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Chris Young (youngch04)

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Christopher Brandon Young

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Chris Young is an outfielder who spent the first 7 years of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He played in 30 games with them in 2006 and made the team in 2007. Although his 2007 batting average was low, he hit over 30 home runs in his first full major league season.

Young was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round of the 2001 amateur draft. He was signed by scouts Joe Butler and Paul Provas and debuted professionally in 2002 with the AZL White Sox, hitting .217/.308/.380 and getting caught in over half of his steal attempts. In 2003, Young improved, hitting .290/.357/.479 for the Bristol Sox, stealing 21 bases in 28 tries and scoring 47 runs in 64 games. He also hit .176/.200/.265 in 10 games for the Great Falls White Sox. He made the Appalachian League All-Star team in the outfield and Baseball America rated him the league's #2 prospect behindAdam Miller.

Chris continued to blossom in 2004, batting .261/.366/.503 for the Kannapolis Intimidators. He hit 24 home runs and 31 doubles and scored 83 runs. He struck out 146 times, but drew 67 walks too. He stole 31 bases in 40 tries. His 335 putouts led South Atlantic League outfielders and his 136 games played led the league as well. He did not make the SAL All-Star team, with Josh Anderson, Brandon Moss, Delmon Young and Ryan Goleski claiming the slots. Baseball America rated him the league's #15 prospect, though.

Playing in AA at age 21, Chris hit .277/.377/.545 with the Birmingham Barons. He scored 100 runs in 126 games, cracked 41 doubles, banged out 26 homers, drove in 77, drew 70 walks, struck out 129 times and stole 32 bases in 38 tries. He led the Southern League in slugging, runs, total bases (254), extra-base hits (70) and doubles while tying Brandon Sing for the homer lead. He again missed the All-Star team, with Matt Murton, Delmon Young, Jeremy Hermida and Jerry Owens making the cut. Young was rated the league's #4 prospect by Baseball America behind Delmon Young, Hermida and Jeff Francoeur. The publication also rated him the best defensive outfielder in the SL. Chris played in the 2005 Futures Game, going 0 for 2 while playing the whole game batting 9th and playing in center for the USA.

That winter, Young was traded with Orlando Hernandez and Luis Vizcaino to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Javier Vazquez. Assigned to the Tucson Sidewinders for 2006, Young produced at a .276/.363/.532 clip. He homered 21 times, doubled 32 times, scored 78, drove in 77 and stole 17 bases in 22 tries. Baseball America ranked him as the #7 prospect in the Pacific Coast League between fellow outfielders Matt Kemp and Adam Jones.

Called up to Arizona in August, Young hit .243/.308/.386 in 30 games for the 2006 Diamondbacks. He became a full-time starter in center field the next year, playing 148 games with a .237 average, 29 doubles and 32 homers, with 85 runs, 68 RBI and 27 stolen bases. He was one of the team's offensive leaders as they finished with the best record in the National League and hit .273 with a pair of homers as the D-Backs swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS. In the NLCS, he went 4 for 14 as his team was in turn swept by the Colorado Rockies. He was named to the 2007 Topps All-Star Rookie Team after the season.

Young remained the starter in center field for Arizona from 2008 to 2011, never playing fewer than 134 games during that stretch. Posting relatively low batting averages but with good power, he hit .248 with 42 doubles and 22 homers in 2008, then only .212 with 28 doubles and 15 homers in 2009. He had his best season in 2010, making the All-Star team for the only time of his career, when he hit .257 with 33 doubles and 27 homers, driving in 91 runs and scoring 94. In 2011, the Diamondbacks came out of nowhere to win the NL West title, with Young again the full-time centerfielder. He played 156 games, hitting .236 with 38 doubles and 20 homers, scoring 89 runs and driving in 71. In the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers, he was outstanding, going 7 for 18 with 5 runs, a double and 3 homers, but his team was beaten in 5 games by the Brew Crew.

After seven seasons with the Diamondbacks, Young was traded to the Oakland Athletics on October 20, 2012 in return for SS Cliff Pennington and minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera. He was coming off his poorest season with the D-Backs, having hit .231 in 101 games, with 14 homers and 41 games. The games played, homers and RBIs were the lowest since his first full season, and the home run his second worst. His struggles continued with the A's in 2013, as he hit only .200 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 107 games. He failed to keep a regular job in the outfield, backing the team's regulars at all three positions and became an afterthought in the postseason, not getting any playing time as the A's were defeated by the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. No longer figuring in the A's plans, he signed a one-year contract with the New York Mets on November 22nd.

Young was the starting centerfielder for the Mets on Opening Day, March 31, 2014, but he lasted just one inning before having to leave the game with a strained quadriceps and going on the disabled list.

Main sources: 2002-2007 Baseball Almanacs

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