Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The looming albatross: Michael Young’s contract

$80 million well spent!

Michael Young is arguably the worst defensive shortstop in baseball right now.  He’s already the third worst shorstop in MLB by Zone Rating, and it’s abundantly clear that he’s won’t suddenly become any better at making plays on balls in his fielding zone.  Clearly, his defense does not create that $16 million of value. 

And, quite frankly, this club—which ranks 29th in among MLB clubs in Defensive Efficiency—can’t afford to keep subjecting it’s pitchers to a shortstop with range that makes one vaguely wistful for the Kevin Elster era.

The Ghost of Pete Incaviglia Posted: September 11, 2008 at 09:07 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rangers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Nasty Nate Posted: September 12, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#2938634)
... but they needed to salary-dump Alex Rodriguez
   2. Keith Law Posted: September 12, 2008 at 01:40 AM (#2938638)
Wasn't he second-worst among regulars in the first Fielding Bible? I mean, this isn't exactly a surprise.
   3. OCD SS Posted: September 12, 2008 at 01:55 AM (#2938685)
It's a surprise if you spent the last 4-7 years with your fingers in your ears yelling "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! MY SHORTSTOP'S RANGE IS EXCELLENT! AND HIS ABILITY TO GO BACK ON POP UPS IS THE BEST IN THE GAME!" and otherwise ignoring anything anyone said that disagreed with what you wanted to hear...
   4. CW Is Carving The Goddamned Turkey Posted: September 12, 2008 at 01:58 AM (#2938697)
It's the same problem the Yankees are looking at with Jeter. You can put up with that level of defense so long as they continue to hit. Once they stop hitting (or I should say, stop hitting as well) their defensive weaknesses become exposed.

But... once they stop hitting as well, it becomes much harder to find a position to move Jeter or Young to. I don't think the situation is quite as bad as described in the article - both Jeter and Young are players I would expect to bounce back next year, at least as far as their hitting goes. (I could be wrong, though - decline phases are very tricky to nail appropriately.) But it's hard to imagine either of them as an impact bat at left or first, and probably a bit late in their careers to move them to center field or third base.
   5. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:07 AM (#2938727)
Well, in Jeter's case, every position he could possibly move to is blocked except maybe center field. The Yankees have pretty much already let it be known Jeter is going to play shortstop until he hangs 'em up. Young... yeah, I don't know what the Rangers can do there.
   6. ColonelTom Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:25 AM (#2938755)
Third base. If he can recover from the batting-average dip this year, he's still a solid hitter for now. That said, the power he showed in his age 27-28 seasons is history, and he's looking like your prototypical PECOTA bell-curve career path. FWIW:

Young's PECOTA for 2008: .286/.340/.422
Young's real stats for 2008: .281/.333/.402

PECOTA predicts a slight OBP spike next year, but other than that, it's a long, slow fade of power with a similar decline in defense at SS over the next several seasons. It's going to be ugly by the last year of that contract.
   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:48 AM (#2938792)
Would Young to second/Kinsler to third be a possibility?
   8. The Ghost of Pete Incaviglia Posted: September 12, 2008 at 03:15 AM (#2938853)
Both Adam Morris and Joey Matschulat have also chimed in with some good stuff on Young, and neither seem particularly impressed.

Young's over 6 runs below average (according to Dial) and 10 plays below average (according to plus/minus) defensively. Awful.
   9. Shock Posted: September 12, 2008 at 03:38 AM (#2938914)
Has Young ever had a good defensive rep? I can remember thinking of him as a brutal defender as far back as 03.
   10. DCA Posted: September 12, 2008 at 03:41 AM (#2938918)
I remember once thinking he was pretty good at 2B.

Also, 6 runs or 10 plays below average over essentially a full season is bad, but it's not awful (which I interpret as "superlatively bad")
   11. jwb Posted: September 12, 2008 at 04:26 AM (#2938950)
On the bright side, the Rangers have five years to solve this puzzle.
   12. sptaylor Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:27 PM (#2939130)
Shock: I can't remember Young ever having been thought of as better than average at SS, but he was considered a pretty solid fielder at 2B. If you recall, the Rangers wanted Soriano to move to SS and leave Young at 2B, until Soriano refused to move and Young volunteered.
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#2939136)
If you recall, the Rangers wanted Soriano to move to SS and leave Young at 2B, until Soriano refused to move and Young volunteered.
Really? Their plan was to take a lousy defensive 2B and move him to SS? I don't remember that, which doesn't mean it didn't happen.
   14. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: September 12, 2008 at 02:43 PM (#2939143)
Really? Their plan was to take a lousy defensive 2B and move him to SS? I don't remember that, which doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Soriano had come up as a shortstop and was moved for Jeter, so he was the more natural guy to get moved to short. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Soriano's strong aversion to change, later evidenced in his kicking and screaming while being dragged into left field, won the day. Either way, the Rangers were facing some tough times defensively at short, and Young proved to be the more flexible teammate.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2008 at 03:25 AM (#2939996)
The man has Julio Franco on his comps list, so I'm not counting him out yet -- he has a chance to be on the next good Rangers team in 2023.
   16. dirk Posted: September 13, 2008 at 04:16 AM (#2940014)
#15. I laughed.
   17. The Ghost screws up everything with hubris Posted: September 13, 2008 at 04:49 AM (#2940022)
Anybody on that list with a contract beyond 2010 will probably seem to be an albatross eventually. The question is whether the team will/did get enough value out of the player before the decline years set in. For Young it doesn't look like a good deal.
   18. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: September 13, 2008 at 04:59 AM (#2940028)
#17:

Miguel Cabrera will only be 30-32 years old at the end of his contract in 2013. I think his *next* contract could be an albatross, but not this one.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOrioles quietly embark on search for a veteran catcher - Baltimore Sun
(1 - 5:12am, Dec 07)
Last: JoeC

NewsblogOTP: 5 December 2016: Baseball's New Collective Bargaining Agreement
(509 - 4:07am, Dec 07)
Last: Orange Julius Takes the Fifth

NewsblogBBWAA to publish all HOF ballots starting in 2018
(80 - 2:43am, Dec 07)
Last: Mendo

NewsblogKen Rosenthal on Twitter: Sale to #RedSox. Moncada, Kopech and two other prospects to #WhiteSox.
(123 - 2:42am, Dec 07)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogOT: NBA 2016-17 Preseason Thread
(1210 - 2:25am, Dec 07)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim

NewsblogDodgers sign free-agent pitcher Rich Hill | MLB.com
(66 - 2:12am, Dec 07)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogNew CBA, qualifying offers could impact Royals | MLB.com
(5 - 1:50am, Dec 07)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogNationals Taken Aback by Bryce Harper Contract Demands
(67 - 1:00am, Dec 07)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame's View on the Steroid Era is in Flux
(15 - 12:34am, Dec 07)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogMets prospects on the table as they mull 3 roads to reliever | New York Post
(10 - 12:28am, Dec 07)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Gonfalon CubsStarting to think about 2017
(84 - 11:52pm, Dec 06)
Last: Quaker

NewsblogRed Sox Reportedly Agree To Deal With Mitch Moreland « CBS Boston
(20 - 11:29pm, Dec 06)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2016 Ballot
(15 - 11:13pm, Dec 06)
Last: Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet

Sox TherapyThe Roster 1.0
(10 - 10:27pm, Dec 06)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogMargaret Whitton Dies at 67
(14 - 10:25pm, Dec 06)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

Page rendered in 0.1823 seconds
48 querie(s) executed