What would you think of if someone asked you about a prototypical third baseman? Rays fans and plenty of baseball fans would think about a player like Evan Longoria. He’s a big 6’2″, 210 guy with great reflexes and a strong arm defensively and big power to go along with a nice ability to hit for average at the plate. You certainly would not think of Ty Young. But despite being just 5’10”, 178, Young was the starting third baseman on a Louisville team that went 49-12 on the season. And in doing so, Young cemented his draft stock and showed teams just how good he can be.
Young was not at third base for his power bat–that’s not his game. But he did prove to be quite a formidable hitter. Using a smooth swing from the left side, Young led the Cardinals in hitting at .340. Young has a short stride at the plate with nice balance to set up a quick, compact swing with excellent bat speed that he uses to hit the ball hard all over the field. Young is about the definition of a pesky hitter, fouling a lot of pitches off and doing whatever he can to get on base, actually getting hit by 18 pitches this season. He doesn’t show much power and needs a little work on pitch recognition, but he’s a very tough out and can drill the ball if you give him anything to hit. And once he gets on base, Young doesn’t have much speed but has outstanding instincts and should be a solid stolen base threat moving forward.
Defensively, Young will be more of a second baseman than a third baseman moving forward, and he shows the actions necessary to be a strong defender there, showing nice hands, good range, and a solid arm. Young did have some throwing issues with the Cardinals this year, but hopefully that should be resolved naturally. But we can’t talk about Young without talking about how incredible it was that he played third base for the Cardinals. Young is a natural second baseman and played the position as a freshman at Louisville, but team need forced him to third base and he played there and did a pretty good job there the last two years. Between his ability to change positions and his ability to get hit by pitches, it’s clear that Young is an excellent team player who does whatever he can to help his team win. Adding that to his talent makes him the type of player you want on your roster. Young is another guy who may end up as more of a utility or super-utility type moving forward, especially given his ability at second and third base, but his pure hitting and all-around game gives him the ability to make a major league impact within a few years.