American Association Finals MVP, Chesny Young, Re-Signs With SaintsMar 30, 2020
ST. PAUL, MN (March 30, 2020) – Chesny Young entered the 2019 season with just six career home runs in more than 1,850 Minor League at bats. He had never hit a grand slam. In one season with the Saints he doubled his home run total and launched two grand slams, none bigger than the one in the clinching game of the American Association Finals. The MVP of that series, Young will once again play the hot corner for the Saints as he re-signed for the 2020 season.
The 27-year-old Young hit .263 with six home runs and 48 RBI in 94 games. In 342 at bats he ripped 16 doubles, two triples, walked 48 times while striking out only 57 times, had a .353 on base percentage, a .374 slugging percentage, for a .727 OPS. On top of that he finished with the second-best fielding percentage among third baseman at .966, committing just 10 errors in 296 total chances.
While he had many highlights in the regular season, it’s what he did in the post-season that will be remembered by Saints fans. He hit .333 with a home run and eight RBI in the eight games of the playoffs and went 4-10 in the Finals with a home run and seven RBI. In Game 3 of the Finals, with the Saints down 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Young crushed a grand slam giving the Saints the lead for good as they went on to sweep the Sioux City Explorers.
In the regular season, Young hit his first career grand slam on June 20 at Sioux Falls. On July 19 he had a four-hit game and tied a career high with two doubles. From July 14-27, Young hit safely in a season-high 11 straight games and for the first time in his career homered in back-to-back games on August 15 and 16. He finished the season on a hot streak, that carried over to the post-season, by hitting safely in his final nine games played.
Young was a 14th round pick by the Cubs in 2014 out of Mercer and played two games with the Arizona League Cubs before moving up to Low-A Boise. He hit .354 with nine RBI in 15 games and then was promoted to Single-A Kane County. In 27 games he hit .324 with nine RBI. He had six straight multi-hit games from July 29-August 8. The Cougars blasted through the playoffs going a perfect 7-0 in claiming the Midwest League Championship.
In 2015 Young began at Single-A South Bend, but didn’t spend long there as he hit .315 with 14 RBI, swiped nine bases in 12 attempts, in 28 games. He had a nine-game hitting streak from April 15-24 and scored a run in six straight from April 22-28, including four on April 22. On May 12, Young was promoted to High-A Myrtle Beach and broke a league record during his time in the Carolina League. He hit .321 with a home run and 30 RBI in 102 games. In 402 at bats he smacked 18 doubles, three triples, stole 12 bases, had a .394 on base percentage, and a .388 slugging percentage. Young finished first in the Carolina League in batting average, second in lowest strikeouts per plate appearance (10.27), third in hits (129) and on base percentage. He was named to the Post-Season All-Star team and was a Cubs MiLB.com Organizational All-Star. His team once again breezed through the playoffs going 5-1 as they swept Wilmington in the Championship Series. The numbers and accolades were impressive, but his astounding 44 consecutive games reaching base safely from June 6-July 25, was the most eye-popping. That streak obliterated the leagues record of 37 set in by Carlos Sanchez of Winston-Salem in 2012 (the Carolina League began keeping consecutive games reaching base streaks in 2009). He also reached base safely in all 53 road games played for the Pelicans. Young put together numerous hitting streaks including two that were double-digit. He hit safely in 11-straight from June 9-17 and 14 in a row from July 11-25. That hitting streak included a five-hit game on July 17.
Young put together another All-Star caliber season in 2016, this time at Double-A Tennessee. He hit .303 with a career high four home runs and 37 RBI in 126 games. In 491 at bats he scored 60 runs, walloped a career high 25 doubles, two triples, swiped 16 bases, a .376 on base percentage, and a .387 slugging percentage. He led the league in on base percentage, was second in hits (149) and batting average, and fourth in lowest strike outs per plate appearance (8.64). He was selected to the All-Star Game in Mississippi and was once again named a Post-Season All-Star. Young was named Player of the Week for the week of April 18-24 where he went 11-25 including a three and four-hit game. He was also named the Player of the Month for April hitting .402 with two homers, nine RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 22 games. He was named Southern League Best Utility Player playing games at first, second, short, third and left field and had a .976 fielding percentage on the year. Offensively, he had a multi-hit game in five straight from April 23-29 and a four-game streak from May 23-27. He had an incredible 16 games of three or more hits. He also stole two bases in three-straight from April 18-20 and stole a bag in another three-straight from April 24-26.
In 2017 Young spent the entire season with the Iowa Cubs where he hit .256 with a home run and 33 RBI in 120 games. In 425 at bats he scored 56 runs, ripped 20 doubles, had a .311 on base percentage, and a .311 slugging percentage.
Young spent the 2018 season, except for four games in Arizona on a rehab assignment, at Triple-A Iowa in the Chicago Cubs system. He hit .266 with 20 RBI in 81 games. In 271 at bats he scored 33 runs, had eight doubles, one triple, with a .304 on base percentage, and a .303 slugging percentage. He came through with runners on base hitting .304 in that position and .311 with runners in scoring position.
Throughout his five-year career Young has played 22 games at first, 227 games at second, 204 third, 77 at short, 32 games in left, seven in center, and 15 in right. He has a .975 career fielding percentage including a .956 fielding percentage at third.
At the plate, he has struck out in just 13.3% of his plate appearances, which is considered well above average according to Fan Graphs.
This is the 12th off-season signing for the Saints.
RHP Tanner Kiest
RHP Eddie Medina
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Matt Quintana
RHP Matt Solter
RHP Ryan Zimmerman
INF Josh Allen
INF Telvin Nash
INF John Silviano
INF Chesny Young
OF Michael Lang
OF Dan Motl
The reigning American Association Champion Saints begin the 2020 season with the banner raising ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m.