Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Michael Young (baseball player)
Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round in 1997, Young was traded to the Rangers in 2000 along with Darwin Cubillán for Esteban Loaiza. In 2001, Young became a regular with the Rangers at second base between Alex Rodriguez at shortstop and Rafael Palmeiro at first base. Both Young and Rodriguez became fast friends in the infield.
Young was batting .306 with 14 home runs and 72 runs batted in by 2003. However, during the off-season, the Rangers made the well-publicized trade of Rodriguez to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano. Now not only had Young's friend been taken away from the Rangers, Young was now in danger of losing his position on the field with another talented second baseman on the team. Young, however, told manager Buck Showalter that he would defer his second base position to Soriano and Young made his move to shortstop.
In 2004, with many critics uncertain of the Rangers' future following the Rodriguez trade, the Rangers blossomed with their young talent and Young was no exception. Batting primarily from the leadoff position, by June 11, Young had a .332 batting average with nine home runs and 37 RBI. In the field, Young became an important part of the double play tandem of Young, Soriano and first baseman Mark Teixeira , assisting on 44 double plays by June 11.
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