, the Rangers did everything possible to keep Young’s bat in the lineup. He is coming off of a down year .277/.312/.370 with eight homeruns and 67 RBI. However, in 2011, Young had a career year hitting .338/.380/.474 with 213 hits, 11 homeruns and 106 RBI. He is a career .301/.347/.444 hitter.
The California native was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays out of the University of California, Santa Barbara then traded to Texas for pitcher Esteban Loaiza in 2000. He made his Major League debut in 2000, played in 106 games in 2001, and then solidified his spot in the Rangers lineup in 2002. Playing with the same team from 2000-2012 is bound to make someone a loyal person to the city. That is the case with Young which might irk some Philadelphia fans. Upon his arrival to Clearwater last month, Young was asked about the fact that he is a Dallas Cowboys fan. His response to the reporter who asked the question? “You suck.” It’s tough not to like that attitude.
Fans might not like that he is a Cowboys fan or that he hasn’t played the field consistently in two years but his bat might be the key for the Phillies offense. He can certainly hit and the Phillies are hoping he regains his pre-2012 form so the team can regain their pre-2012 form.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports