Posted at 6:36 AM on October 24, 2008
by David Zingler
While Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett have helped lead the Rays to the World Series, many Twins fans have begun to wonder why they were once so excited about Delmon Young. Rumors have even begun to swirl that the Twins are shopping the enigmatic outfielder.
It's true the trade looks like a mistake right now, but dealing Young would only make the situation worse. There are two reasons for that:
1. Young's value is much lower than it was a year ago.
Buying high and selling low is never a good idea. Any team looking to acquire Young would approach the Twins acting as if they are taking a problem off of their hands. He would look to be damaged goods - a player the Twins have given up on. In the end, the Twins wouldn't get much more than a mediocre veteran and/or a mid-level, minor league prospect for a player they gave up a quality shortstop and front-line starter to get just last year.
2. He's too young and has too much potential.
This is the big one. Despite all of his struggles in 2008, Young did hit .290 and 6 of his 10 homeruns came after August 8. True, his on-base-percentage of .336 is less-than-stellar, but it was a 20-point improvement over 2007. Also, the former #1 overall pick walked more (35 to 26) and struck out less (105 to 127) than he did his rookie season. So, while he still has a way to go in those areas, Young is showing signs of improvement.
That brings me to my final point: Delmon Young will be only 23-years-old on opening day next season and he already has two fairly successful major league seasons behind him. That is a testament to his raw talent. Baseball-Reference.com lists Tris Speaker and Carl Yaztremski as the players most similar to Young at his age.
I know the Twins outfield situation is crowded with Young, the emergence of Denard Span, the team's insistence on keeping Carlos Gomez in the line-up and the impending return of Michael Cuddyer - not to mention Jason Kubel - but, this is not the time to give up on a player with 5-tool, superstar potential. I hate to bring up David Ortiz, but dumping Young could end up being that bad or worse.
(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)