Michael Young: The Ultimate Teammate

Dan VillantiContributor IAugust 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 21:  Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers looks on against the San Francisco Giants during a Major League Baseball game on June 21, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

How many six-time All-Stars, former Gold Glove Award winners, and former All-Star MVPs would be willing to change positions multiple times within their career? To date, only one.

Michael Young is a different player than most in Major League Baseball. When the phrase "team player" comes up, Michael Young needs to be the first name on the list.

After being selected to two straight All-Star games in 2002 and 2003, Young was asked to move from second base to shortstop, making room for Alfonso Soriano. Soriano came to Texas through the trade of Alex Rodriguez. Knowing it would be best for the team, Young agreed and became a four-time All-Star at shortstop and won a Gold Glove in 2008.

Michael Young was brought up to play in the middle infield. He played second base and short stop in the minors and was thought to become an everyday second baseman. After the 2001 signing of shortstop Alex Rodriguez, Young knew he was going to stay at second base. 

However, after being voted to the All-Star game twice at second base, Young could have easily informed the Rangers that Soriano should be the player to be moved (as he was later in his career to the outfield) and he would stay at second base. Yet, Young moved over for Soriano.

When the Rangers traded for Soriano, they knew they would be receiving a second baseman coming off back-to-back 35+ home run seasons. Young knew that a player was coming over who had already been established in the league as one of the best at his position. He knew that with the move, the last-place Rangers would become a better team.

Going into the 2009 season, the Rangers asked Young again to move positions. This time, it was for the eventual youngest player in baseball, Elvis Andrus. After being selected as a Gold Glove award winner in 2008 as a shortstop, Young moved to third base to again help better his team.

After plenty of individual awards, the Texas Rangers have now seen their wins go up and a team that's not only competitive, but one that is on the door step of a playoff spot.

The Rangers can thank a lot of young talent that has produced, but without the ultimate teammate moving around, the Rangers may not have ever moved up at all.