Diamondbacks Chris Young Enjoying Early Success

The 2009 regular season was one Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young would just as soon forget. After a successful full season in 2007 Young followed that up with a good sophomore season leading several within the industry to predict that he would have a break-out season in 2009 and become part of the next wave of baseball stars.

The Arizona Diamondbacks likewise loved what they saw from the young outfielder and rewarded him with a long-term contract. No one not even Young himself was prepared for what happened next.

Young began the 2009 season struggling at the plate. Everyone expected the slump to be short-winded but unfortunately things never seemed to pick up. A cold April was followed up with a frigid May.

After a prolonged slump Young began tinkering with his mechanics hoping to break the downward spiral he seemed to be in. The changes did not help and in many cases led to other changes and before long Young had gotten away from the things that had made him successful.

The challenges he had at the plate began to impact other parts of his game. He was suddenly making mental lapses in the field. The on the field pressures were getting to Young and he was losing sleep trying to find an end to the extended slump.

Things were perhaps bleakest when the Diamondbacks sent their starting center fielder to Triple-A Reno in an effort to help him work on his mechanics out of the public spotlight of Chase Field and its fans.

The demotion seemed to help. When Young returned to the major leagues he seemed to have his old swagger and confidence. During the final month of the season Young played well. His statistics did not bear that out, the result of a season-long slump.

When Spring Training arrived this past February Chris Young entered camp hoping to build on the successes he had in September and through is off-season workouts. That seemed to work as Young began the season hitting at the pace he was during 2007.

Through the first quarter of the 2010 season Young is hitting .298 with seven home runs and 36 runs batted in. More importantly his on-base percentage is the highest in his career.

His plate discipline is increasing leading to a lower number of strikeouts than in years past. Perhaps the most exciting part is his ability to get timely hits with two outs allowing the Diamondbacks to score in innings they have historically struggled.

There is still a lot of baseball left to play but so far the signs are encouraging for Young. Hopefully his success will continue and be contagious among his teammates. Given the struggles the pitching staff has suffered, the Diamondbacks can use all the offense they can muster if they want to be competitive.


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