When you think of a seemingly lazy outfielder that strikes out a lot, doesn’t ever walk and can’t play defense, you probably think of Delmon Young.
Well, you might not think of him specifically, but he’s a prime candidate. You’re probably wondering if I’m essentially Rant Sports’ version of Skip Bayless, trying to create shock reactions by saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates should sign Young, but I can assure you that I’m not. While Young is virtually worthless as an overall baseball player, he does do one thing well: hit left-handed pitching.
I didn’t exactly warm you up to the idea of signing Young with that, did I? Well, there’s more. Young’s overall numbers don’t look pretty with just a .261/.302/.397 slash line and a 93 wRC+ , but look what happens when I take his numbers against right-handed pitching out: .286/.361/.397 with a 113 wRC+.
Now I realize that his defense and base running would probably cancel out all of his positive effects he creates with his bat, but I’m not talking about signing Young as an everyday player. I want the Pirates to bring him in as a pinch-hitter that only gets plate appearances against southpaws and as a guy that starts in right field on occasion against lefties.
Starting Young in right field wouldn’t necessarily be awful, especially in Pirates’ home games at PNC Park, which has a very small right field to diminish his defensive struggles. I think it would be very hard to disagree with the thought of signing Young, especially if you consider the context of the acquisition: a few starts every now and then against tough left-handed pitching and pinch-hitting against lefties.