FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Chris Young loves the "weirdness" of the dimensions at Fenway Park. He loves the energy of an electric Boston Red Sox crowd that knows its baseball. He loves the history and the idea of patrolling the same turf that Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans once did.
"And the short left-field porch isn't too bad, either," he said Sunday morning after reporting to the Fenway South complex for his first day with the Red Sox.
This is important, because Young likely will be peppering -- or clearing -- The Green Monster with regularity.
In each of the past five seasons, more than half of the balls he's put into play have been to his pull side, according to Fangraphs -- good enough to finish first twice, second once and in the top-15 the other two years among American League hitters. The league average over that period of time was 39 percent.
He's also deadly against left-handed pitchers, hitting .327 with seven home runs, 24 RBIs and a .972 OPS in 175 plate appearances against them last year while playing for the New York Yankees.
"Well, he's going to get every left-handed starter we see," manager John Farrell said.
"I think the role [will be] the same as my role in the past couple of years -- as in, be ready for whatever," said Young, who signed for $13 million over two years. "Coming in, I may come in as a fourth outfielder. Things happen. Performance plays. And whatever happens after that, spring training roles don't matter much, in my opinion. It's all about showing up and being ready to play and being ready to produce and help the team as much as possible. Whatever that turns into, it turns into."
If he produces, it could turn into a beautiful love affair. If he doesn't, maybe not so much. But he's used to that kind of pressure, having played in New York in 2014 for both the Mets and Yankees and last year just for the Yankees.
"If there's anywhere else that can prepare you for [the pressure of Boston], it's definitely New York," he said. "So it's something that I've learned to get used to. But with this comes crowds and a lot of energy and a lot of expectations to win. And that's something that drives me."