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Big League Dreams: Ty Young

A Look at Chinooks in the Minor Leagues

Ty Young – Tampa Bay Rays – Bowling Green Hot Rods (A)

TyYoung_headshotAfter playing in 25 games for the Lakeshore Chinooks during the summer of 2012, infielder Ty Young from the University of Louisville had his summer cut short by an injury, but left an impression on Chinooks GM Dean Rennicke. “Ty made an immediate impact on our club and has a bright future. He was clearly a polished college player with exceptionally quick hands and a great knowledge of the game. He has all of the tools to climb the ladder in pro baseball,” says Rennicke. Chinooks fans may remember that Young made a splash in his first appearance at Kapco Park when he came through as the Highland House hitter of the game with a triple in his first at bat. “That was one of my best memories of Lakeshore,” says Young.

After hitting .295, notching 16 RBIs, and stealing five bases for Lakeshore, Young returned to Louisville where he went on to be named second team All-Big East with a .335 average and 56 RBIs. That performance caught the eye of the Tampa Bay Rays who selected him in the 7th round (218th overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft.  “We like his bat. We like his legs. He’ll play third base, but we’ll move him around and get him some work at second base,” Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison told MLB.com. Young signed his contract and headed to New York to play for the Hudson Valley Renegades of the NY-Penn League, a Class A-short season league, where he posted a somewhat disappointing .217 average for the 2013 season. Last season, however, Young started to show the promise that Rennicke saw in the Coatsville, PA native.

Coming out of spring training this past year, Young made the jump to the Rays’ full season Class A team in Bowling Green, KY where after getting off to a slow start in the first two months with a .234 average, he rallied throughout the summer with a .500 average to finish at .252. That included a .319 average with runners in scoring position and an impressive .420 average against left-handed pitching. As a left-handed hitter, proving he can hit southpaws is a major step in Young’s development. Young’s power also increased as he raised his home run total from two in 2013 to nine in 2014.

Young also displayed the speed that impressed so many at Lakeshore as he hit eight triples and stole nine bases.

And while His defense remains a work in progress as he posted a .890 fielding percentage with 23 errors in 85 games at the hot corner, his overall athleticism suggests he has the tools to improve. For his efforts, Young was named the Rays’ organization all-star at third base by MLB.com.

Young now has his sights set higher, saying, “My goal for the upcoming season is to make it to double-A by the end of the season. To do that I have to steal more bases I think and also decrease my strikeouts.” The road to the next level begins in March when Young heads to Port Lucie, Florida for spring training where Rennicke once again suggests, keep an eye on Ty Young!