Delmon Young is sure to be a stud which will push him to the middle rounds in almost every keeper draft. If you dont take the chance on him, someone else will. Heres an article I wrote on him in the middle of this season...
Delmon Young is already considered a rare player. A player that has the capability to lead a team in almost every category, from power to assists. A player most anyone would classify as a five-tool talent. Young may not be known solely for his speed and stolen bases, but this quality is what may make him a top 20 fantasy outfielder as soon as next year. Currently, Young hasn’t had his first taste of the big leagues but may see some at bats as soon as mid August. Since he has yet to make an appearance at the major league level, Young is not available in most standard online fantasy leagues (unless your league does minor league drafting, a.k.a. dynasty format). In the event he gets the call this year, Young may not be quite ready to help your team in dramatic fashion, but do NOT let that stop you from doing whatever you can to obtain him if you’re in a keeper league. Giving him a roster spot for the rest of the season should pay large dividends as soon as next year. With many scouts projecting future 30/30+ seasons, his future value is immense. If he is able to put up 30/30 numbers in the near future, his value will be right on par with that of consensus first round players. There are currently only 31 players on pace for 30+ home runs and an even fewer amount, 16, on pace for 30+ stolen bases. How many players are on pace for a 30/30 season? Try one, Bobby Abreu. Both homeruns and stolen bases are major factors in determining a player’s fantasy value, but by no means do the two categories make a player (see Mike Cameron). In addition to Young’s power and speed, he has shown the ability to hit for average and drive in runs. In Young’s 1+ year of minor league ball, he has compiled an average of .327 in over 850 at bats. For those more impressed by slugging percentage and on base percentage, his numbers check out accordingly (around .380/.550). These stats are some of the reasons scouts rave about his knowledge of the strike zone and his amazing bat control, just two of the things that help maintain offensive percentage stats (BA, OBP, SLG, OPS). When a player has the ability to hit for average and power, the RBI and runs will come in bunches. If Young’s minor league stats are taken down to a cumulative 500 at bats, mixing the three leagues in which he has played, it would look something like this:
Ave. R HR RBI SB
.327 89 26 109 26
If those numbers are not impressive, let’s compare his numbers to the young minor league stats of Vladimir Guerrerro, Andruw Jones, and Corey Patterson.
AB/HR AB/RBI AB/SB AVE OBP SLG BB/K
Young (18) 20.53 4.46 24.43 .322 .388 .538 .44
Guerrero (19) 26.31 6.68 35.08 .333 .381 .544 .7
Jones (18) 21.48 5.37 9.59 .277 .365 .512 .6
Patterson (19) 23.75 6.0 14.4 .320 .358 .592 .3
AB/HR AB/RBI AB/SB AVE OBP SLG BB/K
Young 16.52 4.65 13.2 .336 .386 .582 .38
Guerrero 21.95 5.35 24.53 .360 .432 .612 1.2
Jones 13.08 4.84 14.83 .339 .420 - .62
Patterson 20.18 5.41 16.44 .261 .334 .491 .4
These players represent stats, leagues, and ages near that of Delmon Young during the first two years of professional baseball. There are obvious similarities in all the players listed above. The difference between Guerrero, Jones, and Patterson are the developments they have made since their first two years. Guerrero, a consensus top four pick in this year’s drafts, has obviously adjusted to the major leagues quite well. His ability to grow up in a low pressure situation like the Expos may have helped his development. If the low pressure situation is something that allows an ease of adjustment, Young couldn’t pick a better team to play for. The Devil Rays have no expectations, lowering the pressure on Young when he finally makes his debut. Jones has been an effective player with rather consistent numbers year after year. Not a bad player for comparison since Jones was built much like Young, strong but thin. Since his minor league days, Jones has gained a few vanity pounds which has greatly affected his ability to steal bases. If Young takes to the Barry Bonds/Andruw Jones diet, you can say goodbye to his ability to run. A possible worst case scenario would have Young’s career start like Corey Patterson. Patterson is said to have been a victim of the early call-up. In the major leagues, Patterson has never really reached his potential. This could be attributed to a variety of things but the main issue is his patience. As you can see by the BB/K ratios above, Patterson has had a problem with free swinging in the past and has carried the problem throughout his career with the Cubs. The most disturbing comparison is the likeness of Patterson and Young’s BB/K ratios. If Young is to succeed at the next level, he must develop more patience while at the plate. Successful minor leaguers, such as Patterson, tend to have trouble at the next level when they continue to strikeout at such a high rate, all while taking very few walks. You can see that Guerrero has always carried great patience at the plate (in terms of BB/K), though Guerrero tends to hit anything thrown in his direction. Like Young, all exhibited great promise, power, and speed. We have a few years before we see whether Young will begin migrating toward total power hitter (Jones), or continue to be a 5 tool player in the footsteps of players like Abreu and Guerrero. If he continues to improve and develops more patience, Young should progress into an MVP candidate for years to come. His ability is irrefutable. He definitely has the talent to give the Devil Rays a huge boost in the future and should fit in nicely with the plethora of young talent the Devil Rays possess. While the Devil Rays can afford to wait for Young, you shouldn’t. Make sure you do whatever you can to obtain him for your keeper league, as his value could be skyrocketing as soon as the 2006 fantasy drafts.