Chris Young: 32 days until Padres’ Opening Day

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: AP Photo

If you ever saw Chris Young in person, chances are you would have recognized him, or at the very least, you would notice something unique about him. He’s very tall. 

The 6’10” pitcher retired in 2018 tied with Andrew Brackman, Eric Hillman, Andrew Sisco, and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, second-tallest players in MLB history after Jon Rauch (6’11”). 

Chris Young

After making his debut with the Texas Rangers in 2004, Young got an opportunity to be a full-time starter. He made 31 starts in 2005, compiling a 12–7 record with a 4.26 ERA.

 In December of 2005, the Rangers sent Young, along with outfielder Termel Sledge and first baseman Adrián González to the San Diego Padres for pitchers Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka and catcher Billy Killian. 

While González was the prominent piece in the deal, Young’s impact with San Diego would make this one of if not the best trades in franchise history. 

In five seasons with the Padres, Young had a 33-25 record, a 3.60 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 489 strikeouts in 97 starts. 

In 2007, Young was named to the National League All-Star team. 

Towards the end of his career, Young signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners and was named the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year. 

The next season, Young won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals. 

“Rockstar GM”

While it has quite yet translated to on-field success, there is no denying the amount of talent that Chris Young has brought to the Rangers since coming on board as the General Manager in December of 2020. 

Following the 2021 season, Young and the Rangers revamped its middle infield, signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. They also signed pitcher Jon Gray to a long-term deal. 

With Young eyeing to make a splash and improve a rotation that finished 24th in MLB in innings pitched (793.1), 25th in ERA (4.63), and 26th in WHIP (1.41) during the 2022 season, the Rangers signed one of the best arms in baseball in Jacob deGrom.

Young didn’t stop there, bringing back Martin Perez and signing Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. They also acquired Jake Odorizzi. 

A rotation, once being a clear weakness, enters 2023 as a strength, with Young and Rangers eying its first playoff appearance since 2016.

While Young may not be as flashy as others, he’s quickly earning that “rockstar GM” status once appointed to Padres General Manager AJ Preller. 

Fun Facts 

  • Young led all of MLB in hits allowed per nine innings in back-to-back seasons (2006-2007). 
  • Bochy was Young’s manager back in 2006. Now Bochy works for Young. 
  • Both Young and Venable, his former Padres teammate (2008-2010), went to college and played baseball at Princeton University. Venable was hired this offseason to be the Rangers’ new bench coach under Bochy.
  • Young was a two-sport star athlete in both high school and college, excelling in basketball and baseball. 
  • Prior to joining the Rangers front office, Young became an MLB executive in May of 2018 when he was promoted to serve as vice president of on-field operations, initiatives, and strategy.
  • Young’s wife, Elizabeth Patrick, is the great-granddaughter of Lester Patrick, who was the namesake of the National Hockey League’s Patrick Division and the Lester Patrick Trophy. Her father is Dick Patrick, the President of the Washington Capitals and a minority owner.

Other 32’s 

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Young is one of 20 players in franchise history to wear the number 32. Others include Ed Whitson (1986-1987) and Franmil Reyes (2018-2019).

In eight seasons with the Padres, Whitson pitched to a 77-72 record with a 3.69 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and 767 strikeouts in 227 games pitched (208 starts) while wearing three different numbers (31, 32, 38).

The “Franimal” only played 186 games with the Padres, but he made quite the impact both on and off the field. 

Reyes hit .266 and mashed 43 home runs in parts of two seasons while becoming a fan and clubhouse favorite for his infectious smile and signing talents. 

New Padre Nelson Cruz is set to become the 21st player in team history to wear number 32 this season.

The 42-year-old Cruz has 2,018 hits, 459 home runs, 1,302 runs batted in, and an .859 OPS in his 18-year career. 

Cruz will play, in addition to being the General Manager for his native country, the Dominican Republic, in the upcoming World Baseball Classic next month. 

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