Padres make big addition in Young

Padres make large addition in Young

SAN DIEGO -- They think they're getting better, but the Padres know for certain they're getting bigger.

In their largest move yet, anatomically speaking, they claimed first baseman Walter Young on waivers from the Orioles on Thursday.

At 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, Young is believed to be the heaviest performer in organized baseball. Earlier this offseason, the Padres also acquired 6-foot-10 right-hander Chris Young from Texas. The pair of large Youngs, no relation, will be joined by Chris' former Rangers teammate, Doug Brocail, a 6-5 middle reliever.

Also in the mix is a pair of 6-4 right-handers, Dewon Brazelton and Kenny Baugh, who will compete for starting jobs in Spring Training.

Walter Young, a left-handed hitter with enormous power potential, has averaged 23 home runs, 27 doubles and 92 RBIs over his past four Minor League seasons in the Orioles and Pirates systems.

The promising slugger, who turns 26 on Feb. 18, made his Major League debut with the Orioles in 2005, batting .303 in 33 at-bats with one home run and three RBIs in 14 games. He was designated for assignment after the team signed Kevin Millar as a free agent.

With the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx of the International League, Walter batted .288 in 2005 with 13 homers and 81 RBIs in 123 games. He had 29 doubles and a .438 slugging mark.

Originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the 31st round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Young was claimed off waivers by the Orioles in 2003. He spent the 2004 season dueling with the Phillies' Ryan Howard for the Eastern League home run and RBI crowns, falling short with 33 homers and 98 RBIs for Double-A Bowie, slugging .537 while batting .272.

A big man who swings hard but is selective, Young, from Purvis, Miss., has drawn comparisons at times with the Red Sox' slugger, David Ortiz. He moves well around the bag at first and has good hands.

In seven Minor League campaigns in the Baltimore (2004-05) and Pittsburgh (1999-2003) organizations, Young has a career batting average of .286 with 116 home runs, 137 doubles and 477 RBIs in 677 games.

With the addition of Young, the Padres are now scheduled to have 55 players report to Spring Training.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.