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Posts Tagged ‘Delmon Young’

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to go watch my hometown Twins play the Houston Astros. With a match up of Brian Moehler and Scott Baker, I expected an easy win for the Twinkies. However, that was not the case as they lost 6-5.

What surprised me is that Brendan Harris led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, and Delmon Young, yes that Delmon Young who can’t hit the broadside of the Metrodome, hit a homer in the second.

Whatever happened to Young’s potential? Scouts raved about him before the ’08 season, but since then everyone is claiming he’s a bust? Seriously, the Twins seem to have gotten fleeced this time in the trade for Young and Harris for Garza and Bartlett. About time that the Twins tasted their own medicine. However, I don’t think one can make an accurate claim quite yet that the Twins got the short end of the trade. Give it another year or so. For example, most thought the Twins got the shaft when they traded AJ Pierzynski to the Giants for Boof Bonser, Joe Nathan, and Francisco Liriano. Well, after a few years, we all know who got the better end of that deal.

Needless to say, trade evaluation is difficult to objectively accomplish until several years after the trade (think the Michael Vick conundrum in 2001 where the Chargers traded down to number 5 and got LaDainian Tomlinson and the Falcons chose Vick number 1). I would venture to say that the Chargers got the better end of that trade, especially since they drafted Drew Brees with their second round pick that they got for trading down.

See, it isn’t until emotions are removed that one can see what side of the trade is better after the seasons have been played. However, this Young+Harris+Pridie for Garza+Bartlett seems to be quite onesided, but let us have history make the correct call in several years.

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imagesWith spring training a little over a month away, and pitchers reporting in two weeks, the regular season is just around the corner.  Those rusty shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, hammies, groins and legs will soon enough turn into a trip to the big leagues or another season down on the farm.  Each spring promising youngsters get a shot at making the big league in exhibition games, veterans earn their respect, and players on their last legs attempt to prove that they still have the right “stuff.”

What is often over looked by the gigantic free agent signings are prospects that have been developing and maturing in the minors.  The draft, team development of players, and the Rule 5 draft are ignored because of this “WIN right now at all cost” mentality (Think of the Yankees).  Interestingly, if you look at the Philadelphia Phillies roster five (C. Ruiz, R. Howard, C. Utley, J. Rollins, P. Burrell) of their eight position starters were drafted by Philadelphia, and four (C. Hamels, K. Kendricks, B. Myers, A. Eaton), of their six (they traded for Joe Blanton) starters were also drafted by the Phillies.

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, and Hamels were the core of that 2008 World Championship team.  That is building from within.  The [Devil] Rays, contrary to popular belief, were not as built from within (though trading their prospect helped them receive key parts [i.e. Delmon Young for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett]).  Only four of their starting eight was drafted by the Rays (E. Longoria, BJ Upton, C. Crawford, J. Gomes), and two of their five main starters (J. Shields and A. Sonnanstine) were drafted by the Rays.  Now this isn’t awful, but just not as many as the Phillies.
*Just for comparison sakes, the Yankees did have 8 players on their everyday roster that they drafted.

Though, the draft is not an exact science (only 16 of the 43 top pick in the draft have been all stars, two have never play a game in the big leagues, and only two have been Rookie of the Year), building a team through the draft is essential to having a winning team.  Trading picks away for the present only creates problems for the future.  Building from within has always proven to lead to great results.

The most interesting thing to notice about the two World Series teams is their mlb_vwt3_swpayroll ($43,820,598 [Rays] to $98,269,881 [Phillies]).  That is more than double.  Granted, the Phillies spent heavy in the off-season and trades, while the Rays decided that they would be a bit more frugal.  The huge signings by the Yankees may look like brilliant ideas today, but does not guarantee a playoff birth, let alone a winning record (the top three payrolls did not even make the playoffs).

Obviously, drafting doesn’t equate a title run, or a title.  Nevertheless, the Rays and Phillies made to WS without a $100 million cap, and the Brewers made the playoffs within that same category.  The free spending owners, and the high rolling sports agents may be rich, but as they say “A ring is more important than all the records in the world!”

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Omar Vizquel, the human vacuum has been signed by Texas displacing any possibility of Elvis Andrus having any fantasy value this year.  That is unless the “Hands of Silk” has a physical breakdown in his dinosaur years, which is likely.  However, the Rangers need a SS that will not punt the ball to the outfield grass 32 times like Mr. Andrus accomplished to do in 109 games; that is an error every 3 1/2 games.

