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The 2018 Prospect Breakout Nobody Is Talking About

When I was first asked about Chavez Young, I honestly vaguely recognized the name. I knew he was a Blue Jays outfielder, but that’s about it (and I work with prospects!). Just looking at the stat line, I was impressed. And the deeper I looked, the more I began to think that this might be the most criminally underrated prospect in baseball. David Laurila also took note recently here at FanGraphs.

Quick question: Who was the only prospect in baseball to record 50 extra-base hits and steal 40 bases in 2018? You guessed it: Chavez Young. Which prospect is rated as having the best defensive arm in the Blue Jays system by Baseball America, with 98 mph from the outfield recorded in high school? You guessed it again, Chavez Young. So how does a player like this go so under-the-radar? How does a 20-year-old in full-season ball who plays plus defense, hits third in his lineup, and had 50 extra-base hits and 40 steals not even make MLB Pipeline’s top 30 for the organization?

Let’s start off by saying who Chavez Young is. Young was born in the Bahamas, an area that is starting to get more buzz as a baseball country after producing prospects like Kristian Robinson and Jazz Chisholm. But it is also an area that up until recently was rarely visited by baseball scouts. Since 1983, only one major league player has made the MLB from the Bahamas (Antoan Richardson). As a result, Chavez left the Bahamas in high school to pursue baseball in the prestigious Georgia prep ranks. Read the rest of this entry »