Young intends to be better than ever at third

Young intends to be better than ever at third

TAMPA, Fla. -- One of the big questions the Phillies had coming into Spring Training was how well Michael Young would be able to make the transition back to third base after not playing there regularly since 2010.

Well, Young has only made one error in Grapefruit League play, and that came at the very beginning of the schedule. He handled five chances flawlessly in a 7-0 win over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Saturday. And he's bullish about what he's capable of this season.

Can Young, at age 36, play third better than he ever has before?

"I expect to," he said. "Preparation is the key to anything and I feel like I'm prepared and working hard, and I want to keep doing that during the season. I feel comfortable now, but there is always work to be done. I know I haven't been at third in a while, but I do know what it takes to play third base at a high level and I have definite goals in my head about the type of third base I intend to play. I'm going to keep working hard until I get there."

He's keeping those goals to himself, and they're not necessarily numerical.

"It's the way I feel over there. The third base I know I can play. I don't feel like I've played it to this point in my career. I've worked at it and worked at it, but at the same time you need the reps. A lot of things are starting to click over there that I was kind of searching for a little bit earlier. This is a classic example of learning by doing," he said.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.