Young finds spot with Astros

By Jose de Jesus Ortiz
Updated: December 22, 2009

HOUSTON — Eric Young, who climbed to the majors with the Colorado Rockies after being picked in the 43rd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, is ready for the second chapter of his baseball career as a roving instructor for the Astros.

The former ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst will try to pass along the enthusiasm he displayed during the 15-year career he spent as a second baseman and outfielder.

“It gets me back in uniform, and it gives me an opportunity to help youngsters work on their outfielding and their base running,” said Young, a career .283 hitter who had 79 home runs, 543 RBIs and 464 stolen bases.

Young, who lives in Houston, left ESPN recently when his contract wasn’t renewed.

“When this came up, it was an easy opportunity to be at home, work for the hometown team, and hopefully I can make a difference and possibly become a manager one day,” Young said.

After Astros general manager Ed Wade mentioned Young, assistant general manager Ricky Bennett reached out to the former player.

“He’s got unbelievable energy and passion for the game,” Bennett said. “That’s the type of leadership that we’re looking for from our staff to develop big-league players.”

After a three-year television stint with ESPN, the 42-year-old Young returns to baseball with hopes of passing along the techniques that helped him reach the 40-steal mark six times and the 50-steal mark three times.

“I want to establish a relationship with all the minor leaguers,” said Young, who also will help out at the start of major league camp. “I plan on making a difference. I’m putting my foot down and will work hard and will make a difference.”