Prospect Profile: Stephen Young

The Tigers rookie league Gulf Coast team wasn't exactly loaded with prospects, as the team's top two picks didn't play in '04, and the #3 went straight to Oneonta. However, Stephen Young is quickly making a case as to why he shouldn't be so easily overlooked when reviewing the '04 GCL Tigers.

Stephen Young
Position: Second Base Height: 5-9 Weight: 165
Born: 4/9/1982 Bats: Both Throws: Right

Background
Young enjoyed a nice career at Princeton, all while serving in the shadow of 2004 2nd round pick B.J. Szymanski. Young made great strides every year while with the Tigers, and ended up being one of the top infielders in the Ivy League by draft day last season. The Detroit Tigers thought highly of him, and snagged him in the 16th round, several rounds ahead of where many had projected he would go. After posting career bests in nearly every offensive category (.354/.485/.449) during his 2004 college season, Young was poised to jump on the professional scene in the Gulf Coast League. Stephen was easily the GCL Tigers most successful player this past summer, posting a very respectable .281/.399/.359 line, while swiping 9 bases and playing very good defense. Young displayed the skills the raised his draft stock and he will look to build on an outstanding rookie campaign.

Scouting Report
Young has tailored his game to fit his small stature. An intelligent hitter, who has surprising gap power, and very good speed, Young uses all of his talents wisely. Despite a need for more strength, Stephen drives the ball to the gaps well and uses his speed to take extra bases on a regular basis. His offensive package is best suited to the leadoff spot, a spot he gained experience in while at Princeton. Young is a mature hitter with a good understanding of the strike zone and the ability to work late into counts, finding a pitch he can drive. On the bases, Stephen is smart, quick, and successful. His slightly above average speed and good instincts allow him to successfully take bases and put pressure on the defense. Defensively, Young shows good range, quick feet, soft hands, and a strong arm. He has played shortstop in the past, but is best suited to second base, where he could excel both offensively and defensively. Overall, Young is a polished player who still has room for significant growth, and he could move quickly with a lack of second base prospects ahead of him.

Performance

Year

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

SB

CS

OPS

2004

GCL Tigers

153

.281

4

2

14

17

22

15

3

.758


Health Record
Young has experienced no significant injuries.

The Future
With Young's success in 2004, and Francisco Castro's struggles while at Oneonta, Young could leapfrog him and start the season with West Michigan of the Midwest League. While this possibility is a long-shot right now, it's not a stretch to think Stephen could handle the lofty promotion. Young's advanced approach at the plate and relative polish would lend well to full-season ball as soon as this season. The likely scenario involves Young beginning 2005 with Oneonta, but quickly moving to West Michigan if he starts out on a roll. Stephen is a player likely to garner significant attention following the 2005 campaign, and he could move very quickly if he plays well. Sitting behind only Ryan Raburn on the second base prospect list, Young should not be held back by anyone above him should his performance warrant a promotion. Be sure to keep an eye on him, and you are likely to hear more about this youngster next offseason.


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