Douglas High baseball

Electric talent

Tigers’ Thomas Young reflects on lessons learned and the pursuit of his passion

Douglas High School senior Thomas Young leaps to make a catch in the outfield earlier this season. Young will head to San Diego State in the fall where he will continue his baseball career.

Douglas High School senior Thomas Young leaps to make a catch in the outfield earlier this season. Young will head to San Diego State in the fall where he will continue his baseball career.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

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Thomas Young’s game will make you sit up in your seat.

With a week to go in the baseball regular season, he leads the Class 5A North in nearly every statistical offensive category and that’s to say nothing of his defensive acumen.

Through 24 games this spring, Young tops the league in batting average (.528), slugging percentage (.972), home runs (five) and stolen bases (32).

The Douglas High School senior was essentially born with a baseball in his hand, starting from the age of 3.

Now that his high school career is coming to a close, the San Diego State signee has been able to reflect on the ups and downs of his time with the Tigers and several life lessons he’s taken away from the game.


Young admits his college recruitment process was one of the bigger challenges he’s faced to this point.

He will be the first member of his family to go to college and initially the recruitment process was one he was completely unfamiliar with.

“I think the early stages of my recruitment showed me a lot. I think in the beginning I was very immature. I didn’t really know what was going on,” said Young. “It was stressful; exciting. Many, many emotions.”

That maturity level has shifted, as he’s gotten closer to officially becoming a Division I athlete.

Originally an Oregon State commit, Young transitioned to San Diego State where he signed his national Letter of Intent this past December.

Young wears his emotions on his sleeve on the field, but as a senior and a role model to a younger brother, he wants his actions to do the talking.

“Obviously, things didn’t work out with Oregon State and I think that opened my eyes a little bit. I stepped back and really had to evaluate myself to see what I needed to work on, on and off the field — my relationships and how I act,” said Young. “I think with that I’ve been able to move forward and really excel on and off the field.”

The outgoing senior said his freshman season feels like it was yesterday and he acknowledges he’s lucky to have his next steps be centered on his true passion.

“It goes by quick,” Young said of his high school career. “I can remember freshman year and here I’m going to be graduating in a few months. … You’re with your brothers every day. What more can you ask for?”


Young was a three-sport athlete until big-time college programs started recruiting him for baseball.

Growing up, Young was positioned behind the plate as a catcher.

Originally, his move to the outfield didn’t draw that much internal excitement.

“At first, it was definitely boring. Coming from catcher, you’re involved in every pitch and then you go out there and you’re waiting,” Young said.

There’s nothing boring about watching Young play center field.

He’s a pitcher’s best friend, as every ball hit to the outfield has a chance to be tracked down by the senior, who has shown exceptional speed and instincts in the field.

As a sophomore against a nationally-ranked Reno team, Young took away an extra-base hit with a diving snag on a ball that would’ve otherwise ended up rolling to the wall.

Most in attendance weren’t sure he even caught it; the play was that impressive.

Photographic evidence proved his case and Douglas went on to upset the Huskies that afternoon.

A few weeks ago against McQueen, he even surprised himself making an all-out diving catch to take away extra bases.

“That McQueen one surprised me. I don’t know how I got to that ball,” Young said.

His speed in the outfield naturally translates to the base paths where he is successfully swiping bags at more than a 90 percent clip.


His instincts and quickness put an enormous amount of pressure on opposing pitchers.

“I feel like when I’m on the basepaths, I am all they can think about,” said Young. “I steal second and then you have to deal with Owen (Evans) and Jeffrey (Peters), trying to get them out. It puts a lot of pressure on the other team.”

The combination of talents bring out an immense level of self-confidence.

You can see it when he steps to the plate, bobbing his head up and down to his upbeat walk-up music.

His work doesn’t stop after the season either, with countless hours spent in the batting cage or in the weight room.


Young knows that he’s lucky to be able to continue his dreams at the next level.

He and the rest of the Tigers have aspirations of making a state tournament appearance.

His on-field success can’t be denied, but the lessons he’s learned through the game might be his biggest takeaway from his preps career.

“Find what you love and truly pursue it, whatever it is,” said Young. “Mine is the game of baseball.”

Thomas Young rounds the bases after hitting a home run against Carson earlier this season. Young leads the Class 5A North in batting average (.528), slugging percentage (.972), home runs (five) and stolen bases (32) this season. / Ron Harpin)


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