Q&A: MPI All-State shortstop Wyatt Young

Mid-Pacific's Wyatt Young (7) threw to first to complete a double play against 'Iolani this season. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

Two months have passed since Wyatt Young shared his appreciation for dad’s barbecue ribs.

That might be something the recent Mid-Pacific graduate takes to the mainland. Young will depart on Thursday to play for the Utah Marshalls, a summer baseball outfit. Two months on the continent, in a home with a kitchen, means he might have an opportunity to replicate dad’s cooking.

Young gets one last chance to learn from the grill master soon.

“I think we’re actually having ribs tomorrow (Monday). I’d just follow the recipe on the package,” Young said on Sunday.

Young, voted by coaches and media to the Star-Advertiser All-State baseball first team at shortstop, lives and breathes the game. He is basically an off-island baseball nomad once he boards his flight on Thursday. When the summer season, which includes trips to San Diego and Oregon, concludes on Aug. 6, Young will have two weeks back home before he turns around and travels to Pepperdine.

Young chatted with Hawaii Prep World in between daily batting-cage workouts at Damon Field.

HPW: What’s the summer schedule like?

Young: I leave this Thursday for the Utah Marshalls, summer baseball, until Aug. 6.

HPW: That’s a long stretch.

Young: It’s kind of like a minor league lifestyle, traveling a lot, waking up to baseball.

HPW: Is this the perfect life?

Young: Something like that.

HPW: Is it a dorm situation or a house?

Young: We’re staying at a Hyatt apartment. I’m not too sure exactly. There’s a kitchen for us.

HPW: You and the roommates will still probably stop by fast-food places.

Young: I’ll probably eat at Subway or whatever’s open. It’s Salt Lake City or Park City.

HPW: Did you travel like this last year?

Young: Last summer, I was playing on the American Legion team for Mid-Pacific.

HPW: Utah is not too far away from some MLB games.

Young: We go to San Diego and Oregon, road trips. I hope we can see some games.

HPW: Your routine is still the same, basically, in the cages every morning. Do you aim for an exact number of swings each day?

Young: I don’t count it, it’s just a feeling thing. It depends on the situation.

HPW: Is the pitching machine all fastballs?

Young: Fast, curve, slider, cutters. You can adjust.

HPW: Amazing.

Young: Usually I have a parent supervising and monitoring.

HPW: You mentioned four teachers in our last Q&A. That was generous. Have you heard from them?

Young: No, but I got some responses from teachers I didn’t mention. You should mention Coach Brad Taura. He’s a teacher. He read the article. He said I had to shout him out next.

HPW: Well played. Gotta love on your teachers. Have you heard from anyone since the All-State team was published today (Sunday)?

Young: I got some messages from some friends, my past coaches. I never really thought about it too much. Not really. I’m grateful for it. I’m blessed to be first team, but I try not to celebrate.

HPW: You’re very focused. A lot of my favorite hitters in history, they were compact lefty hitters. You’re very similar. I’m looking forward to seeing you progress in college. The life as an Owl is over. How do you feel now?

Young: It’s pretty sad. I didn’t think it was going to be this sad, but there’s so many relationships we’ve built over the years, especially our senior class, we had a tight bond since seventh grade.

HPW: It was a special group. How about young players starting middle school who have some talent, but still working on their skills and confidence? What would you advise a player like that?

Young: There’s a lot of things you can tell a kid. The most important is if they work hard they can accomplish anything. My freshman year I kind of planned it out. I thought I wouldn’t get recruited out of high school. I would go to JC, then hopefully go to a D-I or D-II (college), try my best to get drafted. You work hard, then you find out what’s possible.

HPW: You do know it’s OK to take a break now and then.

Young: I’ll be at the cage tomorrow (Tuesday). It opens up a little later, anywhere from 8 to 10.

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