With a strong 2017 season, Daniel Young’s name can be added to the list of quality Blue Jays relievers filling the upper minors
Daniel Young was the Toronto Blue Jays 8th round selection in the 2015 Draft. The Boynton Beach, Florida, native stands 6-foot-3 and throws from the left side.
The budding lefty specialist utilizes a sidearm delivery to create deception which allows him to get the most out of his high 80’s fastball. He can also throw a nasty slider and his change continues to develop. Without an overpowering fastball, Young relies on movement and location.
The former Gator had a solid year in 2016 as a member of the A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts. He posted a record of 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA while posting a 1.50 WHIP, 3.86 BB/9IP, and 6.94 K/9IP.
No Place Like Home
The Floridian opened the 2017 season as a member of the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays. Young made his season debut on April 9th pitching a strong 6th and 7th, allowing 2 hits, a hit batter, a walk, and 4 strikeouts.
The D-Jays lefty bounced between Dunedin and Extended Spring Training a couple times in April. This bouncing between assignments resulted in a loss of 7 days.
Daniel Alexander Young didn’t allow his first run until May 1st, a span of 9.2IP over 8 appearances. He finished with one win and no defeats in a near perfect April.
In month two, Young was a perfect 4-for-4 in save opportunities allowing 6 runs on 9 hits and 4 walks over 12.2IP. He struck out 12 but his 59.90% strikes thrown would be the lowest of any other month in 2017.
After posting a record of 0-0, 4.26 ERA, Young made 6 more relief appearances in Dunedin before blowing town for Double-A New Hampshire on June 22nd. Prior to that date, Young had himself entrenched at the back end of the D-Jays bullpen. Danny Young came into the game in the 8th (4x) or 9th (2x) innings in each of his 6 June appearances.
His final line with the 2017 D-Jays was 2-0, 2.08 ERA, 4 SV, 22H, HR, 4HB, 9BB, and 27K while holding opponents to a .200 BA and a 1.02 WHIP.
The Granite State
Upon his arrival in New Hampshire, Young was thrust into the fire with several late-inning appearances between June 22nd and July 6th. He allowed a run in his Double-A debut followed by four more runs three outings later.
Things didn’t appear to be going so well for Young as a member of the Fisher Cats bullpen after posting an ugly 6.08 ERA over 13.1IP (8 appearances).
Fortunately, the organization stuck with Young, as he rebounded in August. Despite some command issues which resulted in 9 BB and 10 K in 13.2IP, Young posted a tidy record of 2-1 and 1.32 ERA in 8 appearances while holding opponents to a minuscule .188 BA.
Over his final 10 appearances, Daniel Young posted a 2.20 ERA while striking out 11 batters over 16.1IP.
During his time in Dunedin, Young held LHB to a .194 BA and RHB to a .203 BA. As a member of the Fisher Cats bullpen, he held LHB to a .189 BA but RHB batted .290 off the lefty.
The movement and location of Daniel Young’s pitches allowed him to post excellent groundball numbers. The 3 most likely outcomes for a batter when facing the lefty were groundball, strikeout, and single. Batters managed just 33 line drives off Young versus 109 groundballs. This allowed him to finish with a career-high 1.98 GO/AO.
Focusing on his time in Double-A, Young generated groundballs 55.3% of the time while stranding baserunners 71.8 LOB%. His 4.08 FIP and 4.24 xFIP show that he didn’t pitch as well as his 3.86 ERA would have us believe. Luck was on his side with a .272 BABIP.
Young’s combined stats across Advanced-A and Double-A:
4-1, 3.00 ERA, 47G, 4SV, 63.0IP, 52H, 22R, 3HRA, 6HB, 23BB, and 50K
Daniel Young will be joining 7 other Blue Jay farmhands in Arizona this fall. I don’t think Young can help/hurt his stock with a good/bad showing in the AFL. This trip is strictly developmental or a chance for other organizations to view his stuff as I expect the Front Office to be active in the trade market this off-season.
Young will return to New Hampshire in 2018 but should get a chance at Triple-A at some point during the season. He will need a lot to go his way to pass lefty relievers Tim Mayza, Matt Dermody, and Chad Girodo on the depth chart.
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