Delmon Young has:
A .300 batting average
A team-high 102 runs batted in.
A .931 OPS (on base-plus-slugging percentage) with runners in scoring position.
A total of 59 extra-base hits (compared to 72 in 2008 and 2009 combined).
A month of July (.434/.455/.736) when he pretty much carried the offense.
And you don't have to go far to find a debate over Delmon's abilities, which is one of the most pointless discussions at a time when the Twins are 30 games over .500, nine games ahead of Chicago and using its strengths to overcome its shortcomings.
Bulletin: All teams have shortcomings. The '27 Yankees had a third baseman with an OPS+ of only 79 and a shortstop who made 47 errors. Good thing they had Ruth and Gehrig to make up for that ineptitude, even if the Babe made 13 errors in the outfield. And Tampa Bay has a shortstop whose OPS is 70 points lower than last season. Some guy named Bartlett.
One of the mysteries of this season is wondering exactly what it is that people want from Delmon.
Here's what you have: A guy who is finishing his third season with the Twins and has made significant improvement in his offense during the second half of that time. He's a free swinger who is getting a better understanding of the strike zone -- and the pitches he can handle outside of the zone. He's hitting for more power and cutting down his swing somewhat in unfavorable counts. He's stopped trying to take everything to right field, a serious shortcoming of his early Twins time.
Delmon has slumped for spells. Guess what? If you look hard enough, you can find a several-week stretch of 2009 when Joe Mauer had a .288 OBP. And Jim Thome strikes out a lot, too.
Delmon struggles on defense. That puts him in a group with every Twins left fielder of the last 10 years -- Jason Kubel, Lew Ford, Shannon Stewart, Jason Tyner, RonDL White and Jacque Jones. All of them had shortcomings in one way or another and -- if I needed to choose among those guys, given what the Twins need right now -- Delmon is an easy selection. (Jones comes in second, but the Twins need Delmon's right-handed bat right now more than another lefty.)
Let's try another group, the crew of AL Central left fielders: Delmon, Juan Pierre, Johnny Damon, Ryan Raburn, Alex Gordon, anyone that Cleveland puts in left field. Your choice? Sorry, but you're not going to get Carl Crawford -- and I'm wondering, after a quick check of American League left fielders, who would be a better fit for the Twins right now?
Or this: Delmon: .300/.333/.488. Jason Kubel: .254/.329/.454. Delmon 18 homers, Kubel 19 homers. Delmon 102 RBI, Kubel 85 RBI. Delmon: Wish he played better defense. Kubel: Wish he played better defense. Sinker: Wish he had front-row seats behind the dugout.
In all three cases, I'm happy for what I've got.