The triple-A baseball season kicks off on Friday for Jared Young and the Iowa Cubs when they take on the Columbus Clippers.
Young is fresh off an appearance with Canada at the World Baseball Classic, where they went 2-2, just barely missing the playoff round.
After landing back in Des Moines, Young told MyPGNow.com having the maple leaf on your chest was a great experience.
“I didn’t realize just how much fun you would have and how competitive it is. It might be up there as the most favourite baseball I have ever played. I can’t wait for the next one and I hope I can put that jersey on again,”
“If I asked, I don’t think it would be a question – I would say yes in a heartbeat.”
The highlight of the tournament for Young was a solo home run against the United States in a loss – he explained to Vista Radio what he saw while up at the plate.
“I was hitting fourth and we went 1-2-3 in the first and unfortunately in the bottom of the first the United States put up nine on us and the first inning got out of hand. I was leading off and trying to get some momentum back – I had a good at-bat and it turned into a home run.”
Young became the first PG-born player to crack a major league roster, suiting up in six games for the Chicago Cubs batting .263.
In his first full season with the I-Cubs, Young batted .230 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Heading into the final year of his contract, Young believes he has another gear in him.
“One year older is one year wiser and hopefully a little bit stronger. You basically have to go out and play and hope all the preparation you did pays off.”
“It’s kind of a familiar place for me now (Des Moines) but it’s a good spot to start the season and we’ll see if we can get out of here.”
Predictably, the Cubs who finished 74-88 in the MLB’s National League’s Central Division upgraded its roster in the off-season by signing Cody Bellinger, Dansby Swanson, Jameson Taillon, and a slew of others to upgrade its roster.
Young stated while it makes the road back to the majors a little bit tougher – roadblocks like this aren’t unexpected.
“I showed last year that I could do it. Getting up there and having some success is really nice but you always know that in the off-season, especially, big-money teams like the Cubs will go out and get free agents to make it a little bit tougher for minor-league guys to break into the big leagues. I showed that I can do it and it’s one of those things where you have to play well and cement my position.”