This move obviously fills the time gap until Elvis matures into an everyday SS.  Moving Michael Young over to Third may have been a bit preemptive, though in the long run secures an opening for Andrus to fill in when need be.  I expect the Rangers to make the smart me (though that is not always the case) and start Elvis in the minors for at least the first two months of the season.  Elvis’ peripherals are not that amazing even considering his age.

To put his minor league totals in perspective with a major leaguer of equivalent age  in the minors we have to use Delmon Young (yes the Delmon Young who was suspended for 50 games).  Delmon Young’s slugging percentage was .880 (career minors, A,AA, and AAA) while Elvis Andrus’ slugging percentage is .707 (career minors, RK, A, and AA).  Delmon Young accomplished his numbers in 185 AB less, hit 44 more homers and stuckout less.  What Elvis strives at is stealing bases.  The only thing right now you can assume with Andrus is his stealing ability.  I would take Carlos Gomez before I would take Andrus, for sole fact that Gomez has an additional season of experience.  Buyers beware

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Wednesdays have to be the worst day of the week.  Not for the fact that they mark only the middle of the work week, but because you can’t really look forward to their coming.  They mark no importances, no almost the weekend, no beginning of the work week attitude.  Instead they bring the most longing for vacation, and pray for an important news story to report on.  Other than the Red Sox decimating my beloved Twins, I was swamped with work, and exhausted to really want to rant about anything more than reading as many box scores as I could.  With that in mind, here is what my weary eyes say in all those numbers:

Jeff Francoeur- hit his 9th homer of the season for the sole Braves run. Maybe that brief minor league stint helped.

Garrett Atkins- Quietly having a spectacular season for the unspectacular (underachieving?) Rockies. Last night he hit 2 homers and they were against Ben Sheets and Guilermo Mota, both two righties (SLG=.388 against RHP). The second half has started, so look for him to continue to rake. Plus if he gets traded it most likely will be to a contending team so he will have reasons to keep hitting in the second half.

Ben Sheets- Speaking of which, he struck out 11 in 6 IP, however took the loss because he gave up 3 runs. When did Glendon Rusch get permission to actually pitch well? And then he out duals Ben Sheets for the win. Stranger things have happened, but any Sheets owners should be happy that he isn’t injured yet.

Lance Berkman- Steals his 13th, and 14th base last night, while walking twice. A 20/20 season seems possible now (Thank you Cecil Cooper). Random tidbit: in his last 9 plate appearances he has walked 6 times.

Johan Santana- Threw only 78 pitches to make it through 5, with 5 k’s and 3 hits. What Charlie Manuel was think is anyone’s guess, but he still ended up with the win beating the Giants. Maybe they are saving him, but they have nothing to save him for (except for $137.5 million contract he has).

Francisco Rodriguez- Blew only his 3rd save of the season giving up 3 runs to the Rangers. Not to worry because his 35 saves (in 38 opportunities) have only taken 39 IP. He isn’t over taxed and he still should be fine down the stretch.

Brandon Morrow- While I am talking about closers, he got his 8th save of the season. It might have taken 5 pitchers to get to Morrow (as Miguel Batistia left in the 3rd with a strained Groin), but he continued he domination of the 9th inning.

Carlos Quentin- Hit his 20th and 21st homers on the season last night as he led the White Sox to a 6-5 win over the Royals.

Delmon Young- Heating up in last 10 he’s 15/40 and 8/2/8 (R/HR/RBI). Last year his best months were June, July, and August while tailing off in September (which I will attribute to being a rookies and a long grueling season). This year is much the same, so look for some productive months coming fourth from this underachieving stud.

Jason Kubel- Hit his 13th homer of the season, keeping pace with Justin Morneau for the team lead. He has always was a bright prospect, but an ACL tear in Arizona Fall League two years ago slowed his development. For those who kept faith in this Twin, he should continue to reward you for the rest of the season.

Denard Span- Not to be Twins happy, but he did lead off and played center-field today letting Carlos Gomez rest his 2/21 slump. Not an everyday player unless an injury comes into play, but Gomez has proven himself capable of providing a spark at the top of the lineup (though is 25%/3.5% [ k-rate/walk rate] doesn’t prove that he should be there).

