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  #1  
Old 10-05-2005, 09:36 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Default Questions for the Scouts on Chris Young

Randar,

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar68
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!

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  #2  
Old 10-05-2005, 10:16 AM
Randar68 Randar68 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baseball America
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.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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.
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2005, 10:28 AM
Flight #24 Flight #24 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar68

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"?

Thank you idiot Reds management for keeping Griffey and keeping Young here!
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  #4  
Old 10-05-2005, 11:32 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar68
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:



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.
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2005, 11:41 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar68
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)?
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2005, 01:14 PM
maurice maurice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight #24
[.900 OPS is] the "Middling expectation"?
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 01:27 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurice
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.
So then his ceiling (of course, no guarantee that he would reach it) is a right-handed Ken Griffey, Jr., yes?
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Old 10-05-2005, 02:04 PM
maurice maurice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 02:40 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maurice
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 03:04 PM
maurice maurice is offline
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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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 04:17 PM
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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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:03 PM
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Daver Daver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar68
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:15 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
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.
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:45 PM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daver
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 ), Daver.
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