Young has always been a hitter and that is what made him the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003. He hit .322 with 25 homeruns and 115 RBI in his first season of professional ball in 2004. Between Double-A and Triple-A in 2005, Young hit .315 with 26 homeruns and 99 RBI and was name Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect for the 2006 season. He made his Major League debut in August 2006 and played his first full season with Tampa Bay in 2007. He hit .288/.316/.408 with 13 homeruns with 93 RBI as a 21 year old rookie in 2007 and finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting behind Boston’s Dustin Pedroia . He was traded the Minnesota Twins in 2008 and had his best season with the Twins in 2010 when he hit .298/.333/.493 with 21 homeruns and 112 RBI. He was traded to Detroit in July 2011. Last year he hit .267/.296/.411 with 18 homeruns and 74 RBI. He came up big for Detroit in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees when he hit .353 with two homeruns and six RBI mostly as a designated hitter.
One thing that the Young will have to get used to when playing for the Phillies is playing the field again. He has not played right field since 2007 and, when he played left field for the Tigers last season, he was frightening defensively. Another issue that limits Young defensively is his weight. The Phillies even added an incentive clause into his contract that could earn him another $600k. He will be randomly weighed six different times throughout the season. If he is under 230 lbs. the first three weigh-ins, he will earn $100k for each weigh-in he is under 230 lbs. If he is less than 235 lbs. for the next three weigh-ins, he will earn $100k for each weigh-in that he is less than 235 lbs. Weight has been an issue for Young and it doesn’t help that he had surgery to remove bone spurs in November and likely will start the season on the disabled list.
Off the field is where the biggest concerns lay for Young. In 2006, Young was suspended for 50 games by the International League after throwing a baseball bat at an umpire after being ejected from the game. In April 2012, Young was arrested in New York City and charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime after yelling anti-Semitic slurs at a police officer while intoxicated. He was suspended for seven days by Major League Baseball and sentenced to community service. Most recently in an interview with Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News, Young said it was cold outside and he was not anxious to join his team in games yet. Not exactly the best locker room guy.
Hopefully his bat makes his defense and off-the-field headaches and turns this signing into a steal for the Phillies.
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