Baltimore Orioles Delmon Young: Postseason Factor?


Sep 20, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder

Delmon Young

(27) singles in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

In an article yesterday, I raised the question of the value of Nelson Cruz‘ fairly extensive playoffs experience. Today, let’s look at another Oriole with a similar number of games and plate appearances – Delmon Young.

Delmon Young is playing in his sixth consecutive postseason.

Delmon Young should be retained by the Orioles in 2015, if for no other reason, because he is the best good-luck charm for a team to qualify to play in the postseason. This will be the sixth consecutive year he is on a team in the playoffs, and he is with the fourth team to do so. Young was with the Twins in 2009 and 2010, with the Tigers in 2011 and 2012, and with the Rays last year.

In 33 total games, Young is batting .265 with an OBP of .320; and along the way he has clubbed nine home runs. To put that into perspective, that is one homer every 14.2 plate appearances; Nelson Cruz this year hit one every 17 times at the dish.

When playing for the Twins in ’09 and ‘10, who were swept in three straight by the Yankees both years, Cruz was 1-for-12 and 4-for-12.

In 2011 with the Tigers, against the Yankees again in the ALDS, Delmon Young was 6-for-19 with three solo home runs, helping Detroit to a 3-2 series victory. In the decisive fifth game that was won by the Tigers 3-2, Young had a solo home run in the first inning off Ivan Nova.

In the 2011 ALCS, Young hit a pair of home runs in a 7-5 win over the Rangers in the fifth game. However, these were his only two hits in the series in 15 at-bats. Nelson Cruz had a two-run homer in the same game for Texas.

Delmon Young had his best playoffs in 2012 for the Tigers. Although he was only 4-for-17 as Detroit beat Oakland in the ALDS, he came back to be the MVP of the ALCS victory over the Yankees. He was 6-for-17 with two home runs and six RBIs. In the opening game of the series, Young hit a two-run shot off Derek Lowe to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead in New York. But in typical Yankees fashion, they came back to tie it with four runs in the bottom of the ninth. Young then delivered the game-winning RBI double in the 12th inning.

Though the Giants swept the Tigers in four straight in the 2012 World Series, Delmon Young was 5-for-15, including a game-tying home run in the fourth game.

Just last year, Young hit a 3rd-inning solo home run for the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Game to put them ahead of the Indians 1-0 on the way to a 4-0 shutout. In the ALDS against the Red Sox, he was 2-for-8 in four games.

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Added to his playoffs experience is his record against a couple of the Detroit starters. Although he is only 3-for-12 against Max Scherzer and 6-for-30 against Justin Verlander, Young is 5-for-16 with a double and home run against Price and is 8-for-24 (.333) with two doubles and a home run versus Rick Porcello.

Overall, it is a very commendable record. I think Delmon Young is under-appreciated for his skills. He actually only just turned age 29 a couple weeks ago.

So we might see Delmon Young playing a bit more in these playoffs than he was generally seen over the season.

Here are Delmon Young’s postseason statistics …