Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Is Delmon Young FINALLY Coming Around?

Lately when Delmon Young has come up to the plate, I find myself more hopeful than normal and not thinking, "oh man..." It started in the middle of the series against Texas at the end of May. On back-to-back days, Young had a couple of hits, driving in 3 and scoring twice. In 9 games since May 28th, he has gone 11 for 34 (.324) with 5 xbh (including 2 HRs), 5 runs scored, and 12 RBIs. That's a pretty nice little 9 game stretch for someone the Twins have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting on to come around at the plate.

Looking deeper into the numbers, there is even more reason to be excited about Young's performance so far this season than his recent hot streak. In 50 games so far this season, Delmon's walk rate (13.2%) is much lower than his career average (19.4%), his walk rate (7.0%) is up from his career average (4.3%) and his ISO (isolated power, which is SLG% minus batting average) is higher than it's every been at .192. To summarize, Young is walking more, striking out less and hitting for more power. I know the sample size isn't spectacular, but here's another tidbit for ya. Young's career BABIP (batting avg. on ball in-play) is .334. To this point in the 2010 season, his BABIP is .276, which suggests that he's been somewhat unlucky so far and that his overall numbers could even be better than they are if a few hits fell here and there.

I'll keep my eye on Young as we enter the middle part of the baseball season, but suffice to say he is showing some signs of waking up offensively. If he can continue to be patient at the plate, I see no reason why his recent success won't continue. The issue for Gardenhire is going to be getting Young consistent playing time. The problem has been alleviated somewhat by Cuddyer being on the bereavement list, but he comes back tonight meaning that LF/DH will once again be a platoon, leaving Gardenhire to play 'musical chairs' with Thome, Young and Kubel. Who knew signing Thome would cause such problems?


  1. "...leaving Gardenhire to play musical chairs with Thome, Young and Kubel. Who knew signing Thome would cause such problems?"

    I was never in favor of the Thome signing for this reason...plus the fact that Thome can't run, can't play in the field, and admits pinch-hitting is not the best situation for him (needs more regular at-bats to hit effectively).
    I also believe Thome's presence is a big part of Kubel's hitting woes.

  2. yeah, i'm with you on that one. No one part of the platoon benefits from the situation. Some people out there say, "well so-and-so hits better against righties..." but what if that same player hits poorly against everyone when he doesn't play regularly.

    Thome's salary is minimal, I think they should give Kubes and Young a large majority of the playing time and occasionally pinch hit Thome when the situation calls for it. Thome is a one-year man, Kubes and Young are parts of the future.