Cubs Prospect Profile: Jared Young Explodes to Propel Eugene into the Playoffs

Going 14-for-18 over a four-game span will generally get you noticed. That is what Eugene Emeralds second baseman Jared Young did last week. Considering he had a home run and eight RBI in that stretch, you can assume that he will probably be named the Northwest League Player of the Week on Monday.

The Cubs selected the 21-year-old Young in the 15th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Old Dominion. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he is a pretty good size for a second baseman but still has room to fill out his frame a little. He shows a good approach at the plate and has displayed an excellent ability to adjust in a short period of time.

Basic Info
6-2, 185 lbs
Bats left, throws right

Potential for power
Smooth swing

Originally from British Columbia, Young played at three schools in his three years of college. His first year saw him at D2 Minot State in North Dakota, where hit .398 with 5 home runs and 35 RBI as a pitcher/infielder. As a sophomore, he smacked 11 home runs and drove in 54 for Connors State Junior College in Oklahoma. The spring saw him at Old Dominion, where he hit 7 home runs and drove in 34. At each stop, he displayed a mix of power, average, and a 2:1 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

When he arrived at Eugene this summer, you could see the smooth swing and could see him watching the ball into the mitt. But something was off. My friend John commented how much he really liked Young’s approach and stroke, but the results were not there as he hit only .131 in 16 games in July. When digging deeper into Fangraphs, John noticed that his batting average of balls in play (BABIP) was in the low .200’s. In other words, Young was extremely unlucky.

His BABIP exploded up close to .300 in August and his average shot up with it. Young hit .323 on the month and continued his good fortune in September with that aforementioned hot streak to open the month.

Despite his early struggles, Manager Jesus Feliciano stuck with Young, batting him second most of the past six weeks after originally batting him sixth and seventh. In the two spot, he’s hit .333 with a .397 OBP while only striking out 10 times versus seven walks. He is currently averaging 3.96 pitches per plate appearance and I think that will improve more as he settles in as a pro.

Going forward

I really like watching Young play. While it’s possible to produce comps like Chase Utley or DJ LeMahieu, this young man is his own kind of player. And based on his track record, I think he’s only going to get better with professional instruction. I’m excited to see him in the playoffs this week and at South Bend every day next year.

As for his future, it’s nearly impossible to determine what kind of player he’s going to be. With his frame and his college results, you would think that there’s a lot of potential for power there. But how much he’s going to do that, I don’t know yet. I am sure fall instructs and spring training will advance his development in the next seven months.

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