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.