Fellow rookie Carlos Quentin has played a little center, but never in the Major Leagues.
"I didn't want to run Carlos out there in a position that he hasn't played very often, especially in the big leagues," Melvin said.
Young, who was acquired from the White Sox during the offseason in the Javier Vazquez trade, was hitting .276 with 21 homers and 77 RBIs for Tucson.
"He can run, he can hit for power, he plays the outfield very well," Melvin said. "He's a nice player."
This will be Melvin's first look at Young. The 22-year-old was in big-league camp this past spring, but he was unable to play after breaking a bone in his right hand during his next-to-last offseason workout.
"I was real excited," Young said of getting the news Thursday afternoon that he was headed to the big leagues. "I was so surprised, but I'm just happy to be here. I tried to go into my Triple-A season and press from the get-go and try to make some things happen, and it ended up working out all right for me."
Not waiting: Young didn't have to wait long to make his debut, as Melvin penciled him in Friday's lineup against the Padres in the No. 8 spot.
"It feels great to see my name in there with the other big-league guys," Young said after looking at the lineup card.
Melvin had considered giving Young a day to get settled in and starting him Saturday, but then reconsidered.
"Tomorrow's a national game and I want to make sure Byrnes is out there for that," Melvin said.
A large contingent of Young's family, including his parents, were in attendance Friday for his debut.
Welcome home: Friday was a homecoming for Quentin, who grew up in nearby Chula Vista.
His parents still live there, and he spent the night at their house Thursday after the D-Backs arrived from Colorado.
"I woke up and it was just like summertime again where I had to get to the field," Quentin said. "It was great."
Familiar faces: Young said that the fact that there were so many former Tucson players now with the big club would help his comfort level.
Current D-Backs Alberto Callaspo, Stephen Drew, Quentin, Enrique Gonzalez, Tony Pena and Jose Valverde all spent time with Young in Tucson this year.
"There are a lot of Sidewinder guys in here," Young said. "It's great to have those guys here. They're guys I know on a personal basis, and they're all going to help me out, help me learn the ropes around here."
Tough call: To make room for Young, the D-Backs optioned outfielder Scott Hairston to Tucson.
It's been a tough year for Hairston, who put up monster numbers at Tucson earlier this season, earning him a promotion in June. Unfortunately, in his first game with the big club, he jammed his shoulder into the outfield wall in Pittsburgh and had to go on the disabled list. As soon as he was healthy, he was optioned back to Triple-A.
Hairston was recalled a little more than a week ago, and only was able to get two at-bats before being sent out again Friday.
"Because of everything Scott's done in the organization, we felt like we'd give him the nod," general manager Josh Byrnes said of Hairston being called up rather than Young when DaVanon initially went on the disabled list.
"But I think as we've gone on, playing anyone too many days in a row this time of year is a concern. Chris being here gives us a chance to give Eric Byrnes a breather once in a while until DaVanon returns."
Swinging: Shortstop Craig Counsell (fractured rib) played in his first rehab game Thursday and had seven plate appearances for Tucson. Counsell, who served as the team's designated hitter, was 0-for-6 with a walk as the Sidewinders beat Tacoma in 14 innings.
"The most important thing was to see how he reacted to swings and misses," Melvin said referring to how Counsell's ribs held up with the intense swings.
Coming up: The D-Backs and Padres continue their series Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. MST with Claudio Vargas facing Clay Hensley.