Red Sox Team- Romped the Twins, beating Livan Hernandez and the rest of the bullpen 18-5. I need not mention all the numbers, but what a day at Fenway. Good thing it wasn’t at night, or no one would have have thought the sun went down with all the fireworks going off.

Carlos Marmol- Continues his struggles giving up a hit and 2 walks while creating a save situation for Kerry Wood. I am starting to think that his struggles could be linked to his overuse (51.1 IP this season in 50 appearances). The All-Star Break can’t come soon enough.

Sidney Ponson- Pitched 6 IP of 1 run ball. Don’t be fooled, even a blind man doesn’t always miss when he takes a piss.

Chase Headley- Continues to strike out going 1/4 with 2 more k’s bring his season total to 26 in 83 at bats for a 33% k-rate. Looks like Jay Bruce has a running mate for rookies whiffer of the year.

Eddie Bonine- With only 2 quality starts, and another awful perfomance, when are the Tigers going to replace him in the rotation. Well if they didn’t trade everything and the kitchen sink for Miguel Cabrera (who finally is hot, sizzling hot) and Dontrelle Willis they might have a pitcher they could call up.

Nate McLouth- 3 doubles bringing his total to 32 on the seaosn, and better yet is that he’s finally hitting again in July. Not that anyone should have been worried, but its nice to see it wasn’t a fluke.

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Shawn Chacon was put on waivers Thursday by the Houston Astros, a day after he got into a physical altercation with general manager Ed Wade.” (AP)

What a way to go out, if you are putting up his impressive numbers and feel entitled, go for it. While you are at it jump in the lions den carrying some deer meat, just don’t trip and break your collar bone. That would be like any employee going up to your CEO and in midst of your conversation you decide to ‘chest bump’ him/her, and then continue to badger and eventually have a ‘disagreement’. The Labor Union will of course get involved because the Astros are reportedly going to release him straight up if he clears waivers (which he probably will, I mean seriously who wants that, that or that), and if that happens there is about $2 million in salary that is going to have to be paid for by the Astros.

While Shawn was reverting back to puberty, here is what the rest of the league did:

Rich Harden- 95 pitches of pure brilliance in sheer domination of an impressive Philly’s lineup. 11 strike outs a walk, and 2 hits in eight innings of work sure brings tears to Richie’s faithful. 5-0 this year with 67 innings pitched almost equals all the work he has gotten the last two years combined (72.6). Barring another injury, we might have the comeback player of the year. I doubt it because him not getting hurt would be like Amy Winehouse not smoking crack, or Jose Canseco writing another steroids book. There’s no time like the present to sell for the future.

Matt Garza- Yet another brilliant and dominating performance today. To say that pitched excellent is not giving him enough props. He took a no-hitter into the seven and then gave up his only hit of the game, a solo shot by Ham-Ram. He gutted, filleted, and grilled up these fish for a impressive win, while striking out 10. (Being a Twins fan, I wonder if Delmon Young will last longer than Garza, but Garza is showing why he is so highly touted. Being two years Delmon’s senior, we wont know who got the better end in this trade, but with the way the Twins trade their players, and how well they know pitching I will assume that Minnesota got winning side.) Thats besides the point, Garza is a promising young pitcher, and I would grab him and ride him for the rest of the year.

*p.s. I wrote about Harden and Garza before MLB wrote theirs

Chicago Cubs- Lost their mid week series against the Orioles… at home nonetheless. Not that I care much because I hate bandwagon jumpers and hoppers more than anyone else does, but it is refreshing to see such ignorant fans cheer on their ‘cubbies’ but only know who one or two players are. Or worst yet, they only know what field the Cubs play their home games *you know who you are, and yes I do hold some grudges against people I know that are like this *cough cough!

Wandy Rodriguez- Continuing his impressive home/road splits, he k’d nine Rangers in eight innings, allowing only 5 hits and a rbi single by Ian Kinsler in the top of the eighth. That pushed his home record to 2-2, with 35k’s in 38 innings, 1.89 ERA, and a .94 WHIP. His away line is gross with a respectable ERA of 3.58, but a WHIP of 1.50. The biggest notable difference on his peripherals is his batting average allowed .204 (before tonights game)/.276 (home/away). By now we should all know to bench him on his away games and start him at home. For home is where his heart obviously is.

