Never Quite Fit
After a team-wide collapse during the final months of 2007, the Twins were a ballclub in desperate need of hitters. The thought was, at least at the time, that the Twins had a solid stable of starters and a deep bullpen, so Matt Garza (and Jason Bartlett) were deemed expendable and sent to Tampa Bay for Delmon Young (and Brendan Harris). Unfortunately, Young never quite fit in with the Twins organization and is now a Tiger.
In 2008, with the promise of power based on a solid TB rookie campaign, Delmon hit .290 with little power. In 2009, he hit about .290 with…little power. In 2010, he hit about .300 with 21 homers and 110+ RBI. So far this season, he’s missed much time on the DL and never really found his stroke.
Basically, there are two Delmon Young’s:
The first Delmon can put a team on his shoulders from the middle of the order. When he’s locked in, he’s almost Vlad Guerrero-like with his free-swinging ways. He (more than probably any other Twin) took the “sage” advice of Tony Oliva in this now-infamous TV spot…
The other Delmon, however…
…was an out machine when swinging at those early pitches, completely unable to draw walks or move runners along. In the field, he was a complete klutz. Though sometimes he’ll dive and catch a ball, it is usually because he misplayed it so thoroughly to begin with. He just doesn’t have any natural coordination in the field.
Sadly, that “second” Delmon Young was much more apparent as a Twin than the first. Looking back, I can’t blame the Twins for giving Young a try. At the time, we though we were getting two above average hitters for a pitcher (in Garza) that needed a change of scenery and a hitter (in Bartlett) who didn’t blossom until his Tampa stay.
However, it just didn’t work out.