The Salt Lake City Sardines drafted Abraham Young #1 overall in the Season 13 Draft. Young, 5-tool CF from Bryan, TX, signed for $6.2M and immediately reported to Salt Lake's Rookie league team in Natchez, AZ. The Background: Young grew up in Bryan, TX, a city of 65,000 that shares a border with College Station, home of Texas A&M University. Young was raised almost from birth by his foster parents. His foster father, Kevin Skinner, works for Sanderson Farms, one of the largest local employers. Sanderson Farms processes 8.125 MILLION chickens a week at its plants in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. All those chickens require a lot of catching. Skinner is Sanderson's most talented (and now, thanks to America's Got Talent, best known) chicken catcher.
Growing up around a legendary chicken catching father taught Young a few things. "I learned you've got to be lightning quick with your feet and hands. Also, I learned that chicken poop is slippery." One thing he didn't learn, was book smarts. Young, who's been clocked as low as 4.34 in the 40-yard dash, has never excelled in the classroom. With the Aggies of Texas A&M were pursuing him as a football player, he never really came that close to going. "One of the coaches told me I'd have to pass this SAT test. Shoot, I didn't even know how to spell that." And so, Young took $6.2M and is off on a career in baseball.
The Scouting Report: Young profiles as super-fast and quite powerful. However, many scouts wonder if his academic difficulties aren't translating onto the playing field. One scout remarked, "give that kid a fastball and he'll put it into the seats. But if he doesn't, look out, because he may not stop running the bases until you tag him out. And you're likely to tag him out because HE REFUSES TO STOP." Another scout told WCM off the record that Young's mental lapses often cause him to forget to use his glove hand when catching fly balls, which leads to an abnormal number of errors.
Still, the talent is there. This kid has hand-eye coordination that's rarely been seen, almost never swinging and missing. He hits the ball hard, and can go get it in the OF, though you're never sure what he'll do with it when he does get it.