Forget the NFL scouting combine. Or the base paths. There's one way to find out how fast Eric Young Jr. is once and for all. Before Thursday's game at Salt River Fields, defending NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski will do a lap around the field.
Who you got?
"I can keep up with it for a second or two," Young said with a laugh.
Young is on the fast track to make his second consecutive opening-day roster. The question is, where will he play? He has spent time at second base, center field and left field in camp and will eventually make his way to right field and third base. Like Jordan Pacheco, he provides Rockies manager Walt Weiss with options.
"It makes it tougher for me to make a bad decision," Weiss said after Wednesday's 6-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
Young features rare speed. He bunted in the ninth inning to the pitcher and easily reached first base. Weiss calls him a "game changer."
How does Young see himself? He gave it away during a visit to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora before spring training. As he met a steady stream of patients and parents, he answered succinctly when asked which position he played.
"Leadoff hitter," he said without hesitation.
Viewed as a curiosity, Young, 27, changed perceptions within the organization last season. Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd wanted him on the roster for his toughness and energy. Young was the team's best bench player in the first half. He won games with his feet at Houston on opening day and at Pittsburgh, tagging up on a flyball about 150 feet from home plate.
Read more: Eric Young gives Rockies options on offense and defense - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_22683868/feeling-young-again#ixzz2MDjoDoG0
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Eric Young gives Rockies options on offense and defense
Denver Post | Feb 28