Sunday, November 11, 2007

5 Reasons why Delmon Young should win Rookie of the Year

Sometime this week, the American League will announce its 2007 Rookie of the Year. Barring any voting irregularities, the two front runners should be Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Tampa Bay Devil Rays right fielder Delmon Young. Although I believe Pedroia will probably win the award, I have challenged One More Dying Quail of the illustrious sports blog One More Dying Quail to give five reasons why the candidate on his beloved Red Sox is more worthy than the candidate on my local nine.

Five Reasons Why Delmon Young Should Win AL Rookie of the Year

1) Consistency – Despite being only a rookie, Delmon Young played in all 162 games in 2007, being only one of two players to do so. Even if you add Pedroia’s 14 postseason games, Young still played more games in the 2007 season. This consistency in Devil Rays’ season of flux (or general misery, if you prefer) not only allowed Young to tally the second most at bats in the American League but undoubtedly made manager Joe Madden’s job a bit easier.

2) Clutch hitting – In leading all AL Rookies in RBIs with 93, Young hit a whopping .349 with runners in scoring position. Whereas many other Rookie of the Year contenders in the AL bounced around their respective lineups, Young spent a majority of his season in the 5th spot in the Devil Rays lineup.

3) Versatility – In order to fill the Devil Rays injury-depleted outfield, Young moved into center field for a month. Although far from spectacular, Young provided much needed flexibility in a time of crisis. Among leading AL rookies, only Reggie Willits of the LA Angels played more games at a different position than Young.

4) Fielding prowess – Delmon Young was one of the best fielding right fielders in the American League in 2007. Young’s 16 assists were 3rd in the league among RFs and, according to ESPN.com, Young’s range factor (Range Factor ((PO + A) divided by innings) was 4th best among AL right fielders. And according to the fine gentlemen of Thunder Matt's Saloon, he should have won a Gold Glove. Unfortunately however, the Gold Glove is awarded to three outfielders, not necessarily a center fielder, a right fielder, and a left fielder.

5) Overexposure – Last but definitely not least, hasn’t Boston won enough already? Allowing Pedroia to win AL Rookie of the Year would continue the collective arrogance of Red Sox Nation. Haven’t we seen enough of the Red Sox for one year? Hopefully, the voters give the Rays fans something to cheer for besides Kevin Costner concerts and Fred McGriff’s endorsement of the new uniforms, his first major public endorsement since the 1989 Tom Emanski videos*.


*Possibly not true.

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