#3 / Left Field / Philadelphia Phillies
Sep 14, 1985
2012 Totals: .267/.296/.411, 18 home runs, 0 stolen bases in 2 attempts, 608 plate appearances
Contract Status: 1 year, $750k with bonuses for performance, roster status, and weight (courtesy of Cot's Contracts)
The preview I'd like to write about Delmon Young would ideally be one sentence long and go a little something like this: "After revealing his lifelong secret passion to become an accountant, Delmon Young retired from baseball today to turn that dream into a reality."
But that's not true, so I can't write that preview. Instead, I have to write a preview about the real Delmon Young and not the one that lives in bizarro world.
Delmon Young is a bad idea. The man has a weight incentive in his contract. In his contract! They didn't think "Dude, you can't field a position when you're shaped like a beach ball, so you might want to think about losing some weight" would be enough. They had to incentivize it. Unborn children think this is a stupid idea. Delmon Young blows. He's big and slow, so he doesn't steal bases, which would be ok if he was a better hitter. If he hit more than 20 home runs in a year (which he's only done once). Or if his on base percentage was higher than .317 for his career and .299 over the last two seasons. Or if he walked more than once in a blue moon.
Maybe some of his baseball deficiencies would be acceptable if he were a positive clubhouse presence. A leader. Or at the very least a decent dude who isn't a chore to be around. Unfortunately, none of those things seem to be true. Everyone knows about his arrest last year, which was caused by him being drunk and shouting an anti-Semitic slur. He did this in New York City, which as you know contains no Jewish people. Shockingly (oh, wait, no) this was classified as a hate crime. So he already sounds like a swell person. But this interview from Dennis Deitch of the Delaware County Daily Times really illustrates what a *charmer* Young is, and why anyone would want him in their clubhouse. He seems spectacularly unexcited about pretty much anything that has to do with him getting ready to play baseball again. Expanded workouts? Yawn. Pregame batting practice? Lame. He sounds like the perfect guy to inspire little leaguers to never play baseball ever again.
Single celled paramecia think this is an earth shatteringly terrible idea. And not because of the money. It's not about that. It's a drop in the bucket to the Phillies. If he sucks, they cut him and they take the loss. It's about what he symbolizes. The man hasn't played right field since 2007 and yet that's the position he was signed to play. Young has actually spent the majority of his career in left field, which is funny, because Amaro thinks he's not very good in left field. Young doesn't particularly like playing left field, either, which is another reason Amaro gave for wanting him to play right field, a spot I'm not even sure Young can find without a map. I mean, if Young doesn't *want* to play left field, then why should he!? At the Phillies Summer Camp and Happy Feelings Jamboree, it's all about what a player wants and feels. Unless, of course, you're a player who as recently as two years ago was number four on Baseball America's top prospect list. In that case, fuck feelings. YOU'LL PLAY WHERE RUBEY WANTS!
At the end of the season, I want my player review to read "Delmon Young didn't play a day in Philadelphia. The end." But I have a feeling that's not likely to be the case. I'm torn between wanting him to fail so badly that they cut him (but how badly would he have to fail for that to happen?), or wanting him to do well because it's for the good of the team in the long run. I guess we'll all find out.
Well whaddaya know! I spent this whole preview complaining about Delmon Young instead of previewing his upcoming season. How about that!
2013 ZiPS Projection:
.276/.312/.445, 20 home runs, 2 stolen bases, 604 plate appearances
2013 Bill James Projection:
.279/.315/.434, 17 home runs, 3 stolen bases, 566 plate appearances
2013 PECOTA Projection:
.270/.308/.418, 12 home runs, 2 stolen bases, 408 plate appearances