Blue Jays 2019 Top Prospects: #27- Chavez Young
The Jays Journal staff returns with our yearly Top 30 prospect rankings. The #27 spot goes to Chavez Young, a talented outfielder who should open a lot of eyes this season.
Don’t let the thought of a 39-round pick fool you, as Chavez Young was one of the hottest prospects in the Blue Jays system last year. He was finally promoted out of rookie ball and has been flying around the bases for the Lansing Lugnuts ever since.
About three months ago, our very own Clayton Richer talked about the impression Young was making on general manger, Ross Atkins.
Position: Outfield Age: 21
Height: 6’0 Weight: 195 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Switch
Acquired: Drafted by the Blue Jays, 39th round in 2016 MLB Amateur Draft
In a recent article for FanGraphs, Young told David Laurila that his family didn’t have money growing up to be sending him to the top showcases put on by the likes of Under Armour and Perfect Game. Moving from the Bahamas to America as a teenager, many pro scouts weren’t on to Young until closer to draft time, which allowed him to be available for the Blue Jays with their second last pick in 2016.
Playing 125 games in the Class-A Midwest League this season, Young used a combination of speed and finding gaps in the outfield to really put himself on the map in the organization.
He was tied for second in the league in doubles and triples (33 and 9), tied for third in stolen bases (44) and was eighth in on-base percentage (.363).
According to FanGraphs, Young’s hitting is rated 30/50 (present/future, on a 20-80 scale), although his track record at the plate over the past two seasons should net him a score slightly higher than 30. The switch-hitter has batted above .280 in both full pro seasons and has no had issues seeing the ball with 77 extra-base hits in his last 192 games. According to 2080Baseball, he is more advanced from the right side, displaying more pitch recognition and the ability to hold back on the off-speed stuff.
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Young has a solid build for a 21-year-old standing at 6-feet, and really uses his bat speed to help generate his power. His raw power is 55/55, while his in-game power is 40/50. He has only put 12 balls over the fence in his pro career but has no issues finding the outfield gaps. He likely doesn’t have much more power to tap into, but not to worry, the Blue Jays didn’t draft him because of this tool.
Young flourished in the 400 and 800 metre track events back in his native Bahamas, according to the article on FanGraphs, and that finally translated into his pro career last season in Lansing. After only swiping four bags on nine attempts in 2017, he was tied for second in the Midwest League with 44 stolen bases this year. He was only thrown out 13 times culminating in a 77.1 stolen base percentage, a jump from 62.5 per cent over his first two pro seasons.
Due to his speed, Young has always projected as more of a defence-first first type player and spent the majority of his time in centre prior to his 65 starts in right field last year. His arm and athleticism making him an option anywhere in the outfield and he will need to keep a sharp defensive game if he’d like to find his way to the major league club. His arm is graded 60/60 while his fielding is 40/50.
His future value is 40 and his estimated time of arrival is 2020, although that would mean progressing through the AA and AAA ranks in the next two seasons which seems unlikely. Young’s hitting is progressing well and has continued to get better while his tools in the outfield and on the bases are to his advantage. He may have several tools, but none of them are truly eye-opening. To reach the majors he will need to continue his upward trajectory and stand out in a system that drafted three outfielders with their first 11 picks in June as well as picking up three outfielders (Chad Spanberger split time between first and outfield since joining the Jays organization) in two trades with the Rockies and Yankees this past July.
It appears Young will begin the season in High-A with the Dunedin Blue Jays and coming off a breakout year, he will look to prove he can be consistent with his game from year-to-year. He can potentially establish himself as one of the better outfielders in an organization known for its talent on the infield.