2012 Prediction Series: Delmon Young

There’s going to come a point when you’re just going to have to look in a mirror and tell yourself the following:

“Delmon Young is a decent player on a good team and will benefit from hitting behind Prince Fielder and therefore put up better numbers than any year in his career save for one and you can’t overreact about it.”

Promise me.

I want you to repeat that sentence above and don’t click the read more button until you do.

Okay, so you obviously are here and you’ve discovered a new understanding of Delmon Young. If not, consider that he was once the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays in 2003. He had some high expectations thanks to the place where he went in the draft and since he had 56 extra base hits as an 18 year old, 61 as a 19 year old, and 34 as a 20 year old before getting called up in August of 2006.

No, he doesn’t walk at all, no he doesn’t play good defense, no he won’t hit 30 home runs; but since the Tigers paid Cole Nelson and Lester Oliveros for him at the tail end of the season…I’ll play it safe by saying the trade was worthwhile for Detroit and he will be a welcome edition to the clubhouse this year.

Even though he has as many years with negative fWAR as he has positive fWAR:

2007 -0.0 2006 0.9
2008 -0.6 2010 1.8
2009 -0.9 2011 0.4

Or, he has a lifetime on base percentage of .321 in nearly 3000 at bats.

Whatever the case, Young is a free agent after this year and he is 26. 26! Now, I’m not going to emphasize that more than the protection he will receive from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder( and Jhonny Peralta for that matter), but he like Brennan Boesch, he is someone to keep an eye one, two if it were to help him walk a bit more.

All the projection metrics have him around 15-20 home runs and between 65-86 RBI. They all see him hitting about .280 with an on base percentage around .310-.330. Toss in about 75 runs scored, and you have the makings of a respectable year.

Do I think he’ll outperform the metrics? Optimistically, yes. But there are a lot of factors in having a successful season. Last year I thought that Ryan Raburn would have a great year because he had signed a new two year deal and was given the left field job out of spring training. For one reason or another he tanked, was benched and if it wasn’t for his annual two month slugfest in August and September, we wouldn’t be talking about him either.

However Young plays, I keep coming back to the fact that the first overall draft pick was acquired for two forgetful relievers and he has some really nice upside to his game. It’s a win-win situation for the organization in 2012, and no one ever complains about that no matter how low the expectations are.

Walkoff Woodward Bubblegum Card Prediction:

PA R B2 B3 HR RBI
650 72 27 1 26 102
BB SB AVG OBP SLG BABIP
29 2 .294 .318 .444 .329
  • Spartynation1

    I fell into the Raburn trap last year too, so I was pleased to read that I was not alone. As for Young, I agree that we will be happy with his bat by year’s end. He isn’t the focal point here in Detroit and that seems to suit him. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmy-Bell/561947234 Jimmy Bell

      That’s an interesting thought, that I hadn’t thought of. In Tampa he was the #1 pick, in an organization without a lot of money or stars, and relied on to be the star. In Minnesota, with the problems Mauer and Morneau have had the past few years, he was counted on to be the star again. Here in Detroit, he’s just a middle of the road guy who can just play without all the pressures. Seems like that suits him better than the #1 pick mentality.

  • Motorcitycats

    Dear Lord Almighty, I just hope he doesn’t get an extension but he’d the perfect Detroit player: gap hitter, slow as a snail, injury prone…..

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