CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Young's All-Star experience to include Derby

Young's All-Star experience to include Derby

ANAHEIM -- Chris Young's All-Star experience just became a little more exciting, as the outfielder has been tabbed to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday night at Angel Stadium.

Young joins National League participants Corey Hart of the Brewers, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals and Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, Boston's David Ortiz, New York's Nick Swisher and Toronto's Vernon Wells are representing the American League.

More

Young was selected as a reserve by NL manager Charlie Manuel on Sunday. It's his first All-Star selection, and he was already excited about the experience, before he even received the phone call Thursday evening, asking him to participate in the Derby.

It did not take long for him to say yes.

"It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in a Home Run Derby," Young said before the start of the D-backs' game against the Marlins on Thursday night. "So I would love to go out there and enjoy the experience. It's an honor."

Young has since spoken with some past participants including Florida second baseman Dan Uggla, who was in the Derby in '08 at Yankee Stadium.

"They said they enjoyed it, no matter what the results were," Young said. "They had a really good time, and they would do it again. So I took their advice, and I'm going for it."

Sid Holland, who is from Houston and coached Young years ago, will throw to Young in the Derby.

"I wanted bring him out with me just as a sign of respect, how much respect I have for him," Young said. "He's been working with me since my Bellaire [High School] days, so I feel like I owe it to him."

Power has been a part of Young's game from the beginning. In '07, his first full season in the big leagues, he hit 32 home runs to go along with 27 stolen bases. It was the first time in Major League history that a rookie had hit more than 30 homers and recorded more than 25 steals.

This year, though, he has worked more on being short to the ball and has managed to avoid the popups that plagued him last year.

"In batting practice, I'm a line-drive hitter," Young said. "I try to stay short to the ball. But in the Home Run Derby, if you hit all line drives up the middle, you're not going to make anybody happy. So I'm going to try to figure out how to get a good pitch -- pitch selection is huge in the Home Run Derby -- and maybe get a little more of a loop in my swing. I'm still going to try to get backspin, because that's where my power is. By no means, will you see me trying go to center field; you won't see me going to right field; I'm trying to go left-center field to the left-field line and that's pretty much it."

Former Arizona outfielder Luis Gonzalez won the Home Run Derby in '01, when the All-Star Game was held in Seattle.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Less