Young before a spring training game.
|Oakland Athletics – No. 25|
September 5, 1983 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|August 18, 2006 for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
(through April 29, 2013)
|Runs batted in||423|
|Career highlights and awards|
Christopher Brandon "Chris" Young (born September 5, 1983) is a center fielder for the Oakland Athletics. In 2007, he became the first rookie in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and steal 25 bases.
Young began his baseball career at St. Thomas More elementary/middle school before moving on, and graduating from national powerhouse Bellaire High School. He broke his arm in the state playoffs during his senior year attempting to catch a fly ball hit by Elkins High School's Chad Huffman (currently an outfielder in the Cleveland Indians organization). Then he went to Princeton University.
Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round of the 2001 MLB Draft, Young was traded to the Diamondbacks with Orlando Hernández and Luis Vizcaíno for Javier Vázquez and cash after the 2005 season
Young began showing his potential quickly in the minor leagues. 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. 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 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, losing to Braun (128 points). He also lost out to Braun in the competition for the 2007 Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award, and in the Baseball Prospectus 2007 Internet Baseball NL Rookie of the Year Award, in which he came in 4th with 8 first-place votes (versus 555 for Braun).
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.
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