Jared Young was running out of time to make a big impression in his first professional season. He accomplished that and then some last week.The Cubs' 15th-round pick in June, he went 15-for-23 with a homer, three doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored over five games for Class A
Jared Young was running out of time to make a big impression in his first professional season. He accomplished that and then some last week.
The Cubs' 15th-round pick in June, he went 15-for-23 with a homer, three doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs scored over five games for Class A Short Season Eugene to take Northwest League Offensive Player of the Week honors. Young's .652 average led all qualified Minor League hitters for the eight-day span from Aug. 28-Sept. 4, while his .667 on-base percentage placed third and his 1.580 OPS fifth.
The 22-year-old second baseman entered the week with just a .179/.244/.222 slash line through his first 34 games with the Emeralds but saw those numbers jump to .257/.311/.336 by its end. He started with a bang, going 4-for-4 with a double Tuesday. He followed that with a 4-for-5 showing Wednesday, missing the cycle by a triple. Perhaps his most impactful performance came two days later, when the left-handed hitter plated a career-high five runs while going 4-for-5 with a double in an 8-3 win at Salem-Keizer.
Young admitted after his five-RBI performance that he's been relieved by the way the hits have finally come in bunches.
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"Things have been good. I've been working with [hitting coach] Chris Valaika and [manager] Jesus [Feliciano] on just the mental aspect of the game," he told MiLB.com. "And it's just taking that to the plate and seeing a fastball and making sure you don't miss them. I didn't have the greatest of starts, and I'll admit that. It was definitely mental, too. It's been a couple of mechanical things that I've been working on, but to go on a streak like this, I think it's more mental, staying the course and not staying too high or too low."
The British Columbia native batted .480/.563/.732 with 11 homers in 57 games at Connors State College -- a junior college in Oklahoma that counts Julio Lugo and George Kottaras as alumni -- in 2015 before making the jump to the NCAA ranks with Old Dominion. He finished third in Conference USA with a .367 average over 58 games with the Monarchs this spring and ranked among the top in on-base percentage (.441, ninth) and slugging (.580, 10th).
When the hits weren't falling at nearly the same rate in the Northwest League, Young said he tried not to stay too down on himself, but following last week's breakout, he'll be able to carry some much-needed confidence into the Class A Short Season circuit's postseason, starting Tuesday night against Hillsboro.
"They always say, 'It's not how you start but how you finish,' and I hadn't thought much about it until things started going great," he said. "But it couldn't happen at a better time."
Below is the complete list of Minor League Offensive Players of the Week of the Week for Aug. 28-Sept. 4:
Offensive Players of the Week
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.