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Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 09:36 AM
Randar,

In the Brian Anderson thread you made this comment (among many others) on Chris Young:

When he hits the ball in a game or batting practice, everyone in the stadium could tell you who it was who hit it without even seeing it... distinct explosive sound only a few players in baseball are capable of.

Since this really doesn't deal with Anderson, but Young, I wanted to start a new thread exclusively on Young. Specifically (and I address this to all of scouts who have seen Young play), what is it about Young's swing that makes the sound of his bat hitting the ball so distinct? Lightning quick bat speed? A tighter grip? Hitting the ball "more squarely" than most others? Hitting the ball on a "sweeter" spot of the bat than most others?

Who are some of the other few players whose swings produce such explosive sounds (of course, not that Young necessarily would mimic their careers, etc.)?

Also, if he does strike out a lot but also walks a lot, doesn't that mean he grounds out and/or flies out less often than other players? Does this mean that right now he is somewhat less likely to make contact, but when he does, he hits the ball extremely hard and far? Does he hit a lot of foul balls? Does he have the speed to get on base by bunting?

Also, I particularly am intrigued that he had more extra-base hits than singles at Birmingham this year. That's incredible! I know I have read that Birmingham is a pitchers' park, and the dimensions are 340 down the lines, 385 in the alleys and 405 to center, and the walls are 8 feet high, but is the foul territory unusually large? Does the wind usually blow in? What else makes B-ham so favorable to pitchers? To what extent might Young be able to take advantage of the smaller dimensions and more favorable hitting conditions at U.S. Cellular?

What players, at similar ages and levels of experience, does Young remind you of? What is his ceiling, and what are the odds he could hit his ceiling? Alternatively, what is a good "midpoint" projection for what we might be able to expect from him, hopefully in a White Sox uniform?

I know I've exceeded my quota of questions, but I'm intrigued by what I've read and his 2005 numbers at Birmingham. Any observations you can share would be greatly appreciated!

:bandance:

Randar68
10-05-2005, 10:16 AM
Since this really doesn't deal with Anderson, but Young, I wanted to start a new thread exclusively on Young. Specifically (and I address this to all of scouts who have seen Young play), what is it about Young's swing that makes the sound of his bat hitting the ball so distinct? Lightning quick bat speed? A tighter grip? Hitting the ball "more squarely" than most others? Hitting the ball on a "sweeter" spot of the bat than most others?

Who are some of the other few players whose swings produce such explosive sounds (of course, not that Young necessarily would mimic their careers, etc.)?

I've never figured out or read much about what exactly it is that causes that sound... Ted Williams had it, McGuire, Soriano, Pujols, Bonds, that's about it in baseball today... VERY few...

Frankly, there are MANY annual All-Stars who don't produce it. I don't know if it's related to bat-speed in combination with the type of bat or what? Most of the guys I've seen it come from have VERY quick wrists and forearms, maybe it is that they create so much spin on the ball that it comes off sounding different? Used to hear it occassionally from Frank in the 90's when he'd really get into one...



Also, if he does strike out a lot but also walks a lot, doesn't that mean he grounds out and/or flies out less often than other players? Does this mean that right now he is somewhat less likely to make contact, but when he does, he hits the ball extremely hard and far? Does he hit a lot of foul balls? Does he have the speed to get on base by bunting?

That's somewhat true. As I posted when I listed his season month-by-month splits, Young had a particularly rough first 1.5-2 months in terms of K:BB:AB but turned it around as the season wore on. He does bunt enough to force the infield to respect that part of his game, is a good bunter when bunting for a hit, although I don't recall having ever seen him square up to sacrifice bunt. Maybe Rex has? The one thing that would give me hesitation would be the question of if he will make enough consistent contact at the next level. No way to know for sure. Can only go off the intangibles here... ability to make adjustments quickly, attitude, etc...

