Join Jays From the Couch as we highlight the 2019 season of Dunedin’s Chavez Young and the GCL’s Hugo Cardona
OF Chavez Young
The 2019 season did not go as planned for Chavez Young. With the Lansing Lugnuts in 2018, Young dominated A-Ball by posting a .285BA and a .808OPS while collecting 33 doubles, 44SB, 9 triples, and 8 HR in 125 games. This got people talking about the talented outfielder as a possible top-flight prospect. It also earned him a promotion to Florida State League with the 2019 Dunedin Blue Jays.
Young spent the entire year in A-Advanced hitting just .224 with 8 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs, and 9 stolen bases in the 1st half (49 games). He batted just .217, .226, and .231 over the first three months. To his credit, Chavez Young finished the season strong with a .266BA, 9 doubles, 3 triples, a home run, and 15 stolen bases in the 2nd half (62 games). Young posted a .270BA and .708OPS in July and a .279BA and .715OPS in July and August.
The former 39th round selection from the 2016 Draft saw his BB% drop from 10.8% to 7.8% in 2019 while his K% increased from 18.6% to 22.8%. With a decrease in extra-base hits and home runs, Chavez saw his ISO dip from .160 to a pedestrian .107.
Overall, Chavez Young batted .247 with 17 doubles, 53 runs scored, 43RBI, 4 triples, 6HR, 24SB, and a .669OPS in 111GP. His production was league average(ish) with a .313wOBA and 101wRC+. Chavez did a good job of using the entire field, 38.3Pull% and 38.0Oppo%. He put a lot of balls on the ground with a 50.0GB% and a 35.0FB% for a 1.43GB/FB.
Young split his time batting 2nd (40GP) and 6th (33GP) with a sprinkling of leadoff (12GP), 3rd (10GP), and 5th (9GP). In the field, Chavez spent most the year manning CF (87GP) with 21 games in RF. He committed 3 errors and converted 13 outfield assists in 108 games.
Home: .250BA with 8 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 22RBI, and a .664OPS
Away: .240BA with 9 2B, 3 3B, 3HR, 21RBI, and .674OPS
Most Productive Game
On June 6th, the native of Freeport, Bahamas went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. Young drove in three RBI and scored three times. He struck out and stole a base. Chavez Young drove in 3RBI four times in 2019. He had five 3-hit games and scored three runs twice. But he only had one game in which he collected 7 total bases.
Young has the skills to become an impact player at the next level; however, it may be best to hold him back in Dunedin to begin the 2020 season. It isn’t likely to happen as there is case to be had for moving him up to Double-A. He did have a strong 2nd half; however, he went from hitting 5HR in 49GP to one HR in 62GP. The main difference between his 1st half and 2nd half was his ability to get on base, .289OBP in the 1st half and .336OBP in the 2nd half. This may be enough to move him up.
SS Hugo Cardona
Cardona missed the 2018 season after violating the league’s drug policy. This was unfortunate since he was coming off a decent rookie season with the DSL Blue Jays. Cardona posted a .249BA and .627OPS while collecting 5 doubles, a triple, and 15 stolen bases in 57 games. Cardona was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays roster and made his debut on June 24th (1-for-5 and 3K).
Cardona plays excellent D with a strong arm. His bat is still very raw but he has solid bat speed with extra-base potential. His speed is legit.
Hugo Cardona struggled hard in July, batting just .203 with three doubles, two triples, and 14SB while walking 14 times and striking out 19 times in 22 games. He played 14 games in August where be batted .321 with three doubles, 5SB while walking just 3 times and striking out 15 times.
The native of La Sabana, Venezuela, finished with 6 doubles, two triples, no HR, 12RBI, 21SB, a .229BA, and .629OPS in 41 games. He lead the club in SB and runs scored while producing around league average .318wOBA and 91wRC+. Hugo batted leadoff in 26 games and he batted 2nd in 11 games. Cardona mostly played SS (28GP) with a few appearances at 2nd base (16GP), committing 4 errors at both positions.
Hugo Cardona finished with 11.0BB% and 22.0K%. That is too high a K% for a .065ISO. He puts the ball on the ground 50.4% of the time with a 30.1FB% and 19.5LD%. When he puts the ball in play, it’s either to RF or LF but very rarely up the middle as he posted a 46.6Pull% and 37.9Oppo% with a 15.5Cent%.
Home: .160BA with 2 2B, 1 3B, 0HR, 6RBI, and .502OPS
Away: .295BA with 4 2B, 1 3B, 0HR, 6RBI, and .754OPS
LHP: .204/.298/.265 (49AB)
Most Productive Game
On July 3rd, the 5-foot-11 Cardona went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, a pair of stolen bases, and a walk. He had seven 2-hit games, five 2SB games, and four 3TB games.
The organization will need to be patient with Cardona. His bat will determine how quickly and how far he progresses. Cardona should expect a roster spot with the Bluefield Blue Jays with a chance at grabbing a spot with the Vancouver Canadians with a strong showing at Extended Spring. I’d be very surprised to see him grab a roster spot with the Lansing Lugnuts.
Featured image credit: R.Mueller
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