2013 Player Reviews

Phillies Nation Player Review: Michael Young

Michael Young provided the game-winning hit on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

AP photo.

When the Phillies brought in Michael Young in December of 2012, they were not sure what they were going to get production-wise. What they did know was that they were getting a veteran, a professional, and somebody who would be a positive influence on and off the field.

The Phillies were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle when they brought in Young after a 2012 season in which he hit .277 with 8 home runs and 67 RBI with the Texas Rangers. Young was only two seasons removed from a brilliant 2011 season in which he hit .338 with 11 home runs and 106 RBIs. While his age and drop in production in 2012 could have indicated that Young’s career was beginning to decline, the Phillies still decided to take a chance on the 36 year old.

Young started off the 2013 season as the Phillies number-five hitter behind Ryan Howard while Delmon Young recovered from ankle surgery. As the season progressed, injuries forced Young to move all around the lineup. Due to his versatility as a hitter, Young was able to transition between different parts of the lineup with ease and even spent considerable time as the Phillies’ leadoff hitter in Ben Revere’s absence. Defensively, Young spent the majority of the season at third base and with the injury to Ryan Howard and the emergence of Cody Asche, spent time platooning at first base with Kevin Frandsen and Darin Ruf.

Young played 126 games with the Phillies before being traded to the Dodgers on August 31st. He hit .276 with 8 home runs and 42 RBIs while in his short stint in Philadelphia, but struggled with the double-play, grounding into 19 of them in 512 plate appearances.

Grade: C – Ultimately, Young was also able to stay healthy for a team that was once again decimated by injuries. His most important contribution was that he brought veteran leadership and set a good example for the the young players the Phillies had towards the end of the year; something that commonly gets overlooked. And although he wasn’t able to regain his 2011 form, Young basically gave what he had left. He was adequate for a team in transition.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Hogey's Role

    November 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    We traded for him, we didn’t sign him… Cost us lindblom and Bonilla I’d I remember correctly

    • schmenkman

      November 24, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      That’s right.

      Also, his god-awful defense deserves a mention. It combined with his league-average hitting to make him barely a replacement level player. C- is quite generous, given what he cost in salary and players.

      Also, Ryan — congrats on what appears to be your first Phillies Nation article.

    • Double Trouble Del

      November 24, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      Maybe, and maybe only, Bonilla becomes a MLB reliever. Lindblom gave Texas nothing which is exactly what he gave the Phillies. Fault Amaro for the return he got for Victorino but not sending Lindblom packing.

      • schmenkman

        November 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        C is generous even if you assume the players never amount to anything, IMO.

      • Hogey's Role

        November 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm

        Bonilla had a good season in double a this year, he was lights out but struggled big time in his promotion to triple a…

        Lindblom was actually a pretty decent reliever, he struggled with us a little last year, however Texas used him as a starter mostly and I think that’s what led to his struggles this year really…

        Personally I think they were both quality pieces and what we received in young, I would rank this trade as a major loss for the phils

      • Double Trouble Del

        November 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm

        This team got 126 serviceable games from a major league player for little more than two wishful thinkings.

      • Hogey's Role

        November 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        If serviceable means he was on the field and in uniform then yes good observation

  2. Jael

    November 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Buy im out in the Dodgers michael young need to coming back home

  3. Rudy Canoza

    November 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I don’t think these player reviews are meant to rate the transactions that brought the player here or sent the player away. They are just reviews of what happened on the field during the season. And yes, even if you consider his offensive performance to be “serviceable” (it really wasn’t) it was definitely negated by his awful defense.

    • hk

      November 25, 2013 at 5:41 am

      I agree on both thoughts. The decisions to trade for Young, pay him $6M+ to take playing time from someone like Frandsen who could have provided similar production for the league minimum, then trade him for a lesser prospect than Bonilla should be factors into RAJ’s grade, not Young’s. The fact that Young’s defense (as you mention) and base running were so bad that they more than offset whatever offense he provided leads me to believe that calling Young “serviceable” is very charitable. According to Fangraphs, he played at replacement level for the Phillies and according to Baseball Reference, he was below replacement level.

  4. George

    November 25, 2013 at 9:19 am

    The Phils took a chance, and as usual, they lost. Young proved in 2013 that 2011 was a high mark in a career decline as a hitter. He never was much defensively.

    Whether Frandsen could have done as well for less money is a matter for debate. As a fielder, maybe. But Frandsen didn’t exactly prove to be an offensive force, either.

    • Hogey's Role

      November 25, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Frandsen might have done better with regular playing time though, but like you said it’s all debatable and it doesn’t much matter now, you can’t undo what’s already been done, so we take it in stride like we have done with most other acquisitions

  5. Ken Bland

    November 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Just for academic purposes, player being gone, and fan opinions meaning the equal of zero or close, it’s with the confidence of a guarantee that damned close to 100% of the views and opinions expressed on Mike Young at the time of his acquisition are slam dunk identical to the parting shots taken by the timing of this player review. Probably on both sides, most assuredly among the critics.

    In other words, these minds were made up, with the apt to even possibly change with all the likelihood of a right wing conservative redneck that would make John Birch seem even partially fair.

    God awful defense is about as stupid a conclusion as can be used. This is not to say Young Mike played great, good, or average defense. It’s to say that he did in fact make some good, and very good plays, that were mixed in with some expected, and visible real poor defense. But the people who showed him no respect, as demonstrated by writing him off from the start rarely if ever watched him play with 1 open eye. God bless the statistic base which enables articulate opinions even if they seldom watch Phillies baseball. I’m just waiting for the bad teammate crap to resurface that was part of the anti Young commentary.

    Was he a good acquisition, even discounting price paid? Hindsight (from this corner, at least) says not really. You could go as high as C-, as low as a flat D, and be fair. But to consider his defense a failure, which I consider synonymous with god awful is overdoing it. And in one person’s opinion, a lead indicator of subjectivity. Applied to a guy who has, including offense and defense together, has had a summarily pretty good career, it’s pretty disrespectful.

    • schmenkman

      November 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

      “God awful defense is about as stupid a conclusion as can be used.”

      Based on what? Of course he made some nice plays. So did Wiggy, so does Howard. What he didn’t do is get to a great many balls that other third basemen do get to. Describing his 2013 fielding as “God awful” is not disrespectful in any way. He’s had a decent career, but we don’t need to pretend that he was anything but a terrible fielder, or a net positive overall, on the field in 2013.

      • lefty

        November 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

        Schmenkman didn’t you hear? The rules have changed. It’s not okay to be disrespectful of a player, but it’s fine to disparage others that comment on a blog.

    • Brass Villanueva

      November 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      This article had nothing at all to do with Michael Young’s “summarily pretty good career”. It had to do with his 2013 performance for the Phillies. By any metric you choose to use, his defense was terrible. That’s not a “parting shot”. That’s just a fact. Pure and simple.

    • George

      November 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Ken, I DID see Young play defense, and anything negative that was said about his fielding skills when he was signed was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. He had zero range, and when he actually got to a ball, it was more of a miracle than an example of good fielding.

      His hands weren’t great, either, nor was his arm.

  6. Double Trouble Del

    November 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Why is this poor man being skewered when we could be talking about one of the most exciting opportunities of this off-season…resigning Tyler Cloyd to solidify the back of the rotation.

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