Back in January of 2013, the Phillies signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 contract in the hopes that he would become their everyday right fielder. More importantly, the Phillies were hoping that Young would provide the right handed power that they have been missing since the departure of Jayson Werth in 2010.
The signing of Young was one that left Phillies fans scratching their heads. For starters, Young had not played right field in six years. He also only cracked 20 home runs once in his career, hitting 21 with Minnesota in 2010. The out-of-shape 28-year old is notoriously bad on defense which is why he spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter in the AL. He lacked speed which affected his mobility in the outfield, and ankle surgery, which would put him on the 15-day DL for the start of the 2013 season, wouldn’t help. The only plus side to his defense was his above average arm which allowed him to rack up 16 outfield assists in 2007.
Character issues also made Young a questionable signing. Back in 2006 while playing in the minors, Young was suspended for throwing a bat at an umpire after a disputed called third strike. He was also arrested for aggravated assault in 2012. Having good character players in the clubhouse is something that the Phillies have prided themselves on and Young did not fit the profile.
Due to ankle surgery in the offseason, Young started the 2013 season the the 15-day DL. He made is debut with the Phillies on April 30th against the Indians and homered in his first at bat, finishing the day 2-for-3. While this first game gave Phillies fans some hope, they were ultimately left in disappointment. Young never found his stride throughout the season although he enjoyed a productive June by batting .307 with three HR and 15 RBIs. His defensive faults were apparent throughout the season as he committed five errors and had trouble covering ground. After 80 games, the Phillies designated Young for assignment and eventually released him after he refused to play for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays on August 22nd.
Grade: D – The Delmon Young experiment was a total let down. While he enjoyed one productive stretch, he was unable to be the right handed power bat the Phillies were hoping for. His defense made him a liability in right despite his above average arm which earned him 4 outfield assist, but it was not enough to make Phillies fans forgive this disappointment. Now it’s your turn, Marlon Byrd.