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D-backs tab Andy Young for utility role

@SteveGilbertMLB
August 1, 2020

When he got a phone call Friday night from D-backs farm director Josh Barfield, Andy Young figured it was something to do with COVID-19 testing for Saturday. Instead the infielder/outfielder got the news he was headed to the big leagues for the first time. Young, who was with the team’s

When he got a phone call Friday night from D-backs farm director Josh Barfield, Andy Young figured it was something to do with COVID-19 testing for Saturday.

Instead the infielder/outfielder got the news he was headed to the big leagues for the first time.

Young, who was with the team’s player pool at the alternate training site at Salt River Fields, replaces Josh Rojas, who was optioned to Salt River on Saturday.

After hanging up with Barfield, Young got on the phone and called home to Fargo, N.D.

“That was a pleasant surprise,” Young said of the news. “I felt awesome then. It was awesome telling my parents, and I feel really great now, too.”

Because fans are not allowed in the stands, Young won’t have the usual contingent of friends and family on hand for his debut, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in town.

“It is kind of weird, but I think this is just such a special thing,” Young said. “You’re so excited it doesn’t matter. My dad was so excited he flew from Fargo to Phoenix just because. He knew he couldn’t watch the game, but he wanted to be in the same city.

“It’s special for them, and it’s special for me. It’s a little going to be a little different, but they’re still going to be down here, and, hopefully, I can see them a little bit sometime this weekend.”

Young, acquired before the 2019 season in the trade that sent Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis, is ranked as the team’s No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline. In his first season in the organization, he split time between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Reno and combined for a .271/.368/.535 slash line.

Young gives the D-backs a right-handed bat off the bench, something they were missing when they optioned slugger Kevin Cron to Salt River a couple of days ago to make room for Daulton Varsho. The 26-year-old Young also gives manager Torey Lovullo all kinds of flexibility because he can play every infield position and both corners in the outfield.

“I love that defensive versatility,” Lovullo said. Love the bat, love the skills. I’m really excited for him.”

Young primarily played infield in college and in the Minors, and he has played the outfield in just nine games over his pro career.

“This year, I came down to early camp in January, and I’ve been working my tail off in the outfield,” he said. “So I feel pretty comfortable there, too. Anywhere you can get on the field -- the more spots you can play, the more opportunity you can have. I feel pretty comfortable at those outfield spots.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.