Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Philadelphia Phillies sign Delmon Young

Twins fans, let me give you a few seconds to stop giggling.


My favorite Delmon Young moment came during his magical run back in 2010.  I was actually at Target Field, for the only game I witnessed in person that season.  Delmon was up with a runner or two on, I can't remember the exact situation.  I turned to my brother and said, "Delmon's going to line one over there."  I was pointing toward the right-center field gap.  The man in front of me was listening, and I know this because after Delmon did just that, the guy turned around and said, "whoa, you totally called that."  I'm sure he thought I was a wizard, and the fact that I was dressed like this probably perpetuated his feelings a bit.  The reality was, Delmon was actually hitting the ball well during that stretch, with the majority of his hits going in that direction.  He would line the ball into the gap and start chugging those tiny steps toward second base.  He actually had 46 doubles that season.

This is all anecdotal, I admit, but it certainly seemed like Delmon was on fire during that part of the 2010 season.  Perhaps the man who thinks I am a wizard is in the Philadelphia Phillies front office.  That might explain their signing of Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract to play baseball for them in 2013.  Young will be making 6 million dollars less than he did in 2012, which has to be one of the biggest pay cuts in MLB history for a player coming off his age 26 season.  Apparently, Young will play right field, leaving the Phillies an outfield of presumably Delmon Young, Ben Revere in center and Domonic Brown or John Mayberry Jr in left.  The Phillies seem to hate Brown, so bet on Mayberry Jr.  I would personally love it if they gave Brown's jersey number to Young.  Nothing against Brown, but their unwillingness to give him a shot is borderline comical at this point.

Back to Young.  Even in his breakout 2010 season, he still only managed a 2.9 rWAR, mostly due to the fact that he played terrible defense and didn't walk at all.  He drove in runs and hit for decent power, but has not even approached those numbers in his last two seasons.  His 89 OPS+ and -1.2 rWAR in 2012 would indicate that he has little to nothing to offer the Phillies beyond human body parts that work (to an extent).  Perhaps Young's tiny little steps will play better in Philadelphia than they did in Minnesota, Detroit or Tampa Bay.  He was the ALCS MVP last season.  Although, I am guessing the Phillies will be required to play a season longer than 4 games, which might lead to some regression from Young.

Philadelphia has the strangest roster.  Their pitching is obviously great, with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.  You can say what you will about closers, but Jonathan Papelbon is pretty great.  Their offense is just... confusing I guess?  They are so old.  Quick, how old is Chase Utley?  Nope, not 75.  He is actually just 34 although he seems a lot older.  Jimmy Rollins is 34 too.  Ryan Howard is 33.  Michael Young, the new third baseman, is 36.  The outfield is younger, but Delmon Young plays like he is 50.  Ben Revere is 24 and Domonic Brown is 25.  But, remember, Domonic Brown = Phillies poison and Ben Revere has no power.  There is legitimate debate as to whether Revere will ever hit a home run.  This paragraph is too age-y, but you get my point.  I just want to point out that love Chase Utley, so, you know.

Philadelphia's outfield defense just got worse.  This statement is true regardless of which outfield you are adding Delmon Young to.  Delmon Young is the Miracle Whip of baseball.  He is terrible to begin with and ruins anything you add him to.  It's just best not to have any of either around.  The Twins are using Josh Willingham in left field and Twins fans are happy with that.  That is how scarring it was to watch Delmon Young patrol left field, taking tiny steps and crazy routes to the ball.  This is an artist's rendering of a typical Delmon Young fly ball route.  Ben Revere has great range and crazy speed, but even he can't play two positions.      

It seems like Delmon Young has been around forever.  He is only 27 years old!  More ages!  Young should be entering his prime.  He just might not have a prime.  He was awful last season.  He posted a robust 5.5 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio, an OBP below .300 and a slugging percentage just above .400.  He somehow managed a triple, which probably took him about 400 steps to leg out (again, tiny steps).  So, his offense was terrible.  Everyone knows that his defense needs work (trying to be nice).  I think we may have just answered the question of "Is it possible to sign a player for $750,000 and have it actually hurt a team?"  The answer:  Yes, if that player is Delmon Young.

Reading my first paragraph again, I guess that Delmon Young moment was more of a Wizard Brad Swanson moment.  Therefore, my real favorite Delmon Young moment was the time he got hit in the side with a pitch and completely freaked out, yelling and pointing at his own dugout while clutching his side.  I refuse to look up the reason why this happened.  I like to imagine that he just spazzed out like a little kid and yelled in the direction that he was facing.  Phillies fans are just going to hate Delmon Young, and something tells me they will be yelling in his direction.  A lot.   


  1. For the most part I agree, but the Young signing at 750,000 is low risk/high reward. Philly isn't contending this year. If he hits they flip him to a contender before the deadline for cost-controlled usable pieces. If he doesn't, he's out after one year anyway.

    1. Hello, thanks for reading! I agree that he is a low risk signing and that pretty much anyone is at that price. I'm not sure how much reward, but he could have a 2010 renaissance and be a trade candidate. I just think he really hurts their team by being in the lineup. They are smart though, and I am sure if that is the case, they will simply release him.

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    1. This is something I had simply not considered when I wrote about this deal. Thanks for opening my eyes up a little!