CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Expanded Horizons: Clo... (04/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (04/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (04/07)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Q&A: Jim Th... (04/07)

April 7, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Checking In On The Young Ones

by Marc Normandin

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.

a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

We’re two days into the season (so it’s too early to draw conclusions about anything) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything we should be keeping an eye on. For instance, one of my favorite batter/pitcher matchups occurred in one of yesterday’s games, and both players happen to be 2009 disappointments looking for a 2010 rebound—meaning, in many cases, they may be available on free agent lists in mixed leagues or stashed on benches in NL-only leagues.

I’m talking about Chris Young and…Chris Young. Chris Young, the tall, right-handed pitcher, dealt with injuries in 2009, which left his value in a limbo state. 2008 had also been a shortened campaign, and there were some questions about his performance that we needed answered in 2009, and that just didn’t happen. Chris B. Young (who seems less worthy of his surname each year he fails to meet his potential) has, after three full seasons in the majors and a partial year, not put all the facets of his game together into one productive season, and has driven countless fantasy owners crazy in the process. The two faced off yesterday, with the pitcher getting the better of the hitter—again. The D’back is 0-for-16 in his career against the Padre, including yesterday’s performance.

When it comes to the Diamondback, it’s hard to be optimistic if you’ve gone down this road before. Young’s power potential is tantalizing, especially when you think about the speed he flashed on the basepaths in 2007 (27 stolen bases, six CS). In the two seasons since though, he’s nabbed just 25 total, and been caught nine times. This wouldn’t be a big deal if his bat had progressed, but the only offensive item working for him is his ISO--.230, .195 and .187 the past three years. His contact rates are woeful though, meaning his slugging percentages aren’t as high as you would like. Had he qualified, he would have had the 11th lowest contact rate in the majors in 2009. He has swung at fewer pitches outside of the zone each year, and his walk rate has increased, but he doesn’t seem to be doing anything extra with the pitches he does swing at inside of the zone—this could be a false marker of hope, in a way. It’s okay to be passive at the plate and draw walks, but you need to do something with pitches you should be hitting inside the zone when you can—Kevin Youkilis made that kind of transition, and it moved him from a solid-hitting, walk-first first baseman into one of the more impressive sluggers in the game.

Now, I’m not saying B. Young is going to convert into someone like that if he starts to do more with pitches he can hit, but he needs to improve on his contact and batting averages, or else the improving walk rates and consistent power aren’t going to mean very much. Let's look at his teammate, Justin Upton, as an example. Upton's contact rates were as poor as Young's in 2009 (he ranked 10th) but he was able to do much more with the pitches he did hit, and had a better year than it looks like Young may ever have given the circumstances.

As for Chris Young the hurler, his first start of the year was a positive sign (but remember, it’s just one in the books). He went six innings, giving up just one hit (to Justin Upton) while whiffing five and walking three. It’s comforting to see that his K/BB ratio is right around his normal rates (when he’s healthy, anyways) but don’t get too excited about a six inning sample. Young admits that his slider wasn’t working for him until late in his start—Young is basically a two-pitch pitcher, so that’s significant—but thanks to facing a club with some of the worst contact hitters in the league, he was able to get away with it. Pay attention to how well his slider works in the early goings to see if this is going to be a consistent issue as he works back from injury, because he’ll need it for consistent success, even with Petco on his side.

That being said, it’s probably safe to acquire him if he’s available in your league, or to start him if he’s on your bench. The biggest question surrounding him is his health—if he’s feeling good, he should pitch well, but if he starts hurting there will be trouble (see: 2009). He’ll be a two-start pitcher in the second week of fantasy matchups as well, something to make note of if you’re in a head-to-head league.

0 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article Expanded Horizons: Clo... (04/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (04/06)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (04/07)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Q&A: Jim Th... (04/07)

Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, May ...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Bummed!
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, May 22
West Coast By Us: Day 1: In The Land Where E...
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: The Quarter-Season Odds Report
West Coast By Us: Taco the Town
Going Yard: The Near Perfection of Pederson

Premium Article Future Shock: The Top 101 Prospects Update, ...
Premium Article Under The Knife: Post-Opening Day Hurts
Prospectus Q&A: Jim Thome
Premium Article On the Beat: Wednesday Update

2010-04-12 - Fantasy Beat: The Roundtable: Projecting Col...
2010-04-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Stolen-base Redux
2010-04-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Don't Believe The Hype
2010-04-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Checking In On The Young Ones
2010-04-01 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Phils Lose Blanton
2010-03-30 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Mailbag
2010-03-24 - Fantasy Beat: 2010 Fantasy Content

2010-04-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Relief Pitchers
2010-04-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: The Carmona Question
2010-04-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
2010-04-07 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Checking In On The Young Ones
2010-04-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Catcher, Second Bas...
2010-04-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Fantasy Cleanup on Aisle 4
2010-04-05 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: First Base, Third B...

2010-09-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Question Marks in the Padres R...