Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Delmon Young not in the Orange and Black

Nathan McCurley at Third Street Kings has an informative post about the Phils signing Delmon Young to an incentive-laden deal -- an amusing development in that Young is really nothing more than a pretty good DH. He also makes the argument that Michael Bourn would be a potentially excellent signing, Anhow, here's part of it --

Young was mentioned infrequently as a player the Giants could target, and on the surface one can see why. He plays outfield (“plays”), he crushes lefties, he seems to fit the Pat Burrell model of gargantuan dude who hits dingers. But there are several reasons why Young wouldn’t have made sense for the Giants. One is that he can’t play defense at all. He fails the eye test, the stats test, the sniff test, you name it. He’s a DH only at this point, which makes the Phillies’ assertion that he will play right field all the more hilarious. Mark your calendars for May 6th, folks. That’s the day that the Phillies will come to San Francisco for the first time in 2013, presumably with Delmon Young in RF. Remember what Vlad Guerrero looked like in right in the 2010 World Series? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
There’s ample evidence to the idea that the Giants front office is very interested in players who play good defense. Since 2007, the Giants lead the majors in UZR, which obviously isn’t a perfect measure of defensive skill but over such a large sample can be reasonably counted on. Since 2009, I can only think of one player the front office acquired who was clearly a poor defender, and that is the aforementioned Burrell. But Burrell was a) basically free and b) a great clubhouse presence, another attribute the Giants clearly take seriously when acquiring players.

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