Here is what BA said on him, and I think that it's pretty accurate account of the range of his abilities (although 5-tool player is used a bit liberally since his arm is only average):

Young's game can be summarized by his performance Aug. 21 against Mobile, when he hit two solo home runs, bunted twice for hits and stole two bases in the same game. That's Young: an electric, five-tool player who does it all. He nearly put together a 30-30 season for the Barons despite missing two weeks with a minor oblique strain, and he still topped the league in runs, doubles and homers.
He strikes out at a reasonable rate, and again, I'd be curious to see how he does if he repeats a level, whether that be AA, AAA, or the majors. Once he makes those adjustements, I don't know if you'd see him strike out any more than Rowand or Iguchi, who both K'd about 115 times in 550-600 PA's... It's always hard to tell if a player can keep making that adjustment as he moves up against better and more experienced pitchers.




Also, I particularly am intrigued that he had more extra-base hits than singles at Birmingham this year. That's incredible! I know I have read that Birmingham is a pitchers' park, and the dimensions are 340 down the lines, 385 in the alleys and 405 to center, and the walls are 8 feet high, but is the foul territory unusually large? Does the wind usually blow in? What else makes B-ham so favorable to pitchers? To what extent might Young be able to take advantage of the smaller dimensions and more favorable hitting conditions at U.S. Cellular?

Well, Birmingham's spacious OF, while keeping balls in the park, also provides larger gaps and more area for balls to fall in. There is quite a bit of foul territory, but not Oakland-esque. The ball just doesn't carry well a majority of the time for some reason there. The hitting conditions are far better at USCF for all hitters, as the fould territory is pretty limited and the fences close... add in the convection-effect the new roof has added, and almost all middle-of-the-order hitters benefit to some degree (might be a detriment to Pods or Iguchi who are contact-hitters who would benefit from more expansive OF's and room to drop singles/doubles into)

What players, at similar ages and levels of experience, does Young remind you of? What is his ceiling, and what are the odds he could hit his ceiling? Alternatively, what is a good "midpoint" projection for what we might be able to expect from him, hopefully in a White Sox uniform?

His ceiling is out of this world. Here are his 1st and 2nd half splits for the Barons' hitting prospects:

1st half:
Casey Rogowski .320 5HR 35 RBI;
Josh Fields .229 9 HR 41 RBI;
Chris Young .234 12 HR 34 RBI;
Jerry Owens .315 HR 31 RBI;
Ryan Sweeney .263 22 RBI

2nd half:
Casey Rogowski .261 4HR 43 RBI
Josh Fields .275 7 HR 38 RBI
Chris Young .320 14 HR 43 RBI
Jerry Owens .347 HR 21 RBI
Ryan Sweeney .333 HR 25 RBI


Now, projecting his MLB production? Every time I do that I get roasted. I don't think it's beyond the realm of reason to see him being a 30-30 guy in a place like USCF, especially if Ozzie is still the manager and he gets to run a lot. I think he has a chance to be a 40-40 guy if he makes enough consistent contact. I actually think there's a better chance that he will hit 40 HR's in his career than for him stealing 40 bags, but neither is out of the relm of possibility.

I think a middling expectation would be for him to be a .900 OPS CF'er who is excellent defensively with an about average arm for a major league CF'er.

Flight #24
10-05-2005, 10:28 AM
I think a middling expectation would be for him to be a .900 OPS CF'er who is excellent defensively with an about average arm for a major league CF'er.

That's the "Middling expectation"? :o: :cool:

Thank you idiot Reds management for keeping Griffey and keeping Young here!

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 11:32 AM
I think a middling expectation would be for him to be a .900 OPS CF'er who is excellent defensively with an about average arm for a major league CF'er.

Randar, rather than quoting your entire post I'll just quote the above (although I did very much appreciate that level of analysis and detail from your entire post!), and my reaction to that "middling expectation" is an amalgamation of:

:smile: :D: :cool: :o: :bandance: :Rocker::thud::)

If by 2010 the "middling expectations" that I've read for each of the highly-touted Sox prospects (Young in center, Owens in left and leading off, Anderson in right, Sweeney at first, Valido and Getz in the middle infield, Fields at third) pan out, the Sox are in for an extended run of dominance because they will have been able to replace departing expensive free agent position players with home-grown players who may develop into superior players that what the Sox have today, to complement their excellent core of starting pitching.

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 11:41 AM
Now, projecting his MLB production? Every time I do that I get roasted. I don't think it's beyond the realm of reason to see him being a 30-30 guy in a place like USCF, especially if Ozzie is still the manager and he gets to run a lot. I think he has a chance to be a 40-40 guy if he makes enough consistent contact. I actually think there's a better chance that he will hit 40 HR's in his career than for him stealing 40 bags, but neither is out of the relm of possibility.

