Young focused as he nears 2,000th hit

Young focused as he nears 2,000th hit

ARLINGTON -- With 1,998 hits on his career after his single in the third inning on Saturday, Michael Young finds himself at a level which few Major Leaguers have reached.

Young said the key to reaching such a prestigious milestone is approaching each at-bat as if it's his last.

"I think that's key," Young said. "No matter what the situation is in the game, you don't want to give at-bats away. They're too precious. I want to look back when it's all said and done and say that I competed with everything that I got. I've got a long way to go still to get to where I want to be, so it starts today, and I have to focus on tonight's game."

This approach is shown through the consistency in Young's season numbers. In each of the last eight seasons, Young has totaled more than 170 hits and finished with a batting average higher than .300 in all but two of them.

If Young gets those final two hits within the next 18 games he plays in, he would be the 11th-fastest hitter to reach 2,000 hits since 1900, along with the third-fastest right-handed batter. Of the 10 hitters ahead of him, all but still-active Ichiro Suzuki is in the Hall of Fame.

While Young's contributions at the plate are more or less expected at this point, he's has been turning heads recently with his solid play at third in place of the injured Adrian Beltre.

"He looks quicker to me," manager Ron Washington said. "That could be because he doesn't have to be out on the field grinding every day like he has been in the past. He's definitely been in better positions out there."

Young, who started at third for the Rangers last season, said he is getting more comfortable as he plays more at third.

"When you play defense, the more reps you get, the better you get," Young said. "Defensively, it's mostly about rhythm. The more balls you see, the better angles you take. You don't get that in a Spring Training or even a season."