Young with the Boston Red Sox in 2016
|Boston Red Sox – No. 30|
September 5, 1983 |
|August 18, 2006, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
(through April 9, 2017)
|Runs batted in||553|
|Career highlights and awards|
Christopher Brandon "Chris" Young (born September 5, 1983) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets and New York Yankees. In 2007, he became the first rookie in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and steal 25 bases. While primarily a center fielder earlier in his career, Young has since transitioned to a fourth outfielder role.
Young began his baseball career at St. Thomas Moore elementary/middle school and later attended national powerhouse Bellaire High School. Young received All-State honors his senior year, but broke his arm in the state playoffs while attempting to catch a fly ball hit by Elkins High School's Chad Huffman.
The Chicago White Sox selected Young in the 16th round of the 2001 MLB Draft. In 2003, he was an Appalachian League All-Star outfielder. In 2005, he was a Baseball America 1st team Minor League All-Star outfielder and the Chicago White Sox Minor League Player of the Year.
After the 2005 season, the White Sox traded Young to the Arizona Diamondbacks with Orlando Hernández and Luis Vizcaíno for Javier Vázquez and cash. In 2006, he was a Triple-A All-Star outfielder and Baseball America 2nd team Minor League All-Star outfielder.
Young made his major league debut on August 18, 2006, and began the 2007 season as the Diamondbacks' everyday center fielder. On August 17, 2007, against the Atlanta Braves, he hit his 23rd home run of the year, setting a Diamondbacks rookie record. He also became the 8th rookie to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases.
For the season, his 27 stolen bases led all National League (NL) rookies (13th in the NL overall), and his 32 home runs were enough for 2nd among NL rookies (behind Ryan Braun, and tied for 10th overall). Among other accomplishments, Young finished 2nd among NL rookies in extra-base hits (64) and at bats (569), 3rd in runs (85) and 5th in runs batted in (68). He also hit .237 with a .295 on-base percentage, and led NL rookies by striking out 141 times.
Young was a unanimous selection for the 2007 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team as a result of the 49th annual Topps balloting of Major League managers. He finished fourth (10 points) in the vote for the 2007 NL Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award by 488 major league players and 30 managers, behind Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki and Hunter Pence, as well as in the 2007 Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award, and the Baseball Prospectus 2007 Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year Award competitions.
In 2008, Young started 157 games in center field. He finished the year with 85 runs and 85 RBIs, and led the Arizona Diamondbacks with 14 stolen bases. His batting average improved to .248, but he hit fewer home runs, ending the year with 22.
In 2009, he hit only .212, the lowest of all NL batters with at least 350 plate appearances. On August 10, 2009, he was demoted to the Diamondbacks' AAA farm club, the Reno Aces. Prospect infielder Rusty Ryal took his spot on the D'backs roster. This was Young's first demotion to the minor leagues since entering the major leagues in 2007. When called back up, he had a slight resurgence with 8 home runs for a season total of 15, including 3 solo home runs in a loss to the Rockies.
On April 11, 2010, Young contributed 4 RBIs to the Diamondbacks' franchise record 13-run inning. He also made the NL All-Star Team for the first time, as a reserve. On July 9, the night before the All-Star Game, he participated in the 2010 State Farm Home Run Derby but hit only one home run and was eliminated in the first round. At the end of the season, he tied for the NL lead in errors by an outfielder, with 7.
On August 11, 2011, he belted a 3-run homer in the bottom of the tenth against the Houston Astros to give the Diamondbacks an 8–5 win and move them a full game in front of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. The homer came an inning after rookie slugger Paul Goldschmidt hit a game-tying bomb of his own.
On November 22, 2013, the New York Mets agreed to a one-year, $7.25 million contract with Young. Young struggled with the Mets, batting .205 with eight home runs in 254 at-bats. On August 8, 2014, the Mets designated Young for assignment. He was released on August 15.
The New York Yankees signed Young to a minor league contract on August 27, 2014. He was called up on September 2, 2014, when rosters expanded. Nine days later, on September 11, Young broke up a no-hitter in the 8th inning with a double and then hit a walk-off, three-run home run to seal the Yankees' 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The next day, Young hit his third home run in three days, breaking a 0-0 tie in the 11th inning, and (temporarily) pushing the Yankees into the lead against the Baltimore Orioles. Also on September 12, in the second game of the Orioles doubleheader, Young also made two dramatic defensive plays, twice sliding to catch fly balls in left field. In 23 games for the Yankees, Young batted .282 with three home runs.
Young signed a one-year, major league contract with the Yankees worth $2.5 million on November 8, 2014. Young batted .252 for the Yankees in 2015, playing mostly against left-handed pitchers. He started the 2015 AL Wild Card Game over Jacoby Ellsbury against left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
The team placed Young on the 15-day disabled list on June 24, citing a strained right hamstring. Young did not return to the team until August 22. Young ended his 2016 season with a .276 batting average.
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