Young has chance for 30-30 season

Young has chance for 30-30 season

PHOENIX -- What are Chris Young's chances at a 30-30 season? How about 50-50?

"You don't really know how the season could turn out," the D-backs All-Star center fielder said on Friday, wary of projecting his inclusion into a historic, 35-member club. "It could speed up, it could slow down. Thirty stolen bases, I would probably be more happy about than the 30 home runs but, by all means, I would be happy if I could reach both."

Young came ever so close to achieving the milestone -- one that no Arizona player has ever achieved -- in 2007, his first full Major League season. He recorded 32 home runs and 27 stolen bases, though over the next two seasons, both his homers (22 to 15) and steals (14 to 11) decreased markedly.

With 15 dingers and 16 thefts (12 of which have come since June 5) through 86 games this season, Young is on pace finish 2010 with 28 and 30, respectively.

It's his increased aggressiveness on the basepaths -- something he spoke about all the way back in Spring Training -- that has explained his ascension in interim manager Kirk Gibson's lineup card.

"He's probably our best baserunner, has the best ability to put more pressure on the opposition," Gibson said of his leadoff man. "He's going to affect what [No. 2 hitter] Kelly [Johnson] gets up there; you got the [3-4] hole over there, and Kelly pulls the ball well."

That kind of small ball -- a staple of Gibson's style as skipper -- only works, however, when Young doesn't clear the bases by himself, no sure bet.

"I've hit 30 before; it's not unreachable," Young said of his home-run total, the more difficult half of the 30-30 milestone. "Wherever I end up, I end up."