Ian Snell- Went on the DL retroactive to the 23rd of June. I promised you that this would happen, but now that we know it is the elbow we can only hope that he recovers well and pitches like he did last year in the second half (the reason many of us drafted him). I get really worried with pitchers have any type of elbow injury, so going forth I would advise using caution when thinking about Ian Snell from now on this year.

Chase Headley- After starting his big league career with a seven game hit streak, he is only 2 for his last 16 (stats up to date in the top of the ninth in todays game 6/26/2008). He has been dropped quite a bit in many Yahoo fantasy leagues. Rookie slumps are expected, just like taxes and death, ride it out if you like, but if your WW fodder is fertile swap your crop.

Joba Chamberlain- In his first really dominating start he struck out seven, walked only one, and allowed no runs on six hits in 6 2/3. Granted this was done against the recently struggling Pirates (4-6 in their last 10), and he was allowed to pitch 114 pitches. He consistently has been given more and more pitches, but there needs to be a cut off point (though I don’t think pitch counts should have a definite cut of point, but with a young arm it needs to be watched more closely than older veterans). He started the 7th off with a ground out and a strike out, but then back to back hits by Jack Wilson and Doug Mientkiewicz (that is worse that typing Saltalamacchia name). The most impressive thing to note is that this is his first time walking only one batter and being in line for the win (he did it one other time but only pitched 4 1/3 innings).

Evan Longoria- In his last ten games he has been HOT HOT HOT. With 7/4/11 and a .308 average to boot. Just a hot streak, but should be cooling off soon. Try and pawn him off as he has put together some good numbers of late.

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With only five games today, I had some time to think about my poor decisions I have already made (Tim Lincecum and Chipper Jones traded for Delmon Young, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Carlos Marmol [done before the season started) & (Edinson Volquez and Kouzmanoff for Fielder (still iffy as Volquez might not make it all year). The worst part is that we are still not to the half way point (81 games). My tip for today is trust your gut on draft day and at least right your intial team until June. If I did I would be in the top 2 or 3, instead of the middle of the pack (in a 20 team league. Sitting at 7th right now). Damn impatiences!!!

Ryan Doumit– Rotoworld reports that he was symptom free and would be available to pinch hit on Tuesday if needed. Like I said here, concussions are very unpredictable and can have lasting affects even after everything feels ‘good to go’. Precede with caution, and don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Ian Snell– Will go on the DL, I promise you that. With the way he has pitched and the way that quality players have had a MRI and then been placed on the DL, Ian is sure to follow.

Carlos Marmol- After sitting down with his pitching coach he pinpointed his recent control problems which he said were mechanics flaws involving flying open too soon and not staying on top enough with his delivery. It isn’t necessarily a hard fix, but definitely one that might cause a few more ‘poor’ outings. Don’t worry though as Marmol is one of the best MR’s in the game.

Felix Hernandez- Hit a grand slam, but in the bottom of the fifth he got a Carlos Beltran spike caught against his left lower leg coving home plate on his own wild pitch. The official injury is a sprained left ankle. Quite sad if you ask me, he was pitching well of late, and was holding the Mets to two hits and run while pitching effeciently too (51 pitches in 4 1/3). More depressing is “Hernandez’s early departure also ended a streak of 41 consecutive starts of pitching at least five innings” (MLB.com) He will probably miss a start or two, but I think he will avoid the DL.

Ben Sheets- Dominated the Braves en route to a complete game win striking out seven walking zero, and allowing only four hits and one run. yet another impressive start for this ace. He has always had amazing, jaw-dropping stuff, but he always finds a way to get hurt. Right now Ben ‘paper’ Sheets hasn’t torn or sprained something, but I think you don’t want to keep holding this ticking injury bomb.

Jeff Francoeur- This smooth swing 24 year old has a BABIP of .278, which isn’t too bad, but the league average is around .300, and his GB, FB, and LD percentages (41%/38%/20.1% respectfully) are fairly decent with only the Fly ball on the poor side. We would prefer that the FB is up in the mid forties, but the line-drive and ground balls are respectable. He might not be the .300 hitter we saw last year, but the power isn’t there (HR/ab is right were teammate’s Kelly Johnson’s is (36 ab per homer). Last year he play a bit better after the ASB, and he hard surgery for his eyes, so maybe he will do better with this mantra “See Ball. Hit Ball.”

Jeff Keppinger– If your SS sucks, pick him up. He is legit, and is better than the scrap of heap most short stops provide. Need I say more?