So in terms of production (not necessarily playing style or path to the majors), he'd could be kind of like a Mike Cameron who can hit for better power and average and get on base more; or like a healthy Magglio Ordonez who could steal more bases and play much better defense?

You mention he seems to have a good attitude. Is he a "balls to the wall" kind of player? Does he spend lots of time perfecting his hitting and fielding techniques? Does he get good reads and jumps on balls in center field? Is he good enough to make tough catches look routine? Is he a "smart" player, both in the field and on the basepaths (and at the plate for that matter)?

maurice
10-05-2005, 01:14 PM
[.900 OPS is] the "Middling expectation"? :o: :cool:

Well, yeah. The reason we're so excited about this guy is that he's the extremely rare player with 1.000 OPS potential + good defense at a premium position + speed. There's certainly no guarantee that he'll reach his potential, but his talent is off the charts. His work ethic is very good as well, and you'll never meet a nicer professional baseball player.

Given his season at B'ham, there's no questioning his power, speed, or defense. The scary thing is that his power will improve as he moves into a more hitter friendly park and continues to add muscle as he gets older.
:o:

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 01:27 PM
Well, yeah. The reason we're so excited about this guy is that he's the extremely rare player with 1.000 OPS potential + good defense at a premium position + speed. There's certainly no guarantee that he'll reach his potential, but his talent is off the charts. His work ethic is very good as well, and you'll never meet a nicer professional baseball player.

Given his season at B'ham, there's no questioning his power, speed, or defense. The scary thing is that his power will improve as he moves into a more hitter friendly park and continues to add muscle as he gets older.
:o:

So then his ceiling (of course, no guarantee that he would reach it) is a right-handed Ken Griffey, Jr., yes?

maurice
10-05-2005, 02:04 PM
So then his ceiling (of course, no guarantee that he would reach it) is a right-handed Ken Griffey, Jr., yes?

It's hard to say "yes," because KGJ:
- was a phenom straight out of HS
- has a stronger arm
- hit .320+ a couple of times
- hit 56 HR a couple of times
- had an impressive K:BB ratio for awhile.
I mean, KGJ was a .300 hitter in MLB at age 20.

OTOH, Young's absolute ceiling is a lot closer to KGJ numbers than it is to Cameron numbers (the player he is most often compared to by others), IMHO.

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 02:40 PM
It's hard to say "yes," because KGJ:
- was a phenom straight out of HS
- has a stronger arm
- hit .320+ a couple of times
- hit 56 HR a couple of times
- had an impressive K:BB ratio for awhile.
I mean, KGJ was a .300 hitter in MLB at age 20.

OTOH, Young's absolute ceiling is a lot closer to KGJ numbers than it is to Cameron numbers (the player he is most often compared to by others), IMHO.

Understood. I should have been more clear about the age difference. So, "Mike Cameron with significantly more power, better average and more extra base hits" might be a better analogy.

maurice
10-05-2005, 03:04 PM
In my mind, the only issue is AVE. If you could look into a crystal ball and positively tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt that both Young and Anderson will bat .280+ in MLB, I can tell you that they both will become All Stars and that Young will be a strong MVP candidate.

California Sox
10-05-2005, 04:17 PM
I keep thinking that Young reminded me of Eric Davis when I saw him in the spring. He probably won't be quite that dominant, but the quickness in his bat and the overall athleticism reminded me a bit of Davis.

Daver
10-05-2005, 05:03 PM
I've never figured out or read much about what exactly it is that causes that sound... Ted Williams had it, McGuire, Soriano, Pujols, Bonds, that's about it in baseball today... VERY few...

Frankly, there are MANY annual All-Stars who don't produce it. I don't know if it's related to bat-speed in combination with the type of bat or what? Most of the guys I've seen it come from have VERY quick wrists and forearms, maybe it is that they create so much spin on the ball that it comes off sounding different? Used to hear it occassionally from Frank in the 90's when he'd really get into one...

.

