This morning in the course of his flurry of tweets from the annual MLB Winter Meetings, MLB.com’s Miami Marlins reporter Joe Frisaro said that Ken Rosenthal noted that Delmon Young had been working out at first base and that the Marlins were interested. The question is, how well would Young fit the Marlins’ need?
When the Marlins signed Garrett Jones to a two-year contract, they knew they would have to find a platoon partner. The simple fact is that Jones can’t hit left-handed pitching. The options for a platoon-mate that were already in house are limited, as Justin Ruggiano needs more work at the position and Logan Morrison has been established by many media sources as being on the trade block.
To find a player to start against lefties at first base, Miami has decided to look outside of the organization.
28-year-old Delmon Young is an eight-year veteran who has spent those seasons primarily with the Tampa Bay Rays, but also with the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies and Minnesota Twins. A career corner outfielder, Young has a career BA of .282, an OBP of .318 and and average of 86 RBIs per season. He has never started a game at first base, but his 799 games and career .974 fielding percentage make the move to Miami a good possibility for him.
The real question for the Marlins, however, is how well does he hit lefties? In 1,250 at-bats against left-handed starting pitchers in his career, Young has hit .289 with with an OBP of .322 and a slugging percentage of .431. He has drawn 56 walks in those scenarios and struck out 255 times while driving in 182 runs. His career numbers are all better against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching.
Last season for Tampa Bay in a designated hitter role, Young recorded 110 at-bats in 30 games against lefty starters. He hit .227 with 16 RBIs and 30 strikeouts. His numbers aren’t spectacular against left-handed pitching, but they far exceed Jones’.
The big attraction point for Miami has to be the value Young would represent. The low demand for his services, along with his unproven status at first base and his less than jaw-dropping career numbers all mean that the Marlins have the most leverage in negotiating a deal. He would not only give Miami a platoon option at first base, but another pinch-hitter and an emergency starter in the corner outfield if something should happen to Giancarlo Stanton or Christian Yelich.
Whether the Marlins will make Young an offer and if he will accept remains to be seen, but out of the available options, Young may represent the most experience and skill per dollar that Miami is going to get.