Key Stats: Remember when there was a time that you had to distinguish which Chris Young you were talking about in fantasy baseball? Those days are gone. You will draft the Chris Young that’s been ranked in the top 150 in four of the last five seasons, not the one who hasn’t pitched more than 102 innings in the last four seasons. Young is the speed/power outfielder that you get on the cheap after Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, and Carlos Gonzalez. Over the last five years, Young has never had a season that he didn’t have double digits in both home runs and steals. Last year he was ranked number 113 overall in the Yahoo player rater, so the 112 ranking seems appropriate for a guy that will be in his age 28 season.
Skeptics Say: Young’s career average is .240 and it was worse than that last season. He’s a dent in any team’s batting average which explains why Ellsbury & co. mentioned above go so much earlier.
Peer Comparison: One player that was ranked behind Young in the outfield last year that I am projecting to be ahead of Young this year is Cameron Maybin. Young’s advantages over Maybin are significant. Consistency, ballpark, lineup around him, and power being the main ones. All that being said, Maybin looks like he could make up all of the defecits he has across his game in base-stealing. He has 50 steal potential which instantly puts him at this kind of value. Maybin had 28 steals in the second half last year – tops in the Majors. Only one player had 50 or more steals all last season (Michael Bourn). While Young will offer a bit of everything, he doesn’t quite offer as much as Maybin does by offering a lot of one thing.
Lineup Outlook: Almost 70% of Young’s at bats last year came out of the fourth or fifth spots in the order. We know that Justin Upton is a lock for the Dbacks number three hitter. After that is anyone’s guess. It could be Paul Goldschmidt stepping into the number four spot, Young, Miguel Montero, and Jason Kubel will probably all get a look. Young’s OBP is right there with Goldschmidt and Kubel, and a step behind Montero.
Projection: It’s to the point where Chris Young is a pretty low risk player for what you see here:
81 R 21 HR 80 RBI 18 SB .246 AVG .328 OBP .760 OPS