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Delmon Young: Trend or mirage?

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • August 21, 2009 - 11:04 AM

Don't look now, but Delmon Young has five home runs in his past 10 games. That brings him up to 8 HR and 40 RBI for the season in 268 at bats in 76 games -- totals that project out to 17 HR and 85 RBI over 162 games. While there are still plenty of holes in Young's game (and bat, as evidenced by his 74 Ks to go with just nine walks), those numbers at least shake out as decent production.

Mind you, Young did something similar last year -- rebounding from an extremely sluggish first two months to hit .305 with 10 HR and 54 RBI over the final four. This year, since the start of June, young is 45 for 159 (.283, in much less playing time) with 7 HR and 26 RBI. Again, not great, but better than what naysayers (including us) might give him credit for.

His backers point out, and rightfully so, that Young is still young. He will turn 24 next month and could still put everything together over the course of a season and career. Plenty of players have been inconsistent early in their careers before the light bulb switched on for good.

His detractors point out, and rightfully so, that Young is still Young. The numbers are merely OK, and they don't tell the whole story about the player anyway. He has a good arm but is overall not a great fielder; he is undisciplined and streaky at the plate; and he never quite seems at ease with this team.

Cast aside what was given up to get Young, and consider: what should be done with Delmon? Keep nudging him along slowly and see if he can ease his way into his potential? Trade him while he still has value? Decide to sink or swim with him and hand him the keys to a corner outfield position on a permanent basis next year and trade one of the other outfielders to relieve the glut?

To us, it seems like the last two options are the only palatable ones.

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