New Cougars infielder Chesny Young is so new to professional baseball that his quick ascent to Kane County is a bit of a blur to him.
Just drafted out of Mercer in the 14th round by the Cubs in June, the infielder and Atlanta native ripped through Northwest League pitching for Boise to the tune of .354 in 15 games before he was shuttled to the Cougars.
“I was just drafted this year, so it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Young said.
“I don’t know much about the process, but I know it’s a good thing to get called up early. I’m just trying to make the most of my playing time.”
In five games for the Cougars, mostly playing second base, he’s 6-for-15. Between Kane County, Boise and two games for the Rookie League team in Mesa, he is hitting .333 in 22 games.
“He has a pretty consistent approach at the plate, really tries to see the ball a long time and put together good at-bats,” Cougars manager Mark Johnson said. “He’s a good addition to the club; pretty impressive so far.”
Young played third base at Mercer, where he became the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year and an All-American. He says he’s only played second base about 10 times in his life before being drafted by the Cubs. Johnson feels like he could be versatile enough to play shortstop if needed, as well.
“I’m still trying to settle down over there,” Young said of playing second.
“I had a coach at Boise that helped me out with positioning and turning double plays, stuff like that. You can do all that work, but experience is what really gets you going. The more games I play at second, the more comfortable I’ll feel.”
With many of the Cougars’ young starting pitchers starting to creep toward their innings limits with a month left in the regular season and a playoff run to follow, the rollback has begun.
Cubs minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson was in town all weekend and a flurry of changes followed after he left. Paul Blackburn has been temporarily dropped from the 25-man roster to get a break. Johnson said he will come back on 10 days’ rest. Tyler Skulina and Daury Torrez will be skipped the next time through the rotation.
Reliever Gerardo Concepcion was promoted to high-Class A Daytona, the ninth Cougars player to be promoted this season. Corbin Hoffner landed on the disabled list.
In return, the Cougars received David Garner, Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar from Boise.
“It’s going to completely change in the next few days,” Johnson said on Monday. “We’ll probably make some more moves.”
Ten wins looming
Torrez made his bid for 10 wins Monday, but came up short. Blackburn is close, as well.
The Cougars haven’t had a 10-game winner since Dan Straily, who is now in the Cubs organization at Class AAA Iowa. He won 10 in 2010.
“It would be a great milestone,” Johnson said. “It’s tough to win 10 games in the minor leagues with all the regulations, things like pitch counts. It’s not easy, especially at the lower levels.”Tags: Kane County Cougars