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Andy Young making the most of big league opportunity

The West Fargo, North Dakota native has performed with Arizona thus far.

MLB: Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for infielder Andy Young to spark the Arizona Diamondbacks’ recent offensive slump.

Since his call up to the Diamondbacks from their alternative training sight, Young has made the most of his big league opportunity. The 26-year-old has three hits in eight at-bats and three RBIs on the year. He went 2-for-2 with a double in his first-ever plate appearance against the Houston Astros on Aug. 4.

Young followed it up with a two-run blast to left-center field for his first big league homer in Sunday’s 9-5 loss to the San Diego Padres. Fellow West Fargo High School alum Matt Strahm retrieved the ball in the bullpen and gave it to him after the game.

Young’s journey to the major leagues had its fair share of obstacles since being traded from St. Louis to Arizona as part of the Paul Goldschmidt trade in 2018. He’s found a home and sense of appreciation during his time with the Diamondbacks organization.

“I’m just enjoying every moment,” he said. “These are special times and I am going to do my best to help this team win and compete.”

Triple-A Reno Aces manager Chris Cron informed Young of his promotion to Arizona at the Salt River Fields training facility. Cron was anxious to see him thrive at the next level.

“It’s all about making the most of those opportunities and Andy has done that,” he said. “That’s all you can do as a player is be ready for those chances.”

The West Fargo, North Dakota native has brought a hot bat to the lineup. Young makes solid hard contact with each plate appearance and his selective approach at the plate has translated to two walks thus far.

In search of much-needed offense, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has utilized Young as a starting third baseman and a right-handed bat off the bench. At either spot, he has taken advantage of the opportunity.

“He can smash lefties and righties,” Lovullo said. “If you’re going to target something that immediately we can reference, it’s his ability to come in off the bench and be a right-handed hitting slammer.”

A 37th round draft pick in 2016, Young had to wait three days to hear his name called by the Cardinals. More than 1,000 players were taken before he was selected out of Indiana State University.

Young used his under-the-radar status to strengthen his mental approach. In just four minor league seasons, he’s advanced through six levels en route to his major league debut.

“Right away, I wasn’t expected to get drafted,” he said. “So that helped build some adversity within me. I just keep that same mentality.”

During his time in the minors, Young added a small leg kick in his right-handed stance to tap into some raw power, and it paid dividends over the last two seasons. He launched 21 homers in 2018 with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Advanced-A and Double-A affiliates. Young enjoyed a career year in the D-backs’ system highlighted by 21 homers in 68 games with the Reno Aces.

He has shown glimpses of that same power with Arizona, and Young has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.

“I just need to keep working and improving,” he said. “Each aspect of the game brings something new for me to learn and I’m going to keep doing what I need to do.”