• Delmon Young: Detroit's Mr. October?

    Is Delmon Young Detroit's Mr. October?Originally posted at nodaktwinsfan.com


    A strange thing happened during the first game of the American League Championship Series over the weekend. For Twins fans, a man familiar to their organization became the all-time leader in postseason home runs for a team with a history that stretches back to the beginning of the 1900's. For those wearing a Detroit jersey, Delmon Young stands alone on top of the leader board for most long balls when the games matter the most.


    The man Young passed on the list, Craig Monroe, isn't exactly entrenched in the lore of the Tigers. It doesn't seem likely that either one of these men will be getting a bronze statue erected in the outfield of Comerica Park. But his is a team that has been to the World Series nine times and they have won the title on four different occasions. The team has also been in the playoffs in 14 different years so there has to be some reason for Delmon being able to reign supreme in the history of Tigers sluggers.

    (One reason the postseason home run list for the Tigers might be a little unpopulated could be the fact the team was really bad during most of the steroid era. The Tigers won the World Series in 1984 and lost to the Twins in the 1987 ALCS and it went downhill from that point. The franchise lost over 100 games in 1989 and 1996 and it would get worse in the early 2000's with the team having back-to-back 100 loss seasons. This also included a season where the club lost 119 games. From 1987 to 2006, there were no playoff appearances for the Tigers and there were plenty of home runs flying out of ballparks across the baseball world during this time period.)

    Since the Twins parted ways with Mr. Young around the trade deadline in 2011, his career with Detroit has been anything but spectacular. He has played 191 regular season games with the Tigers and he is batting average is .268 during that time. As during most of his career, there have been glimpses of power as he has 26 home runs and 32 doubles in his 786 plate appearances. He doesn't take walks so he gets on base less than a third of the time and it's hard to imagine that the former first overall pick has lived up to expectations for any of the franchises he has played for in his seven year career.

    The power-slugging version of Young didn't show in October during his time in Minnesota. In his two-playoff series as a member of the Twins, he went 5-for-24 which translates to a .208 batting average and he managed a double and a triple. His first taste of the playoffs in 2009 was horrendous as he finished the series 1-for-12 with five strikeouts. Both of these series were against the Yankees; Delmon joined the other members of the Twins in his struggles against the Bronx Bombers.

    The Tigers October version of Young has a little bit of a different feel. Since being traded to Detroit, Young has turned his bad playoff memories with the Twins into good feeling vibes in the Motor City. Last season, Young made up for lost time against the Yankees by going 6-for-19 in the series with three home runs and even showed the ability to take a few walks. The next series was against Texas and even though he only managed two hits, they were both long balls. Five home runs in two series was quite the postseason for Young since he only managed 12 home runs during the regular season in 2011.

    In the Tigers first playoff series of 2012, Young didn't go deep but he had a couple of RBI in victories for his club. His first game versus the Yankees on Saturday night made it look like he was starting right where he left off against them in 2011. He was pulled in the last inning for a defensive replacement but he finished the contest 3-for-6 with a home run, a double, and six RBI. On Sunday, he added to his RBI total by knocking in one of the three runs for Detroit. The Tigers are inching closer to the World Series and Young is one of the reasons for their success in October.

    The Twins outfield situation is one of the clubs least concerns, so it's not like fans are clamoring to see Young back in the Twin Cities. His play in the regular season has been the same old Delmon Young; he can't play defense, he doesn't take walks, and his power is spotty. The small sample size of the postseason can make anyone look like a legend and it will be interesting to see what someone is willing to pay for him when he hits the free agent market, which he'll do this offseason. For now, teams will have to settle for watching him hit balls out of the park in the postseason.
    This article was originally published in blog: Delmon Young: Detroit's Mr. October? started by Cody Christie
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Delmon Young launched a solo homer in Tuesday's win over the Yankees.

      He got the scoring started in the fourth with blast into the left-field bullpen before Miguel Cabrera plated what turned out to be the winning run with an RBI double in the fifth. Young also had a longball in Game 1, driving in three runs in that contest. He now has seven homers in two postseasons for the Tigers, which is a franchise record.
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      I'll never forget the 2009 ALDS when Delmon came up in extra innings with the game tied, bases loaded, and nobody out. He swung and the first pitch and smoked a line right at Tex. A little higher and to the right, and that's a bases-clearing double. <sigh>

      So it was a painful on some level when he smoked that ball to Swisher in extras in game 1, and Swisher did his best Delmon Young imitation in the field on it.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      I love how this will convince some team to overpay for him this off-season.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      he sure has been money for the tigers in the playoffs. who would have thunk it?
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      I'm happy for DY. He has had a pretty miserable season. I hoped that the "fresh start" in Detroit last year would be good for him -- and thought that hitting behind Miggy and Prince would be a great thing.

      But he has pretty much disappointed all year -- first with the abominable episode in New York and then with overall mediocre play.

      I still root for him and consistently checked how he was doing this season so I'm glad to see him having a pretty good post-season so far.

      P.S. Delmon, you need to stop going through the buffet line with Prince.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      I can honestly say I am not happy for Delmon, the guy was a nightmare as a player, a complete and utter waste of a talent and even a worse person (he assaulted an ump, then went on an anti-Semitic rant in NYC) I will never root for him to succeed and hope he ends up miserable after his playing days, because he deserves it.

      I will however laugh at the team that decides to give him 4-5 mil guaranteed next year for 90 OPS+ while playing DH. The guy literally hit behind 2 of the best 5 or 6 hitters in all of baseball this year and only managed to post a .707 OPS, that is hilariously awful.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Delmon Young: Detroit's Mr. October?

      Obviously the media (MVP voters?) think so. ALCS MVP.

      As I said the summer of 2011, Delmon Young was the big winner in the Twins-Tigers trade.
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      Delmon barely managed a .700 OPS in his 600 regular season plate appearances and put up a negative wins above replacement player value despite being paid 12 times the salary of a replacement player. Same old Delmon. More slug than a slugger. Just got Adam Kennedy-kind-of-lucky in the ALCS.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      I cheer for Delmon Young like I cheer for a crack addict to turn his life around.. Delmon I hope you learn to care and that is the extent of my Delmon interest.

      If he's run out of basball that would be OK with me. He isn't a Twin because of Who he is!!! He was Given away because of who he is!!!

      One of the reasons we are where we are is because of who he is!!!
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.