Young, 18, is currently regarded by Baseball America as the No. 21 draft-eligible prospect, ranking ninth among high schoolers in this year’s class. At present, the Pennsylvania native is committed to play college baseball at Duke University.
Listed at 6-feet and 180 pounds, Young is in the midst of his senior season with North Allegheny, which only just began on Wednesday. Last year, the left-handed hitting infielder batted .437/.594/.859 with four doubles, four triples, six home runs, 23 RBIs, 33 runs scored, 19 stolen bases, 25 walks, and five strikeouts over 27 games (101 plate appearances) for the Tigers.
Per his Baseball America scouting report, Young “separated himself over the summer as the best shortstop in the 2022 prep class and perhaps the best pure hitter not named Termarr Johnson. … Young does most things on the field well, headlined by a sound offensive approach and a clean, flat bat path that he uses to spray the ball all over the field. He handles 90-plus mph velocity well and he has a solid understanding of the strike zone, tracking the ball well and keeping his barrel in the hitting zone for a long time.”
Defensively, Young “has a chance to stick at shortstop, where he’s a capable and fluid defender, if not an explosive one. He plays low to the ground, has a solid first step—and above-average speed underway—with above-average arm strength and good instincts.”
As for why he has the Red Sox taking Young off the board with the 24th overall selection, Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo writes that Young “would represent solid value” for Boston since he is a pure hitter who possesses sound tools all the way around.
MLB Pipeline, on the other hand, has Young ranked as their No. 14 draft-eligible prospect. They note that Young “is the kind of player who needs to be seen more than once to be truly appreciated, as his feel for the game is greater than any jump off the page tools.”
Since he plays the infield and hits from the left side of the plate, Young — who turns 19 in July — has drawn comparisons to former Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew and current Mariners second baseman Adam Frazier.
The Red Sox, in recent years, have not shied away from taking high school infielders early in the draft. Since Chaim Bloom took over as chief baseball officer in October 2019, Boston has selected Marcelo Mayer (2021, fourth overall) and Nick Yorke (2020, 17th overall) with their last two first-round picks.
(Picture of Cole Young: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)