He’ll huff. And he’ll puff. And he’ll … win a home run derby?
Over the weekend former Minnesota Twins outfielder Delmon Young outslugged National League All-Stars Willson Contreras and Eugenio Suarez and the NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna to win a derby put on by the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
Young, who never developed into the player the Twins thought he’d become when they acquired him from the Rays before the 2008 season, blasted 38 homers over the course of the three rounds (15-10-13), besting Acuna in the final 13-10 after those two outslugged the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres (the third-place finisher in the AL Rookie of the Year vote) and the Cubs’ Contreras in the second round.
But back to that huffing and puffing thing: En route to victory, video shows Young appearing to call timeout as he stepped out of the batter’s box and instantly beginning to fan himself down before hunching over.
Luckily someone came to him quickly with a towel and a beverage so he could regain his form.
Young told LVBP.com (in Spanish) that he was just trying to cool down while also keeping his body loose.
Young, 33, hasn’t played for an MLB team since 2015 when he was in his second and final season with the Orioles, hitting .270 with two homers, 16 RBI and a .628 OPS in 52 games.
This season the first pick in the 2003 MLB draft is hitting .302 with 13 homers, 35 RBI and a .908 OPS in 44 Venezuelan league games.
His best season with the Twins came in 2010 when he hit .298 with 21 homers, 112 RBI and an .826 OPS in 153 games while also finishing in the top 10 of that year’s AL MVP voting. He was traded by the Twins to the Tigers in August 2011.