Chris Young Becomes First Player to Reach 20-20

One year ago today the Arizona Diamondbacks sent center fielder Chris Young to the Triple-A Reno Aces. The demotion was to help him resolve the issues he was having at the plate. Young was mired in a season long slump that saw his batting average fall below .200.

All of his offensive numbers seemed to dry up at exactly the same time. The demotion would last nearly three weeks with Young recalled just before the end of the month.

Many wondered whether Young would ever recover from such a disastrous season and if he would ever be able to match the success he had during his first full season in the majors. At the end of 2009 Young showed flashes of brilliance leaving everyone including Young himself with some optimism.

During the off-season Young worked hard on his approach reinforcing the things the Diamondbacks coaches had been teaching him. When Spring Training arrived Young appeared to have a better discipline than he had exhibited previously.

He got off to a good start and continued to build upon that being rewarded by becoming the only representative of the Arizona Diamondbacks to be invited to the All-Star game in Anaheim California last month.

After the All-Star break Young continued to put the pedal down. He commented how much he enjoyed his All-Star experience and wanting to continue to play at a high level to be invited back next season.

When Kirk Gibson took over for the fired AJ Hinch, one of the first things he did was move Young from batting seventh to lead off. Young has taken blossomed at the top of the order pushing the pitcher back in the count and coaxing walks as well as hits.

Once on the base paths Young has been very disruptive stealing and moving on balls hit to the outfield taking an extra base wherever possible. The culmination of his hard work occurred in the first game of the Milwaukee Brewers series when Young hit his 20th home run to go along with his 22 stolen bases making him the first player in the majors this year to have 20 or more home runs and stolen bases.

Not content, Young stole two more bases in the second game of the series raising his season total to 24. Over the final 44 games of the season it is possible Young could reach the vaulted level of 30-30.

With all the success Young is having this season it is hard to remember just how far he has come from that dark day a year ago when he was packing up his belongings to go to the minor leagues. Congratulations Chris, you definitely deserve the accolades for your hard work.


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