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2020 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews #19: Andy Young

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Let’s check how the 3rd piece of the Paul Goldschmidt deal did in 2020.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rating: 4.93
  • Age: 26
  • 2020 Stats: 12 G, 34 PA, .7677 OPS (.192/.382/.385)
  • 2020 Salary: $575,000 (league minimum)
  • 2021 Status: Arb eligible in 2024

Introduction

Despite an excellent college career at 3rd base for Indiana State where he had an OPS close to .900, Andy Young wasn’t drafted until the 37th round, where he signed for $3,000. No worries, Young cruised his way through the minors, reaching AA for a brief appearance in 2017. He split his time between High-A and Double-A in 2018, posting solid if not unspectacular number (.817 and .950 respectively) while playing 3rd, SS, and 2nd. After the 2018 season, he was included in the trade for Paul Goldschmidt and played at both the AA and AAA levels, where he again lit it up (.816/.984), with some call to make a late season appearance on the big league club.

2020 Review

After the 2019 season, the team elected to protect Andy Young from the Rule 5 draft and placed him on the 40-man roster. Their trust in him paid off in Spring Training, where he batted .333/.364/.524 and pushed to make the team but unfortunately wasn’t selected to the roster.

With the delays, Andy stayed at the alternate camp through the first week of the season before replacing Josh Rojas on the roster on August 1st. That same day he made his MLB debut, replacing David Peralta in the batting order in the 9th inning, but wasn’t able to hit. He’d get his shot at a PA not much later that week, entering the game in a blowout at 2nd and lacing a double down the left field line for his first MLB hit. The hits didn’t stop there, as another liner to right marked his 2nd MLB hit.

He saw sporadic usage from that point forward, only appearing in 12 of 39 eligible games and was optioned to the alternate site on September 6th. Unfortunately for Andy, he was struck by a pitch on his hand and required surgery to remove the hamate bone. He’s expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2021 season.

2021 Outlook

Assuming that full recovery, Andy Young will have plenty of competition for a bench spot on the MLB roster. Despite the ability to play LF, 3rd, SS, 2nd, and 1st, he really only should be counted to play meaningful time on the right side of the infield, as he showed a difficult time throwing from 3rd as seen from 3 throwing errors in 3 defensive chances. Could it have been some rookie jitters? Seeing as he has over 500+ minor league IP played at 3rd, it’s a possibility, but like Yasmany Tomas before him, it’s probably best to keep at positions of less importance.

While he shares some defensive flexibility similarities with other youngsters on the roster like Josh Rojas, and Josh VanMeter, he fortunately bats right handed, and with the team looking for right handed hitting help, he could pair nicely in a platoon option should the team go the cheap route and look to fill the other side of wherever Ketel Marte is going to play with an internal option. Although even that wouldn’t really work, as Young shows excellent numbers against RHP over his entire career as a prospect.

At 26, Young doesn’t have that much room to grow as a prospect. He looks to be more of a situational type of bench player that will always leave you wanting more if pushed into a full-time role. Some have comped him to a Wilmer Flores or late-career Howie Kendrick, which I tend to agree with. Crazier things have happened, and who knows what to expect from a guy who went from 37th round senior signee to MLB player.

Should Andy Young get a chance at everyday playing time in 2021? Or is he destined to a situational role with 200-300 AB’s at most? Let me know what you think.