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As the season progresses we always have those that are fast out of the gates, but tail off as June arrives, and those that excel after the break. Keep in mind to aways be looking for those that taper off, or heat up in June. These June Swoons last only for June, or continue for the rest of the year (Xavier Nady). Anyway, here are my observations and grumblings about last nights games:

Kosuke Fukudome- He started the season off on fire, but now has the case of the June swoons. April and May were wonderful for Fukudome, but maybe the long season is finally catching up to him. This I doubt fully, but if you can pry him away from an owner you shall be rewarded with your conning abilities.

Prince Fielder- Yahoo claims he has switched to a lighter bat. Maybe his legumes based protein isn’t strong enough for his old bats. Whatever the case may be his June OPS is .250 points higher than the previous two months.

Jay Bruce- Batting 3rd tonight he went 1/3 with a walk. This was his first hit in 16 at-bats, but is still 1/19 with todays game. He struggles when he bats 1st and 3rd, but has raked when in the 2-hole. I think Dusty would be wise (that is an oxymoron I know) to keep him there, but he probably wont. He always seems to be incompetent when it comes to the youngsters.

Mike Aviles- Went oh fer today. I want to say that I didn’t report this years minor league numbers, and that was due to some oversight. In 51 games he hit 10 homers with 42 RBI. That came along with 72 hits, 42 runs, 21 doubles, six triples with a batting average of .336, OBP .370, SLG .631 and an OPS of 1.001 (all in 214 ABs). He was their minor league player of the year last year. However, I am skeptical of Brad Evans hype because prior to this year in the minors his best year was in Rookie ball. Otherwise all of his OPS numbers were under .800, though his average was right around .300 except for his first year in AAA. There is no question he is a better hitter than fielder (and as fantasy players that is all we care about), but at age 27 and his third go around of the AAA PCL, I’d expect those numbers to finally be put up (by the way the PCL (Pacific Coast League) is known as a hitters league). Add him as most MI aren’t going to have as much potential if he can keep this up, but keep expectations reserved.

Jeff Clement– Seattle called up their top catching prospect… again. Why they didn’t keep him up last time is probably why Bill Bavasi was canned. Seriously, the Mariners weren’t going to contend and they could have put up with the obvious struggles that he was surely going to sustain for a bit (8/48 with 20k’s). Most youngsters have struggles when adjusting to the MLB pitching, but by showing such low confidence and patients the M’s (or more importantly Bill Bavasi) mishandled this situation. Monitor in most leagues, and if your catcher is already poor it is always worth a shot.

Placido Polanco- Went four for four tonight with a double and two RBI. That double is quite rare this year, even with his outstanding average he isn’t scoring as frequently as last year, or driving the ball quite like last year making last year seem like an obvious career year. However, this year his BABIP is now at .321 and a LD% of .231 and a Contact rate of .92. So his number are back where you expected them to be, especially his contact rate as he rarely strikes out. Take away a poor start due to his strained lower back (which scared me and caused me to overreact because I though his age and the type of injure was cause for deep concern. However it helped me because I got Clint Barmes right before he got hot), and he put up his predicted numbers.

Derek Lowe- Got his first road win since last August against the struggling Reds. He struck out six, allowed three hits, and one of those being a homer from Edwin Encarnacion in the 2nd. That is was against a Reds lineup without Griffey, but even so it was a pretty impressive start. His next start will be at home verses the White Sox, so I advise sitting him even though it is at home as the Sox are white hot (pun intended).

Russell Branyan- Hit a solo shot in the bottom of the second for his ninth homer of the season. However, he only has 14 RBIs for those nine home runs. Ride him while he is hot as his career indicates that May, June, and July are his best months.

Delmon Young- June swoon? Not for my Delmon who hit a two RBI double and walked twice tonight against the Nationals. This month he is 17/57 (including tonight) with four runs scored, six doubles, his first homerun, and nine RBIs with an OPS of .794 (which isn’t that great, but for him this season it is marvelous). His contact rate is at a solid 82.7%, and his GB% has fallen to 55% (still high, but better than his 60% earlier in the season), and his LD rate is at 18.9%. All along the board he is doing much better in June than any month so far, and look for that to continue as he gets more confidence (June and on last year was when he put better numbers across the board).

Chase Headley- Went 1/4 with a solo home run against Kyle Farnsworth and is now 3/8 in his short major league career. As long as he slugs, I am sure that he will be a fixture in the Padres lineup.

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