Signed for just $20,000 as a free agent after the five round COVID shortened draft in 2020, the tell right-hander made his way to High-A where he continued to miss bats. He comes in at #23.
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 22
2021 Level: A/A+
Pitches (current/future value)
Most Likely Future Role: Multi-inning reliever
Ceiling: Back end starter
What we know: Maybe the glorious flowing locks or maybe it’s the fact that this tall right-hander missed bats with four solid offerings, but Young was a big surprise. Due to the COVID shortening the 2020 draft to five rounds along with the rule that players could only be offered $20k bonuses after the draft, most decent prospects went back to college. With Young turning 22 in August, the Orioles were able to sign the senior from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and get him into the system. They may have found a gem.
Young has four pitches that he can throw for strikes with his fastball (92-94, t95) and changeup being his best offerings. He works his fastball well up in the zone and at six foot six, he looks like he gets good extension which may help his fastball play up and contribute to a good amount swings and misses. His change has good drop and arm side run giving him a weapon against lefties. He also throws a mid-70s curveball and low 80’s slider. He gets righties and lefties out equally with righties slashing .228/.309/.371/.680 off him and lefties slashing .217/.329/.308/.637 off him across both levels. Actually did better in high-A holding batters to a .207/.301/.311/.612, with a 13.1 K/9 with a 56% ground ball rate.
So why is not higher on the list? His fastball has more spin than horizontal movement so it tends to get barreled if he makes mistakes in the middle of the plate. While he can throw both his curveball and slider for strikes and both can flash average, they’re inconsistent offerings and he can sometimes struggle with commanding them. While he has decent control, he’ll need to improve his consistency and command of all of his pitches for him to stick as a starter.
What we don’t know: Can he hold his stuff to 100 pitches and can he withstand 180+ innings. Can he keep improving his command?
What we think: Young is an interesting guy because he misses bats and can throw four quality pitches for strikes. If he pitches well in Double-A as a starter next year he could end the year in AAA. Next year will tell us a lot about his prospect status. His fastball could move up a few ticks if he moves to relief.