This space contained a post concerning Robinson Cano yesterday as a young player who has seemingly figured out some things about baseball life. A nice article on MLB.com concerning Delmon Young of the Twins seems to paint the same picture about Delmon Young. The Twins should stick with this guy.
It's hard to remember just how young Delmon Young is. Entering his third full major league season at the age of 23 is amazing in these days of college players. Most information about Young seemed to indicate that he was immature. Well, duh! The player was just a kid! And yet, even at such a young age, Young has put up some pretty good years in the majors.
The three flaws one can see from Young's statistics are his plate discipline, his slugging percentage and his range in left field. All three can be rectified as Young matures into a player. Most players are still in the minors at his age and work on such things, but Young has been learning on the big stage. As his body matures and he adds muscle, the extra base hits will increase. He did walk nine more times last year than the year before (in less at bats due to some injuries). And his Jason Bay-like range factor can at least be explained in part by a bum ankle for most of last season.
The Twins got Young as the centerpiece of the major trade last year when Matt Garza, among others, went to Tampa Bay. The six player trade would not have taken place without Delmon Young going to the Twins. So why give up on that guy so soon? Tom Gardenshire caused quite a flap when the manager of the Twins mentioned three guys in the outfield and did not include Young in his crystal ball. The article linked to this post indicates that Gardenshire has backed off of those comments and smoothed things over with Young.
If anything, the competition for the three starting spots in the Twins outfield is a good problem for the Twins and just the sort of challenge Delmon Young needs to advance to the next level in his career. The Fan says: Put in in left field on opening day and leave him there as this could be the year Young becomes a superstar.