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Disagreeing with Baseball Prospectus on Delmon Young

BP's Analysis:

"Young might be the most useless .290 hitter in the game"
"He was impatient as ever"
"He's the farthest thing from a winning ballplayer"

And then some hedging that he's still young, etc etc…

Yes, Young has disappointed. Yes, he has flaws in his game. But such negativity doesn't seem warranted. The guys at BP know more than I do, but let me make the case and I'd love to have them rip me to shreds…

Delmon Young swings at a lot - OK  a ton - of pitches outside the strike zone , but he's doing it less often. In the past three years he hacked at 50.3|PERCENT| in 2006, 41.3|PERCENT| in '07 and 39.9|PERCENT| in '08. Each year showed a growth. The difference between 2007 and 2008 is very small, so there is probably a case to be made about margin of error.

But between 2007 and 2008 when he did swing at crap balls, he made more contact, 57.1|PERCENT| vs. 51.3|PERCENT|.

He may also be sitting back a bit more. From '06 to '08 he cut down how often he swings at the first pitch from 77.1|PERCENT| to 61.3|PERCENT|. Still high, but baby steps.

Other peripherals improved too. His walks increased, strikeouts decreased etc. Again nothing too great, but remember he's still just 23, just months older than many top prospects who haven't even made the majors yet such as Dexter Fowler.

When he came up to the majors, scouts had high hopes for power. For example BP said in 2005 he is "an absolute monster of a hitter." Right now his measly HR/FB rate of 7.6|PERCENT| looks more like a furry gremlin than the nasty late night eating version.

Last year his GB |PERCENT| also shot up at the expense of hit-making line drives. If his GB|PERCENT| stays up, that's trouble. But it could be an outlier, we'll know in a few years.

If you get a chance to grab him late, do so. But understand there are downsides and he may not even be this year's starter. Nonetheless if I'm in a dynasty league, it's too early to stop believing.