Chris Young: A Diamondback Reborn

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIIJuly 22, 2010

PHOENIX - JULY 10:  Chris Young #!0 of the Arizona Diamondbacks at bat during the Major League Baseball game against the Florida Marlins at Chase Field on July 10, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 5-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What a difference a year can make for an athlete.

On August 9, 2009, Diamondbacks center-fielder Chris Young was sent down to the minor leagues. It seemed like a final blow to a player who had been steadily decreasing after being regarded as one of the best young hitters in the game after he finished the 2007 season with 32 home runs and 27 stolen bases.

But this year has been a different story for the talented Young. He has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for Arizona. He enters play today with a career-high .268 batting average, 17 home runs, 63 RBI, and 19 stolen bases, and even made appearances in the home-run derby and All-Star game.

The 17 home-run/19 stolen-base combo puts him as the closest player to reaching 20/20 this year.

A mechanical change made to his swing over the off-season has done wonders for Young, as his strikeouts are down this season.

That's one major reason he is having a career year in batting average; he's putting more balls in play. Young's combination of power and speed has always made him an electric player with the ability to change a game any time he came to the plate. But his struggles to get on base limited his potential. So if he is able to keep improving his plate discipline and contact rate, there's no limit to what he can accomplish in his career. Especially considering how he is also an excellent defensive center-fielder.

Young has put himself in the race for winning the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award. It really has been a nice story for the Diamondback's franchise that has pretty much been in a tailspin since their World Series title in 2001.

Here are a few other NL candidates:

  • Corey Hart, RF, MIL- Has almost doubled last year's production already and was thought to maybe not have a job at the beginning of the season.
  • Livan Hernandez, SP, WAS- If the season ended today his ERA would be under four for the first time since 2005.
  • Tim Hudson, SP, ATL- Bouncing back from Tommy John surgery last season, he has posted a solid 10-5 record with a 2.47 ERA.
  • Kelly Johnson, 2B, ARI- Johnson lost his starting job to Martin Prado in Atlanta last season but came over to the Diamondbacks and has been one of the best second basemen this season.

Related

    Yanks Should Be Pumped They Avoided $240M Nightmare

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Yanks Should Be Pumped They Avoided $240M Nightmare

    Zachary D. Rymer
    via Bleacher Report

    Potential Landing Spots and Packages for Syndergaard

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Potential Landing Spots and Packages for Syndergaard

    Joel Reuter
    via Bleacher Report

    Best Player Each Buyer Can Add Before Trade Deadline

    Arizona Diamondbacks logo
    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Best Player Each Buyer Can Add Before Trade Deadline

    Jacob Shafer
    via Bleacher Report

    Jarrod Dyson Robs Potential Go-ahead Grand Slam in D-Backs’ Win

    Arizona Diamondbacks logo
    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Jarrod Dyson Robs Potential Go-ahead Grand Slam in D-Backs’ Win

    Arizona Sports
    via Arizona Sports