If you've been watching the Twins in May, you've noticed a nice hot streak by Mr. Delmon Young. Since he got here, I've been toying with the idea of buying a jersey. But in the wake of big-time trade talk the past two offseasons, it's been hard to commit (plus the often putrid offense/defense). But if he keeps on his current pace, I don't think the Twins will be able to help but keep him around. And if you point to April as a reason to temper my excitement, I'll simply say he's a known slow starter. Which he is. The important thing is that we notice trends in his statistical production… so here's some info to chew on:
Delmon Young now has 13 hits in May.
Last year, he had a total of 13 hits in ALL OF May.
Also, he's doubled his extra-base hits (from 6 to 12) in just nine games this month.
Young had 14 hits (63 AB) in April this year, and has 13 in nine games (31 AB).
2008 K/BB ratio (April/May): 35:17 (208 AB)
2009 K/BB ratio (April/May) - 37:5 (109 AB)
2008 K/BB ratio (April/May, so far) - 10:8 (94 AB)
Since August 1, 2009 (281 ABs)…
32 extra-base hits
12 homers, 47 RBI
.298 batting average/.323 OBP
PREVIOUS 280 ABs From late 2008 to July 31, 2009
14 extra-base hits
77-for-280 .275 BA, .297 OBP
4 home runs, 35 RBI
The fact of the matter is that we're witnessing a turnaround in altogether approach at the beginning of the season. The past two years he's struck out over 30 times in April/May while walking 17, then five times. This year he's clearly made more contact and honed his strike zone discernment (just 10 strikeouts halfway through May). This - of course - has allowed Young to swing at better pitches and when he DOES make solid contact, the ball is jumping off his bat and finding bleachers or green space more often than ever before as a Twin. If it took a journey like this for Young to realize some of that massive potential, then it'll have been worth it. Because he's coming out the other side of the tunnel a new, more productive player.