07/26/2003 9:05 PM ET
Notes: Young Jr. follows dad's path
Injured lefty Ford nearing minor league rehab stint
By Dan Hyatt / MLB.com
DENVER -- Eric Young Jr. was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 30th round of this year's First-Year Player Draft, about 11 years after his father, Eric Young, made his Major League debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Young Jr., a switch-hitting second baseman, is in the possession of the Rockies until a week before the 2004 draft because he chose to enter the draft and forgo a scholarship at Villanova for both baseball and football. EY Jr. will attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona as a "draft-and-follow" candidate.
Young Sr., who would love one day to play with his son, supported his son's decision to go directly into the draft. Young understands the difficulty in choosing between the draft and being a two-sport collegiate athlete.
"I just want to support him in whatever he wants to do," said Young. "I know about playing major college football and I know that if your heart is not into it you shouldn't be playing. He didn't have to go on a football scholarship out of necessity like I did. "
Young Sr. played both baseball and football for Rutgers University. He earned all-conference honors for baseball on two occasions, batting over .300 in each of his three seasons, and graduated as the team's career leader in runs, triples and stolen bases.
Young also caught 109 passes for 1,380 yards and nine touchdowns as a wide receiver for Rutgers. He graduated as the third-leading receiver in school history and was elected to the Rutgers football Hall of Fame in 2001.
"I just wouldn't want him to play four years of college football with the demands of that schedule," said Young. "He has his mind set on baseball."
Young is in his 12th season in the Major Leagues playing for four different teams, including the inaugural 1993 season with the Rockies. The Brewers second baseman doesn't have any plans in the near future to call it quits, especially knowing his son could make the big leagues.
Young, the Brewer most often mentioned in trade rumors, signed a two-year free-agent contract that guaranteed $5 million with the Brewers before the 2002 season. The Brewers hold a $3 million option for 2004 with a $1 million buyout.
"I've never put a timetable on it [his career] and I would like to stay around," said Young. "But that's something big that he wants to accomplish, and he's going to do everything he can to move up the ladder fast. He's a determined kind of kid and I'm just going to try to stick around and keep myself in shape."
Young said it would be a dream to play alongside his son but also understands that might be difficult in this day and age.
"That would be awesome," he said. "But it doesn't matter. If it doesn't work out that way it's okay. But once he makes it, I know that will be about the time to retire."
All-Star slumps: Brewers All-Stars Richie Sexson and Geoff Jenkins were a combined 17-for-69 going into Saturday since the Midsummer Classic.
Sexson, who was tied for fourth in National League with 25 home runs before the All-Star break, has two homers and seven hits and has struck out eight times.
Jenkins has hit safely in his last seven games, but has only two extra-base hits and two RBIs since being voted to the All-star Game by the fans.
"It goes in cycles," explained Brewers manager Ned Yost. "They get hot and then they cool off a little bit. Our offense doesn't depend and rely solely on those two guys. If that's the case, we're in trouble. But when those two guys aren't hitting we have to find ways to cover them. We haven't done that so far."
Wes Helms has helped the struggling sluggers by batting .351 in his last ten games including five multi-hit games going into Saturday's contest against the Rockies.
Ford almost ready for rehab: Left-handed reliever Matt Ford is scheduled to throw on side this week and will hopefully begin his rehab assignment within the week.
"Hopefully he'll throw some [batting practice] and a simulated game soon," said Yost. "He's close to starting to rehab. Within a week or ten days."
Ford was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left elbow, and, according to Yost, will be back within a couple of weeks from the time he begins his rehab assignment
Dan Hyatt is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.