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Brandon McCarthy on Michael Young

Brandon McCarthy does a lengthy Q&A that includes an interesting take on Michael Young and what makes him special

Jamie Squire

There's a lengthy Q&A up at Yahoo Sports between Answer Dave and former Ranger pitcher Brandon McCarthy, and while the whole thing is worth a read, something I wanted to point out in particular is what McCarthy had to say about Michael Young:

DB: Have you considered going undercover for Fangraphs so they can accurately measure the D-backs grittiness quotient in 2013?

BM: Haha. No, but I want someone there to come up with a way to quantify mental ability. I wouldn’t define it as “grit” but it could fall in there.

DB: Can you explain?

BM: There are people that are just better mentally than anybody else. Talent is pretty evenly spread through the game — even from the elite players to the players who are Triple-A starters. There’s not a big gap at all and I know it’s cliche, but there’s really not. And there are just people that are really good mentally.

I know Michael Young is kind of a dividing point for all of the metrics, but he’s one of the best mental players I’ve ever been around. Not just from the teammate or “super teammate” aspect, but he’s absolutely locked in mentally and so, so good at focusing on taking it day to day, at-bat to at-bat and pitch to pitch. And that’s one of those things — it always gets passed over because most people can’t see inside. You only the see the performance [and the result] and what you can quantify. And I wish there was a way to quantify mental ability. Some guys are just better at that, when everybody else would kind of fall apart.