Fantasy Baseball Trade Target: Chris Young, Diamondbacks OF

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Fantasy Baseball Trade Target: Chris Young, Diamondbacks OF
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A player with 30/30 potential is not always easy to come by for fantasy baseball owners. They are the type of players that everyone is looking to stock their roster with, driving their cost up. Besides that, how many players even have that type of ability to begin with? 

Last season there were two players (Grady Sizemore and Hanley Ramirez) who achieved the feat. That says a lot.

Two years ago, Chris Young came within a few stolen bases of reaching that goal, with 32 HR and 27 SB, but it has been a steady decline since. Last season he was unable to even reach 20/20 status, and early on this season owners were left wondering if he would even approach a 10/10 year.

Things have started to turn around, at least slightly, which may give his current owner a little bit of a shred of hope. Back-to-back home run days on Friday and Saturday give that allure, so his price tag may be increasing a little bit; keep that in mind.

What’s odd about his power is that his FB% is up significantly this season from prior years. Let’s take a look at the trend (2009 numbers are through Saturday):

  • 2007: 48.3 percent
  • 2008: 42.8 percent
  • 2009: 53.7 percent

It’s the HR/FB rate that has been hurting:

  • 2007: 15.6 percent
  • 2008: 11.2 percent
  • 2009: 7.5 percent

That’s where things almost have to change for him. He’s a 25-year old who has shown power in the past, and I can’t believe that it isn’t going to be there as the season progresses. The power surge he’s showing now could likely to continue. 

I’m not about to suggest that he’s going to approach 30 HR this season; there is just little chance of that. However, would it surprise anyone to see him get into the 22-25 range? He’s showing the signs right now, so believe in his potential.

The speed has been there this season, currently sitting at 10 SB, putting him on pace for roughly 25. That certainly holds value in all formats.

His biggest problem is the average, which has plagued him for his entire career. After hitting .237 and .248 in 2007 and 2008, he’s struggled to even approach the Mendoza Line in 2009. He hasn’t reached the .200 mark since Apr. 29, telling you how bad it has been.

He really has been unlucky, causing the problem. Granted, no one likes to see a strikeout rate of 27.9 percent, but his BABIP is at .236, among the worst in the league. Keep in mind that in 2008 the worst BABIP was put up by Paul Konerko at .249.

I’m not about to suggest that he’s going to hit .260 for the season. Heck, it’s unlikely that he’s hitting .250 at year’s end. He’s shown time and time again that he’s just not going to be able to post an impressive average. Still, if he’s going to get it up to .240 for the season, that’s a vast improvement over what he’s been doing.

Let’s assume he’s going to get 550 ABs for the year. For him to hit .240, he’d need to go 92-342 for the rest of the season. That’s an average of .269, which is clearly usable. If the power is going to come around as well, you have a player that is certainly worth using in five outfielder formats, but could have value in any format.

So, what do you want to give up to get him? I’ve seen these players traded for him one-for-one in mixed leagues, which makes sense:

  • Jeff Francoeur
  • Ricky Romero
  • Mike Napoli (especially in two-catcher formats)
  • Chad Qualls

What does everyone else think? Is Young a player you are looking to acquire? If so, what are you willing to part with?


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