Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Delmon Young: To Own and To Be Owned (Sort Of)

The genius behind Nick Punto DayAndrew Kneeland, has declared May 12 to be Delmon Young day. Ok. I'll never turn down an opportunity for someone to give me an idea to write about.

However, of all the players on the Twins squad he could have chosen, he picked the one I have the least amount of passion for - positive or negative. I hate to say it, but the only reason I have any opinion whatsoever about Delmon (other than basic human-kindness kind of stuff) has to do with the fact that he wears a Twins uniform -- obviously I want him to play well because it helps the team when he does. I must say this is a fairly recent development; he used to drive me nuts quite regularly. Now, either his drive-me-nuts qualities have changed, or I stopped caring -- I'm not really sure.

It's a good thing I write manuals for a living; I'm very used to passionless writing. (I'm also very used to writing stuff that nobody reads, but that's not my point right now.) So I'll find the angle I am passionate about, and go from there.

Hmm... Ooh, I know! Pitching. I'm passionate about pitching. And since I've never seen Delmon pitch (the visual of that kind of makes me giggle), I'll see how he matches up with the pitchers he faces. I know, I know, that requires me to actually research and talk about stats. Just because I don't like to, it doesn't mean I can't. (Louie would be so proud of me.)

Granted, he's only been in the majors 4 years, so these findings are merely samples and one can't predict trends. In fact, he hasn't even faced any one pitcher more than 25 times. So this list is "adjusted" to include pitchers he's faced 14 times or more.

Some of these kind of surprised me.

Pitcher he's faced most: 
Mark Buerhle - 24ab, 8h, 2hr, 2rbi, 2bb, 3k, .333ba

Pitcher he's struck out most against:
Cliff Lee - 21ab, 3h, 0hr, 1rbi, 2bb, 9k, .143ba

Pitcher he's walked most against:
Nate Robertson - 19ab, 5h, 0hr, 0rbi, 4bb, 4k, .263ba

Pitcher he "owns":
Andy Pettite - 14ab, 9h, 0hr, 3rbi, 0bb, 0k, .643ba

Pitcher who "owns" him:
Gil Meche - 23ab, 2h, 0hr, 2rbi, 1bb, 4k, .087ba

Granted, the Andy Pettitte stat is kind of a small sample size, so that should ... what's that phrase that all the stat-heads use? ... regress to the mean? But the thought of any Twins owning any Yankee amuses me. And the Gil Meche thing surprises me too; he's not that great of a pitcher. The walking thing doesn't surprise me at all -- 4bb's of 19pa's isn't all that impressive.

But all this really shows is that he's not great, and he's not horrible. Delmon is what he is. I still believe that he'll eventually start hitting for the power we were all promised when we traded for him. But this "eventually" is getting drawn out more than I'd like. If this lack-of-generating-passion performance he's been giving me continues, he'll go back to driving me nuts. This is his year. It had better be; we're all tired of waiting.

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