Can Chris Young Blow Up in 2012?

Apr 4, 2012

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Arizona’s Chris Young has long been an enigma. He possesses a power-sped combo that few others can match, but he remains a fantasy liability thanks to his Mark Reynoldsesque .240 lifetime batting average.
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His average prevents him from getting in the high nineties in runs scored and his strikeout rate (22.8 percent lifetime) cuts down on his RBI opportunities.
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Still, he has scored at least 85 runs and hit 20+ HRs in four of the last five seasons, has had 20+ steals in three of the past five seasons, and drove in 85+ RBI in two of the past four seasons.
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You wouldn’t think he’d have much upside considering his track record and the way he fell apart last year. He was hitting a modest .262 batting average and solid .818 OPS before the All-Star Break. Then the wheels came off. His .149, .572 August paved the way for a pathetic .193 average and .640 OPS after the break.
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At 28 with five plus years of big league experience it’s easy to consider someone set in their ways.
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He has, however, worked on his mechanics, including adjusting his hands. His adjustments have been paying dividends this spring. If he can even hit .260 or .270 with his 20-20 HR-SB combination he will be a nice value for fantasy owners.
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His current Mock Draft Central ADP is 122, which puts him in the 11th round of 12-team leagues. He is the 33rd outfielder to come off the board. He easily has the ability to become a top 20 fantasy outfielder.
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I don’t expect Young to suddenly compete for a batting title, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up his best season to date.
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