That comes from superb timing and an eye capable of getting the meat of the bat dead center on the ball, Ted Williams talked about it years ago in an interview, he gave all the credit to his skill as a hitter on his ability to see the ball to the plate.

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 09:15 PM
That comes from superb timing and an eye capable of getting the meat of the bat dead center on the ball, Ted Williams talked about it years ago in an interview, he gave all the credit to his skill as a hitter on his ability to see the ball to the plate.

So it's likely that Young has better than 20/20 eyesight. I remember reading that McGwire also had excellent vision.

Daver
10-05-2005, 09:27 PM
So it's likely that Young has better than 20/20 eyesight. I remember reading that McGwire also had excellent vision.

Ted Williams had 20/10 eyesight, which is why he was asked to serve in the military twice.

Frater Perdurabo
10-05-2005, 09:45 PM
Ted Williams had 20/10 eyesight, which is why he was asked to serve in the military twice.

Williams was a fighter pilot, right? For that matter, I don't think the military (or airlines for that matter) will allow people who don't have 20/20 vision or better to serve as pilots.

In any case, similar to the basketball saying that "you can't teach height," it's pretty clear "you can't teach eyesight." More than anything I think this would bode well for Young's future success.

Thanks for the insight (no pun intended :redneck ), Daver.

Randar68
10-06-2005, 09:31 AM
Williams was a fighter pilot, right? For that matter, I don't think the military (or airlines for that matter) will allow people who don't have 20/20 vision or better to serve as pilots.

Well, that's not true. Pilots for civilian and non-supersonic aircraft do not fall under that requirement. There has been some debate in about the effects of laser surgery on the eye and if it would be effected by the high-G-forces incurred by maneuvers at super-sonic speeds, but there's no real "law" on it. My brother-in-law is blind as a bat without his glasses and flies an S3-Viking in the Navy.


Back to the point, I think we've seen some of the effects of contacts and laser eye surgery on baseball and other sports.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2005, 10:03 AM
Well, that's not true. Pilots for civilian and non-supersonic aircraft do not fall under that requirement. There has been some debate in about the effects of laser surgery on the eye and if it would be effected by the high-G-forces incurred by maneuvers at super-sonic speeds, but there's no real "law" on it. My brother-in-law is blind as a bat without his glasses and flies an S3-Viking in the Navy.


Back to the point, I think we've seen some of the effects of contacts and laser eye surgery on baseball and other sports.

I can't argue with your brother's personal experience of flying Navy aircraft with corrected vision. My information in the post you quoted was based on the experiences of two of my uncles (one flew F4s for the Air Force in 'Nam; the other was a carrier-based E2C navigator in the Navy) who told me they knew military - and civilian - pilots who were removed from flight duty for having vision that became worse than 20/20. In fact, my uncle who was in the Navy specifically became a navigator because he was told he could not be a pilot because he wore glasses. Perhaps things have changed since the Vietnam era?:dunno:

Anyway, I'm glad that a guy with excellent eyesight and quick wrists who can hit for power and run well and play a good CF and who is tearing up the minors is a White Sox prospect!
:bandance:

mdep524
10-06-2005, 11:21 AM
If by 2010 the "middling expectations" that I've read for each of the highly-touted Sox prospects (Young in center, Owens in left and leading off, Anderson in right, Sweeney at first, Valido and Getz in the middle infield, Fields at third) pan out, the Sox are in for an extended run of dominance because they will have been able to replace departing expensive free agent position players with home-grown players who may develop into superior players that what the Sox have today, to complement their excellent core of starting pitching. Wow. Even though we're in the middle of a thrilling playoff series that is taking all of my attention and consuming every minute of my day... it's hard not to get excited by this.

mjmcend
10-06-2005, 04:19 PM
Perhaps things have changed since the Vietnam era?:dunno:

Anyway, I'm glad that a guy with excellent eyesight and quick wrists who can hit for power and run well and play a good CF and who is tearing up the minors is a White Sox prospect!
:bandance:

Yes, its has changed, now all you need to do to be able to fly any Air force or Navy plane is vision that is correctable to 20/20. However, you have to do it with the PRK surgery and not Lasik, mainly because of the lack of testing of the Lasik surgery in high G enviroments.

