For Young, future bright

Baseball: Old Mill's Tyler Young doesn't want to see his stellar high school career end, but he's a pro prospect who likely will be selected in the June amateur draft.

High Schools

April 27, 2003|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Old Mill's Tyler Young is a high school senior who knows exactly what he wants to do.

"I want to make baseball my life," he says. But he's also hesitant to see his high school career near an end.

"Getting out there in the sun and playing baseball and having fun, it doesn't get any better than that. But when I finish my high school career, it's going to be bittersweet because I don't want it to end, yet I want to move on."

A three-year starter in center field and part-time pitcher for the No. 3 Patriots (10-3), Young, 18, not only earned All-County honors last year as a junior, he was a second-team All-Metro selection.

This year, Young is considered to be a pro prospect and possibly the metro area's best player as an outfielder. He will likely be selected in the June amateur draft.

Arundel's veteran coach, Bernie Walter, is also an associate scout for the Orioles. He has coached scores of major leaguers at Arundel and nationally through his work with various summer teams. Of Young, Walter says he's "an excellent pro prospect who has all the tools you look for."

Young has a lot of pop in his bat (.484 this season), runs well (6.7 seconds in the 60-yard dash) and beats out ground balls to second base despite hitting right-handed. As an outfielder, he has the quickness to run down most balls, not to mention a strong right arm that enabled him to throw out seven runners last year.

"He loves to play the game, is always smiling and is fun to be around," said Old Mill coach Mel Montgomery, who considers Young to be one of the top five outfielders he has coached in his 25 years at the Millersville school.

"Most of the best players are always looking for ways to beat you, and that's the way Tyler is," Montgomery said.

At 6 feet 1, 192 pounds, Young has what scouts call "a good makeup." He has a swagger that most outstanding athletes have. He also considers himself laid back, and a real sports fanatic who loves watching games and reading sports magazines.

"A lot of people think I'm real cocky because I wear wrist bands and tight baseball pants, but I'm not," Young said. "I care about my team and hope that I can say when I graduate that I played on a state championship team."

Several pro clubs are interested in drafting Young, then encouraging him play at a junior college before making him an offer before next year's draft (teams retain rights for one year).

"That would be fine with me because I feel that playing baseball year-round for the first time will help me develop," said Young, who has spent the fall months over the past four years playing football as a quarterback and defensive back for the Patriots.

"I would play at Northwest Shoals [Ala.] Community College. I have no regrets playing football and not fall baseball," Young said.

The Orioles have invited him to their pre-draft workout for prospects on May 26 at Camden Yards. Most of the participants, like Young, are considered the top high school standouts in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Last season, Young batted .459 and scored 25 runs, and had 23 RBIs, seven doubles, three triples, four homers and 11 stolen bases. After this past football season, Old Mill wrestling coach Jim Grim put him on a weight-training program.

He's on a pace to surpass those numbers this spring.

With 15 hits in 31 at-bats, Young has 13 runs, 10 RBIs, three doubles, a triple, a homer and 17 stolen bases. Walked 12 times already, he has taken advantage of his offensive opportunities.

"It's kind of insane that opposing pitchers are pitching around him and walking him with the way Bernie Harvey is hitting the baseball for us," Montgomery said.

Harvey, the Old Mill catcher who hits behind Young in the No. 4 position, is one of the most dangerous hitters in the area. Harvey has five home runs.

"Bernie's hitting bombs and they're still pitching around me and throwing me nothing but curves," said Young, who didn't see his first-pitch fastball this season until Friday's 6-1 win over Annapolis. He singled to center on that pitch.

Young credits his stepfather, Rick Schelfe, a Maryland state trooper and Mike Leone Sr. for helping him develop in the summertime by coaching him in national tournaments.

"Mr. Leone's sons, Matt and Mike, have been my best friends since I was a little kid," Young said. "And I've had the same girlfriend for four years. I don't give up on things real easy, and when I have problems, I find a way to make it work.

"I commit to things."

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