Lone Star Dugout Q&A: Corey Young

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Reliever Corey Young, the Rangers' 12th round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, has been excellent in his first full season, pitching with High-A Bakersfield. The southpaw has posted a 2.57 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 35 innings. He also has a 2:1 groundout-to-flyout ratio. Chris Hadorn caught up with him for a Q&A session.

Chris Hadorn: I have watched you in a relief performance earlier this year. You get a lot of heavy, sinking movement on your fastball. How did it get so good?

Corey Young: I couldn't tell you how it's gotten like that. I have been throwing like that since I was a little kid. I guess just my arm angle creates a little bit of movement on my fastball and I try to work with.

Hadorn: In addition to that, you have a pretty good curveball and changeup. When you're throwing in relief, is it different from when you're a starter? Can you use those pitches more than you would as a starter where you might not show it early?

Young: As a reliever, I am mainly throwing my fastball and curveball. When I used to start in college, you obviously have to mix in your changeup a lot. To me, it's down to two pitches, but I like to show my changeup every now and then just to give the batters a different look.

Hadorn: What do you enjoy more, starting or pitching out of the bullpen or it doesn't matter?

Young: It doesn't matter. I like pitching all-around so as long as I get out there help the team, I'm happy.

Hadorn: You are really tough on lefties. According to the numbers, they don't have much of a chance against you. What makes you tough for a lefty?

Young: I'm a lefty pitcher so I think my arm angle is the biggest thing. It basically looks like it is coming at them, but it's really not. If I can get my curveball over a strike, it's probably pretty tough to hit.

Hadorn: The draft was last month. Can you talk about your experiences last year getting drafted out of Seton Hall?

Young: I will remember that day for the rest of my life. I was with my father and my mother and it was a good day all-around. My friends were happy for me. I was proud of myself. I think my dad was the proudest person. He really wanted it for me. It was a great day all-around.

Hadorn: What was the biggest transition going from the college game to the pro game?

Young: You can't make mistakes up here with pitches. These hitters they got drafted for a reason. They are professionals just like I am. If you make a mistake, they will take care of it. In college, you can sometimes get away with that, but not up here.

Hadorn: Growing up in New Jersey, you were the best pitcher in the state your senior year. Were you a little bit disappointed you weren't drafted coming out of high school?

Young: No, I didn't expect to get drafted out of high school. I still had a lot of weight to gain. I wasn't pro material then. I knew I had to go to college for at least three years to get my body up to shape and all that. So I was ready for college.

Hadorn: What happened at Seton Hall to get you to this point?

Young: Just the strength and conditioning program at Seton Hall really helped me out. My head coach, my pitching coach pushed me a lot. They saw something in me. I worked at it, worked really hard.

Hadorn: Is it difficult to get the work in going to a cold weather school like Seton Hall?

Young: No, I'm used to it. I was born and raised in New Jersey so I am used to that funky weather that they got up there. It was no difference. It didn't bother me at all.

Hadorn: Being in the Rangers organization, have you had the chance to meet Nolan Ryan?

Young: Yes. A couple times, yep. He's a good guy. It's great having him as a boss you know. He's one of the best pitchers ever. It's really cool.

Hadorn: What is it like working with Dave Chavarria here as your pitching coach?

Young: Dave is great. I love working for him. He's very relaxed. He lets you do what you want, but at the same time he'll make you work too. He fools around with us here and there, but at the same time he's a hard nosed player.

Hadorn: What is pretty much his philosophy when you are out there on the mound?

Young: Go right after guys. Just go right after the hitters. Go inside. If you hit a guy, you hit a guy. Just show them you are out there pitching.

Hadorn: And what is it like pitching in Bakersfield? When you see that 354 marker in center it's a little bit intimidating, but the ballpark doesn't play like an extreme hitter's park.

Young: You learn how to pitch in Bakersfield to be honest with you. Like I said, you keep the ball down, get a little movement on it, you'll be fine. You don't have to look out there every time at the 354 sign, but sometimes balls float over it.

Hadorn: Is it nice to have a guy like Engel Beltre who can run and catch everything?

Young: Engel, he's unbelievable. He's probably the best center fielder I have ever had since growing up. It's unbelievable how he can track down those balls, make it look so easy.

Hadorn: Baseball is such a grinding sport. What do you like to do for fun when you get away from the game?

Young: I get out on the golf course every once in awhile. Watch movies, basically just sit on the couch and relax. We are out here 9-10 hours a day. It's a grind, but you get used to it.

Hadorn: Being a New Jersey native, who was your favorite team growing up?

Young: I used to love watching the Braves because of their pitching staff and Leo Mazzone. Yeah, I loved the Braves, I liked watching the Red Sox play, but now I am a Ranger. Rangers are my favorite team now.

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