Of the five players listed in my first poll, Michael Young may be the most under-appreciated. But take a close look at his numbers at what is likely the half-way point in his career. He has almost 1500 hits, a .300 career batting average, five all-star appearances and one Gold Glove. His impending switch from SS to 3B could jeopardize his chances, however. While his hitting style profiles more like a middle infielder, his relative lack of power could be a problem. Also, his $80 million contract will likely keep him playing for the Rangers for a number of years, where his profile is much lower than it would be in a larger market.
But for me, Young has Hall of Fame ability. He is on pace for more than 3000 hits. And few remember that he willingly switched from 2B to SS after the Rangers traded A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano. While he initially demanded a trade earlier this year when he was asked to move to 3B, he again put the team first and accepted the new role. My favorite card of Young's is his 2000 Topps Traded rookie card, where he was listed as "Mike Young".
The Opening Day Cubs of the 1970s
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