Name: Chris Young
Nicknames: "CY" or "Good Chris Young"
Age on Opening Day: 28
2011 Stats: 156 games, .236/.331/.420, 20 HR, 4.6 fWAR
2010 Stats: 156 games, .257/.341./452, 27 HR, 4.6 fWAR
Picking up on where we left off a long time ago (cough) is the timeless tale of Chris Young. It's almost hard to believe that Young has played nearly 800 games as a D-back, not to mention he's the third longest-running member of the franchise behind only Steve Finley and Luis Gonzalez.
Thinking back on it, I have to squeeze my brain and remember the repressed memories I had of CY in 2009. He was hitting just above the Mendoza line, his IFFB% was, like, 8000% and he was even demoted to Reno for a week.
Fortunately for us a lot of things changed in 2010 and much of that was reproduced in 2011. Hit that jump to learn about it...
First and foremost, let's get all that nitty-gritty stat stuff out of the way. Apparently Chris Young decided it'd be best if he simply mirrored his production from 2010 to make statisticians jobs easier in 2011. That being said almost every stat from last season was on par with his production from the season before. Check it out:
Some minor differences, no doubt, but a lot of the same. It's interesting to note that his rWAR was higher in 2011 despite posting slightly less impressive numbers both offensively and defensively. I'm thinking rWAR is putting a little too much stock in fielding percentage as that seems to be where he gets the extra push from.
The small dip in power can be an oversight if you simply look at extra-base hits. Despite having fewer home runs (though, honestly we should be happy with a guy who can put up 20-20 numbers) Young recorded more doubles and triples last season than the year before. Those numbers seem more natural as to to what we can expect from Young in the future compared to his 32 and 27 home run campaigns in seasons past. There's always room for the occasional game-winning home run though...
Young is one of the more streakier hitters that the D-backs have and it clearly showed throughout the season. After posting an impressive .795 OPS along with 7 home runs in the opening months of April/March, Young cooled down in May with only 2 home runs and a .688 OPS. He then homered 6 times in June while posting a hot and sassy .926 OPS before once again cooling down in the following months of July and August. We've come to expect that with CY though and we're okay with it... at least you should be.
In six seasons, however, it hasn't really been about the offense with Young. He's taken ownership as one of the best center fielders in the game and last season only helped showcase that claim...
Yes, Chris Young and I have teamed together to try and destroy your browser and eat bandwidth.
To top it all off CY was a lock to win his first Gold Glove, posting a career high 14.1 UZR. As Mark Grace so accurately predicted in that last clip the voters went ahead and picked... Matt Kemp and his -4.6 UZR. Pardon me for a second...
So CY enjoyed another solid campaign both at the plate and out in the field. Although he is 28-years-old and he's in his prime, Young has recently made some adjustments at the plate entering this season. So far it's working as he's posted a 1.196 OPS in Spring Training this year. Even more attractive is his 9:8 BB:K rate, but we'll see how that plays out. Here's to hoping he hits 80 home runs and steals 95 bases in 2012 as that'll be the only way he'll ever win a Gold Glove.
Final Grade: B
What the others think:
Jim: [EDIT: No grade given because Jim is a silly goose] It’s going to be interesting to see how much Young ends up getting platooned, in the wake of the Jason Kubel signing, which looks like to net Gerardo Parra some starts in center field. Over his career, Young’ s OPS is almost 150 points lower against left-handed pitching, with a paltry .229 average. However, the changes Young has made to his approach seem to have paid off this spring in some great numbers. Will that carry forward? Either way, with Young becoming increasingly-expensive, it’s not impossible a trade is in his future.