Updated: Aug 24, 2018
Prospect #19: 2B/3B, Andy Young
Previously Ranked 29th
Drafted in the 37th round of the 2016 draft
The Stats As Of 8/23/2018:
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Andy Young should have started the year at Springfield instead of Palm Beach. Andy Young should currently be at Springfield and not Palm Beach. Yet, the power hitting and advanced-aged infielder is wasting away at Palm Beach. He's hit for power and lowered some of his less flattering rates in a pitchers league. Maybe the Cardinals see something that I don't. Maybe they've given up on Young. Maybe they never really bought into Young. Whatever the case is, there is no reason for Young to be at a level below AA. It's bad for both him and the organization.
Anyway, the big draw with Young is has average defense at both second and third (although he's played second almost exclusively this season) and his ability to hit for power. I don't know where the Cardinals or Young go from here. Hopefully by the time this makes the rounds he'll be where he should be. His skills are too good for him to be passed up the way that he has been.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Above average power for a second baseman, average power for a third baseman.
Average defense at both second and third.
A developing approach. Young has lowered his strikeout rate and steadied his walk rate in the pitcher friendly Florida State League.
He's doing this while maintaining his power output. If he were hitting in another league, perhaps the Texas League where he should be, his power would be more robust.
He's smart and athletic enough to play short stop in a pinch. Not ideally, but he's capable.
Young appears to haven taken a big step in understanding how he is being attacked by pitchers
A short, quick swing through the zone. Very few moving parts.
Young is one of the somewhat rare "reverse splits" hitters this season. He's hit lefties very well, but the majority of his slugging has come against right-handed pitching (good).
*UPDATED ON 8/23/2018*
You'll notice in the stat line that Mr. Young is still hammering the Texas League. It's been great to see him perform extremely well in the league that he should have started the season in. As you know, Andy Young is one of my favorite prospects in the organization and I could really see him being a representative for the Arizona Fall League. The pop is real and I believe that he has a major league contribution in his future.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
It seems like his power spray chart has changed. Where he once showed home run power to all fields, it seems like his home run power is now left-left center.
Andy Young is too old and too talented for A+, but the Cardinals are keeping him there because of a log-jam of similar type infielders ahead of him.
This is stunting his development.
Other than the continued tweaking of his approach, and because of his advanced age, this is the best version of Young. There isn't much to build on from this point for him. It'll be more about keeping this than anything else.
It's good to see the rates get better, but he did have 220+ At-bats in the FSL last season. That's a modestly large sample. That exposure to the league last year helps to inflate his offensive production on a modest level.
Young is one of the somewhat rare "reverse splits" hitters this season. He's hit lefties very well, but the majority of his slugging has come against right-handed pitching (Bad).
The comparison that I've brought up from the get-go with Young is former Cardinals farm-hand Jacob Wilson. Wilson had a couple of tremendous seasons early on in his minor league career and he looked like a potential average fielder at multiple infield positions while providing good power for an infielder. That remains true. If we continue down the "5% ultimate-ceiling" trend, then he is a Jedd Gyorko-type player. I wouldn't be surprised if he resembles something similar to Clint Barmes offensively at his peak. That's kind of a cop out because Barmes was also an Indiana State product.
Thank you so much to Fangraphs for the stats.
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