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After big first half Delmon Young falls back into old, bad habits

Sep 13, 2010, 12:46 PM EDT

Albert Lyu of Think Blue Crew used swing zone charts to take an interesting look at Delmon Young, Vladimir Guerrero, and Jeff Francoeur, who are the only hitters in baseball to hack at 60 percent of the pitches thrown to them this season
Guerrero is a potential Hall of Famer and we’ve written enough words here about Francoeur to last several lifetimes, so I’ll focus on Young. His swing-at-everything approach was easy to overlook when he was crushing the ball early on this season, but that production has dried up and unfortunately now just the horrible plate discipline remains.
Young has hit .211/.242/.314 in 38 games since August 1, striking out 29 times while drawing just five walks in 158 plate appearances. His batting average is still around .300 and he’ll drive in more than 100 runs, so I’m sure some people will call it a great season. However, his .805 OPS isn’t very far above the .775 average for corner outfielders and once his terrible defense is factored in Young ranks just 33rd among AL outfielders at 13 runs above replacement level.
The clutch hitting has been very valuable and Young has obviously been much better than he was in 2008 and 2009, but a .328 on-base percentage and .477 slugging percentage from an awful defensive left fielder just isn’t all that great. For some context, in his four seasons as a regular Jason Kubel has a .344 on-base percentage and a .477 slugging percentage, topping Young’s current OPS by 15 points. And rarely does anyone make a big deal of his production.
Minnesota is all but assured of a spot in the playoffs, but getting Young back on track will be key to actually making some noise in October.

  1. Utley's hair - Sep 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Wow…with Freancoeur and “hack” in the same sentence, I read the byline twice to make sure I saw Aaron instead of Craig.

  2. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Sep 13, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I love Delmon, but I don’t trust him to ever fully get his sh!t together.
    I think if they were smart, the club would try to unload him this offseason while his value is relatively high (would have been better to move him at the deadline if there was a candidate ready to step in full-time, but Revere may or may not be ready).

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