Feb. 27, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
Former Gaucho shortstop Michael Young will represent the USA at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, which runs from March 3 through March 20. The USA is joined in Pool B by Canada, Mexico and South Africa.
The United States team is loaded with current MLB stars including: Roger Clemens, Chad Cordero, Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan, Jake Peavy, Huston Street, Billy Wagner, Dontrelle Willis, Jason Varitek, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee, Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jeff Francoeur.
In 2005, Young took home the American League batting title by posting a .331 average. The Covina, Calif. native was the first Ranger to win the batting title since Julio Franco hit .341 in 1991. Young is also the first ever Gaucho to win the crown. Young started the season somewhat slowly, batting .214 through May 17, but quickly got hot and hit better than .360 the rest of the season en route to the title.
At UC Santa Barbara, Young was named First Team All-Big West in 1997 after hitting .359 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. He exploded onto the scene in 1996 and was instrumental in UCSB's berth in the NCAA Regionals, hitting .373 with 10 doubles and five home runs. Young is the last Gaucho to hit home runs in consecutive at-bats and hit for the cycle. For his career, he hit .346 with 18 home runs, 103 RBI, 28 doubles and 12 stolen bases in 126 games at UCSB.
Young and the USA team first hit the diamond on March 7 when they take on Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona at 2 p.m. local time, 4 p.m. ET.