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Dugout Doings: Chesny and Kyle
Kyle Farmer
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Dugout Doings: Chesny and Kyle

Chesny Young is a regular in these Dugout Doings columns. From his days leading Marist High School to two state championships through three record-setting years with the Mercer University Bears to his rise in the  Chicago Cubs baseball organization, I have written about him often and will, again, today. Too seldom, however, have I written about Kyle Farmer. Kyle, like Chesny, is an NYO and Marist alum, who starred at shortstop for the University of Georgia. Now a catcher, Kyle is on the Los Angeles Dodgers' 40-man roster and has been rated among the team's top-25 prospects by truebluela.com. Chesny is rated #23 among rising Chicago stars by cubsinsider.com and was a non-roster invitee to spring training.

Google either of their names and you'll find high praise for each. 'Farmer very well could be the next man up . . . as the third catcher on the 40-man (roster), but it seems likely he'll spend quite a bit of time in Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he ended last year in the Pacific Coast League playoffs,' according to truebluela.com. Here's what cubsinsider has to say about Chesny: 'Now at Triple-A Iowa, Young can almost sniff Chicago. (This) should be his best year, as he will be in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Young hit .303 at Double-A Tennessee in 2016 and might be able to come up and stick with Chicago later in this year.' (To read more, please click on headline)


At 26, Kyle is a couple of years older than Chesny. He had a .308 career batting average at UGA and recorded a .968 fielding percentage, a school record for shortstops. The Dodgers took him in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB draft. In 2015, he was selected to the mid-season Single-A all-star team, but did not play due to a promotion to the Dodgers Double-A Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League, where he played in 76 games and hit .272. Kyle was selected to represent the Dodgers in the 2015 All-Star Futures game.  Last year, he played 74 games for the Drillers, hitting .256 with five homers and 31 runs-batted-in, before a late-seson promotion to Oklahoma City.  

Because of his college years as a shortstop, the Dodgers look to Kyle to play third base, too. He has played 43 games at third over the last two seasons. 'Farmer is a no-frills offensive performer (with) a better-than-average hit tool for a catcher,' according to truebluela.com. '(He) has a gap-to-gap line drive approach with a short swing and an above average ability to recognize pitches. As a catching convert, Farmer's defensive tools have come along quite well.  He has a decent arm and a quick release to control the running game.'  The Dodgers' proximity to Hollywood can't hurt, either. A football player at Marist, Kyle made a cameo appearance as the high school quarterback in the movie, 'The Blind Side.' 

Chesny also draws strong reviews on Cubs' web sites.  Although listed as a second-baseman, he's seen as a utility-player, too. 'Young has played all over the infield at Myrtle Beach and Tennessee, where he also logged eight games in the outfield in the last two seasons,' cubsinsider says. 'That versatilty could prime him for a utility role in the majors.'

Through Saturday, March 10, Chesny had six hits in 24 at-bats for a .250 average. In 300 minor-league games, he's a .314 hitter. Cubsinsider said he 'leads a group of five interesting (minor league) hitters to track in 2017.'  He played in the Domican Winter League for the Leones del Escogido team which was in last place when he joined them. Chesny hit .351 in 22 games and helped Leones qualify for post-season play.

Perhaps his Spring Training highlight came this past Friday in the sixth-inning of an 11-10 loss to the Seattle Mariners. There, on the mlb.com video, stood right-handed-hitting Chesny, waiting patiently as the Mariners pitcher delivered the pitch. The ball rocketed from his compact swing for a two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence.  Except for the #85 on his Cubs jersey, Chesny looked every bit the major leaguer he and Kyle hope to become.

(Jay Smith writes Dugout Doings and knows how rare it is to have one, let alone two, products of a rec baseball league knocking on the door of Major League Baseball.)
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