Matt Young (youngma02)

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Matthew Earl Young

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Biographical Information[edit]

Matt Young set a Southern League record in 2008. He made his major league debut in 2011.

Young hit .333 with a .555 OBP as a junior in high school and .498 as a senior, winning All-State honors in Texas. As a college freshman in 2002, he batted .385/.498/.446 and stole 17 bases in 23 tries, scoring 64 runs in 55 games. He reached base in 54 of 55 games and led the Mountain West Conference in OBP and walks (42, tied for the most). Young was 5th in the Conference in average and made the All-Conference team in the outfield. He was also named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American.

As a sophomore, Young hit .327/.468/.423 and had 22 outfield assists. He scored 75 runs in 56 games out of the leadoff slot and was 4th in the MWL in OBP, leading the Conference in both walks (54) and steals. The next year, Young batted .381/.462/.567 with 16 steals in 22 tries, 60 runs in 56 games and 12 triples. He led the MWC in three-baggers and was 4th in average. Undrafted, he was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Braves; Chris Knabenshue was the scout.

Young made his minor league debut in 2005 for the Rome Braves and hit .312/.412/.409 with 85 runs and he had a .992 fielding percentage in the outfield. The only downfall was a poor success on the basepaths (10-for-21 in attempts to steal). He led the Atlanta farm chain in both OBP and runs, impressive for an undrafted free agent. He was 6th in the South Atlantic League in batting average and 5th in runs.

The tiny Texan had another fine season in 2006, for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, batting .281/.389/.375 with 30 doubles and 71 walks. He stole 21 bases in 31 tries and fielded .992. In 13 games for the Mississippi Braves, he only eked out a .220/.310/.240 line. He tied Van Pope for the most doubles among Braves farmhands and was 5th in the Carolina League in average.

Young missed a month of 2007 with injuries. He played for Myrtle Beach (.280/.381/.346 in 65 games, 1.000 fielding) and Mississippi (.242/.308/.305 in 33 games).

In 2008, Young solved AA while playing with Mississippi once again. He made history in late July when he had hits in 11 straight at-bats from July 24 through July 27; he reached in 16 consecutive plate appearances. The 11 hits in a row broke the Southern League record of 10, set by Jim Covington in 1970 and tied by Joe Gates in 1976. He hit .289/.384/.385 for the year with 11 triples (leading Braves minor leaguers) and 30 steals in 42 tries. He tied Tyler Colvin for the most triples in the SL.

He split 2009 between Mississippi and the Gwinnett Braves, hitting a combined .284 with five home runs, 36 RBI and 43 stolen bases in 137 games. He led Braves farmhands in steals, triples (10), walks (97) and runs (87). He led the SL in walks (94), steals (42) and times caught stealing (16). With Gwinnett in 2010, Young hit .300 with three home runs, 35 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 134 games.

He edged Jordan Pacheco by months in becoming the first position player from the University of New Mexico to make the majors.

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