TaylorStSox
10-06-2005, 10:02 PM
Chris Young wears his hat to the side alla Torii Hunter. You guys won't like him. :redneck

DSpivack
10-06-2005, 11:56 PM
How far away is he from the majors? Just on skill and readiness, 2007? Also, how would this effect contract talks with Rowand--what is his contract status? At what point are we "done" with Dye and Everett and start "experimenting" with Brian Anderson, the Chris Young, et al?

I'm NOT advocating a youth movement, just excited about the combination of veteran talent currently up 2-0 in the ALDS, as well as the long-term talent on their way up.

bobowhite
10-07-2005, 08:21 AM
How far away is he from the majors? Just on skill and readiness, 2007? Also, how would this effect contract talks with Rowand--what is his contract status? At what point are we "done" with Dye and Everett and start "experimenting" with Brian Anderson, the Chris Young, et al?

I'm NOT advocating a youth movement, just excited about the combination of veteran talent currently up 2-0 in the ALDS, as well as the long-term talent on their way up.

I'd say earliest call up for Young is next September. Anderson is much more likely to be a fourth outfielder next year. I think Borchard is gone and the Sox will have a plenty good class of outfielders at Charlotte next year with possibly all three from AA moving up.

maurice
10-07-2005, 10:06 AM
How far away is [Young] from the majors?

IMO, if he continues to be successful next year, he'll be ready before the end of the 2006 season. A crappier team might give him a shot if he has a hot spring, but the Sox are deep enough to take their time with him.

KW reportedly has expressed a willingness to trade Young in the past, but if he's moved up to KW's "untouchable" list, that would make Rowand (and maybe Anderson or Dye) extremely touchable when Young is ready.

I still expect Anderson to break camp as a starting OF next year.

Randar68
10-07-2005, 10:22 AM
KW reportedly has expressed a willingness to trade Young in the past, but if he's moved up to KW's "untouchable" list, that would make Rowand (and maybe Anderson or Dye) extremely touchable when Young is ready.

I still expect Anderson to break camp as a starting OF next year.

Ditto on that...

Owens is so intriguing because he's a much better defender than Pods, so if he continues to hit for that high average and rack up at least decent walk numbers, he'll be an interesting OF option after 2006...

Heck, 16 months from now we could be talking about our 2007 starting OF or Owens-Young-Anderson...

I do think Rowand will be on the block, if not kept as a 4th OF'er for 2006 (would probably be good in that role replacing Timo, but then all OF'ers are RH'd)

White Sox Randy
10-07-2005, 10:47 AM
I think that most people are overrating our minor league outfielders.

Owens will probably be nothing more than a backup or Dave Roberts type.

I don't expect Anderson to be better than Rowand.

Chris Young is the one that intrigues me and I would hang onto him if I were KW - he could be great.

maurice
10-07-2005, 11:09 AM
I still expect Anderson to break camp as a starting OF next year.

To clarify, I also expect Rowand to be a starting OF next year, but not necessarily for the Sox. While there's a chance that Anderson may not win a starting job right away, there's absolutely no way in hell Rowand rides the pine out of the gate in 2006.

bigredrudy
10-07-2005, 11:35 AM
I am interested in your last response but I do not understand it. Maybe you want to restate it.

maurice
10-07-2005, 01:25 PM
I am interested in your last response but I do not understand it. Maybe you want to restate it.

IMO, there's like a 80% chance that Anderson will be a starting OF somewhere in MLB at the start of the 2006 season.

Barring injury, there's a 99.9% chance that Rowand will be a starting OF somewhere in MLB at the start of the 2006 season.

California Sox
10-07-2005, 10:39 PM
I think a lot depends on whether we resign Paulie and Frank (assuming Frank is healthy). If we don't have a bat for the middle of the lineup, we'll have to pay to get one. Rowand, Garland, Marte, they all have value and could be factors in a trade for a 1b. Personally, I hope PK resigns but it has to be in the 10mil range. Much more than that and it would make zero sense.

It's possible if (please god no) Frank can't play that Anderson moves to rover between three OF spots and Pods gets a lot of time at DH.

Randar68
10-10-2005, 09:56 AM
FYI, Chris Young was named to BA's 2005 Minor League All-Star 1st Team, along with Delmon Young and Jeremy Hermida, all 3 from the Southern League.