A few weeks ago, the consensus in Philadelphia seemed to be that the Philadelphia Phillies were headed toward selling. The focus was on the future, on rebuilding and on trading away some of the veterans to try to get some blue chip prospects in return. And with the intent on selling, Michael Young‘s name did come up quite frequently.
As was reported, Young drew the interest of two AL East teams, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. And for a while, it seemed like the Phillies would greatly benefit from trading the third baseman.
But that was before the Phillies reached a .500 record, due in large part because of Young’s offensive contributions. Obviously, his defense has been suspect and has cost the Phillies a few times, but what Young lacks in his glove, he has shown he can make up for with the bat.
Young is tied for second on the team with his 96 hits, which is tied with Ben Revere and only one behind team-leader Domonic Brown. Young is also tied for second in doubles (18), tied for third in triples (3) and second in walks (29). Of players with significant at-bats (150), he is second only to Revere in batting average with .288. He is first among players with over 150 at-bats in on base percentage (.344) as well.
In fact, with the exception of a horrible month of May, Young has hit .326 or better in April, June and halfway through July.
Young’s offensive production can’t be understated and now that the Phillies, finally a .500 team again, could be looking not to sell come the deadline, Young absolutely belongs on this roster.
And with Ryan Howard on the DL, Young’s value to this team actually goes up even more.
Although the sample size is relatively small, Young’s best career fielding percentage does come at first base. And Young has shown versatility around the diamond so much that it isn’t a foreign concept to see him take over Howard’s duties, at least part-time.
That of course, frees up the Phillies’ best clutch hitter, Kevin Frandsen, to play more and to keep his bat in the line-up, which ultimately will serve to benefit the team that much more.