Former Nationals All-Star Ian Desmond has been with the Texas Rangers for less than two weeks, but he's already getting high praise from an important figure in his new organization.
Special assistant to the GM Michael Young - who made seven All-Star teams with Texas before retiring - wonders how Desmond was still available for the Rangers to sign.
"I'm big on Desi. I've known him for a while, had a ton of respect when I played against him and I just think he's really, really a great fit. To be honest, I'm completely shocked he was still out there. If you're a GM or a manager, you've gotta kind of watch what you say, but as a special assistant I can kind of let if fly. 29 other teams missed the boat on this dude. 29 teams missed the boat. He's a Ranger now, and we're going to reap the benefits."
Young thinks Desmond learning to play left field will be no problem:
"It won't take long because one: he wants it. This guy wants it. We watched him out there, he basically took our outfield coaches aside and said he doesn't want two-a-days, he wants three-a-days. He's going early, middle and end. He wants to dominate left field. This guy has sat there and not just talked about going out there to play left field or to give his manager his options, which we know he can do because he's a great athlete, he wants to kill left field."
Young has a notable perspective not only as a part of Rangers' brass, but as a former shortstop. Young was one of the best shortstops in baseball for years before moving to third base. He made that switch at 31-years-old, just one year older than Desmond is now.
Desmond moving to left field is a more dramatic shift, but the same general concepts of a position change apply. Young has done it and he sees promise in Demsond's approach so far.