“At one point I would have rather been a Rockie than a Ranger…I thought I was going to be in Colorado. But I drove to spring training and focused on my job. I owed that to my teammates…it has worked out.” Words Michael Young spoke to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. This basically sums up the off-season drama that Young endured throughout the off-season. After acquiring the 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels approached Michael Young about a move to Designated Hitter. Young went to spring training, and like the true professional he is, never looked back.
Luckily for Texas – he stayed, and is now in the middle of another fantastic season. Young is currently batting .323/.358/.482 and already has 116 hits this season. His power is slightly down as he only has eight home runs on the season. This is the type of player that Mike has been his entire career, consistent. He goes to the ballpark everyday with the same mentality as a business professional. Young takes care of his responsibilities and is an example in the clubhouse.
Michael Young gave us no reason to doubt his loyalty. When the Rangers wanted to bring up Elvis Andrus, reluctantly he moved from shortstop to third base. When Alfonso Soriano was acquired in the Alex Rodriguez trade he moved from second base to shortstop. Through all of this, Young has become an ideal super utility player. Even this season he has taken on new responsibilities, during the first half Young has played 25 games at first base. He is now the ultimate fantasy baseball selection with his eligibility at 4 different infield positions.
Predictions for the 2nd Half –
I expect Michael Young to break 200 hits for the first time since the 2007 season. Beyond that I look for Young to lead the Rangers into the playoffs, with the leadership capable of propelling the Rangers to the next level. Beyond this season is unclear, this off-season Young’s contract could make him more trade-able. My hope is for Michael Young to retire as a Ranger, and I think his flexibility may allow that to happen.
Congrats Mike on making the All-Star Team yet again!