Arizona Diamondbacks: Meet Swiss Army Knife Andy Young
By TC Zencka
The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young and a pick. This is the fourth part of our trade analysis.
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Andy Young from the St. Louis Cardinals as part of the return for Paul Goldschmidt. He’s the least-heralded piece of the deal, but there’s no small portion of a return for a franchise icon.
I’ll be honest here, all I know about Andy Young I’ve read in the last couple of days. He’s a modestly-sized, 24-year-old infielder who turns 25 in May and has yet to play an inning above Double A. He’s the least impactful piece in this return. Blockbusters like this always have an Andy Young, the lesser-known flyer-type add-in that fleshes out a deal, giving the receiving team some projectable upside to dream on. The Andy Young of this blockbuster is Andy Young.
He was the Cardinals #12 prospect, old for his level but still unlikely to reach the majors until 2020 at the earliest. His calling card is the ability to play up-the-middle while still hitting for power, with potential still to un-tap as-of-yet unrealized raw power in-game.
He hit 24 home runs between High-A and Double A last year, but that was boosted by 9 long balls in a short stint at Double A Springfield. His power jumped a little in 84 games at High-A (.168 ISO), though not enough of a hike to be suspicious.
When he made the trip to Springfield for the season’s final 35 games, his power surged (.237 ISO). Given the small sample, that’s not likely a sustainable jump, though it’s also not the first time Young had powered up for a short stint. He hit 12 home runs over 58 games in A ball in 2017 (.261 ISO).
Last season he began to refine his approach, cutting down on strikeouts, though he’s not likely to ever be a big on-base guy. He’s a slugger, and if he remains competent enough defensively to move around the field, that’s a valuable piece. Imagine the bat-first version of the recently-DFAed Chris Owings – thats the dream version of Young.
He’s a good piece and a solid inclusion in this deal, but he doesn’t move the needle much either way. Given his advanced age, there’s not a ton of projectability in Young’s game. Over the next year, the Diamondbacks development teams will look for refinement and the full realization of the skills he already exhibits.
Acquisition Grade: C+