Last season, Delmon Young was suspended for seven games without pay after pleading guilty for shouting anti-Semitic comments and throwing a man to the ground in New York City.
Despite his off the field problems and his lingering issues, the Philadelphia Phillies took a chance on a player who has a chance to be great in a city that is desperately looking for some success with its sports teams.
The news that the Phillies and Young have agreed to a deal has been out on the web for a while now. What people are not talking about is the affect that Young could have on the Phillies lineup throughout the 2013 season.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. came into the 2012 offseason looking for a right-handed bat to play right field for his team. Well, Amaro got his player and got him at a discount.
Young has had on-the-field success throughout his career. In 2007 as a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now the Tampa Bay Rays), he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. That season, he hit .288 with 13 home runs and drove in 98 runs while playing in all 162 games. In 2010, Young hit a career high .298, smoked a career high 21 home runs, and even drove in a career high 112 runs as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and drove in 78 runs while dealing with an ankle injury last season. Though his Detroit Tigers fell short in the World Series, Young was a key component to their postseason success, which was why he was the ALCS MVP.
According to Philadelphia Daily News Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence, Amaro wants Young to play right field for the Phillies, something he has not done since 2007.
Despite not being an everyday right fielder throughout his career, this low-risk, high-reward signing by the Phillies could bring big things to the team this season.
Young’s contract starts with a base minimum of $750,000, but his incentives can add up to a total of $2.5 million. A weird clause in the contract requires Young to have six separate weigh-ins throughout the season. According to USA Today, Young will receive $100,000 each time he makes his weight. The first three times will be if he meets the 235-pound mark, the other three will be if he makes it to 230 pounds.
With the plethora of outfielders that the Phillies have and the addition of inter league play throughout the season, manager Charlie Manuel could actually give Young a day off from the outfield and play him at the DH position. Moves like this could give players such as Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, and John Mayberry Jr. chances to perform and get consistent playing time.
With Young in the Phillies lineup, FanGraphs.com projects him to hit .279 in 144 games while hitting 17 home runs and driving in 80 runs. If Young can do that or even be around that area, the Phillies have a legitimate shot to contend in 2013. Look for Young to be healthy, determined, and comfortable heading into the 2013 season.