Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet Sassy Molassy, Jim Souhan

Good ol' Jim Souhan is always ready to bag on Delmon Young (as are many people, but Souhan writes his columns in the Star Tribune). It came up again in a column from Saturday's paper, found here.It mostly stated the obvious, that Trevor Plouffe and Delmon Young need to step up for the rest of the year.  That's when Souhan's lack of journalistic chops comes in. This is what bothers me about Delmon Young criticism: nobody ever does the leg work to back up their claims.
Last season, Young drove in 112 runs. This season, he's on pace to drive in about 38, and it's too late in the season for him to ask for more time to find his swing.
Ah, but of course. RBI are not the only mark of a man in baseball, and not even close to the best. They have a lot to do with what the batters ahead of you in the lineup do. According to my "clutch" stat on the perceived value spread sheet, Young simply doesn't have that many opportunities this year to drive in runners. His "clutch" rating is one of the highest on the team, which I don't mean to claim is any talent of Young's. I'm just stating that he doesn't have many RBI, but he hasn't had much opportunity either.
Ron Gardenhire also added a little fuel to the fire:
I wanted to give him 30, 40 at-bats. Normally, Delmon has stated it takes him 140, 150 at-bats. He's had 'em. Let's see you swing now
Between May and April, Young had 120 ABs, which, obviously, is less than 140 or 150. Through June, before this article was written, and before about 4 games worth of Young's return, Young had already hit .321 for the month. He found his swing, then he got hurt. Not "he needs to find his swing". Oh, and in July, Young's average is .348. Just throwing that fun little stat out there.
So, I mean, if you don't like Delmon Young, bring up some actual facts that are irrefutable. And try to have a little patience

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