The Cubs picked Chesny Young out of Mercer in the fourteenth round last year, and for the most part no one really took notice. Kyle Schwarber and the Million Dollar Arms were the stars of the 2014 Cubs’ draft, and yet another good hitting college infielder on Day Three was just… well… yet another good hitting college infielder on Day Three.
Then Young motored through Arizona (2 games), Boise (15 games), and into Kane County (27 games) after signing, and he hit pretty well in the process. Over 114 PA with Kane County, for example, he hit .324/.348/.419. Once again, for the most part, no one really took notice. Good college hitters should hit well in the low minors. That Young did exactly that is a good thing, but it wasn’t enough to move him into the prospect conversation.
Young opened 2015 with South Bend, and once again he posted pretty good numbers. His .765 OPS was nice, but in 28 games he also stepped up his game on the base paths with nine steals in twelve chances. But given everything else going in the farm system (and with that team), Young continued to go largely unnoticed.
A promotion to Myrtle Beach and 37 games of High A ball later, it is time to take notice. Young is hitting, through 159 PA, .364/.434/.407 with five steals and no home runs. The real surprise, though, is that he has maintained the excellent strikeout and walk numbers he put up at lower levels of the system. With the Pelicans he has a walk rate of 10.7% and a strikeout rate of 11.9%. Those are both fantastic figures.
Defensively, Young has seen time at short, third, and in both outfield corners. He has shown very little power so far, and while I doubt power will ever be a big part of his game I suspect a little more will emerge as he gains experience and continues to build muscle. Fortunately a right handed hitting utility type player does not need great power to have a great future. Young is showing the ability to get on base and do some damage once he gets there; that may be all he needs to carve out a future for himself at the highest levels.
While we should definitely be watching Young, he does still have some more to do to fully prove himself. At age 22, he is slightly on the older side for High A prospects, so his ability to maintain this success when he eventually reaches Tennessee will be key. The peripheral numbers are strong, though, and I am not all that worried about his chances in Double A. While some caution is in order, I think this guy is shaping up to be a quality bench player or fringe starting infield prospect who should appear on some top prospect lists over the winter.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa was rained out.
Tennessee – All-Star break.
Myrtle Beach – All-Star break.
South Bend – All-Star break.
Eugene – Eugene mounted a strong comeback capped off by a big seventh inning to walk away with an 8-3 win.
Arizona – The Cubs took the lead in the eighth and held on for a 6-5 win.
Performances of Note
- [Eugene] Carson Sands struck out 6 in his 6 innings on the mound, but he also allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and no walks.
- [Eugene] Jae-Hoon Ha had a much more successful trip to the mound in this game. Over 2 innings he allowed absolutely nothing while striking out 4. Alex Santana struck out 2 in the final frame.
- [Eugene] Frandy Delarosa tripled and drove in 4 as part of his 2 for 4 game. Ricardo Marcano and Ho-young Son also had 2 hits apiece.
- [Eugene] Ian Happ was hitless, but he did reach on a walk and score. Eloy Jimenez singled, walked, and scored twice.
- [Arizona] Enrique De Los Rio struck out 5 in his 4.1 inning start. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on a hit and 2 walks.
- [Arizona] Carlos Rodriguez pitched 2 innings of zeroes with one strikeout. Scott Frazier picked up 2 strikeouts in a flawless ninth.
- [Arizona] Wladimir Galindo doubled and finished 3 for 4. Andruw Monasterio doubled twice and finished 2 for 4.
- [Arizona] Yohan Matos hit his first homer of the season for the AZL Cubs.
- The start of the next International Free Agent signing season is next week, and we expect the Cubs to be significant spenders from July 2nd until the signing period closes next June. The estimates of how much the Cubs could spend are all over the map, but the numbers are always large. This farm system stands to receive a significant influx of talent. And if you want to get yourself into the best position to follow along with all those signings, then keep a close watch on the coverage coming out of Baseball America in general, and Ben Badler in particular.
- The College World Series is over, and winning over Vanderbilt in an excellent final series was…
2015 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!! pic.twitter.com/2CAiipXkYh
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 25, 2015
- Virginia actually ended a fairly long conference championship drought for the ACC. As Wake Forest made sure to remind us:
— Wake Forest Baseball (@WakeBaseball) June 25, 2015