It can be seen as the low point in the career of Delmon Young. The infamous bat throw that got him suspended for 50 games. Flash forward to a little over four years later and Young's name is being talked about as a possible MVP candidate. What a difference four years can make.
With Matt Garza throwing a no hitter last week and with the trade deadline passing there has been time for fans to reflect on the trade that brought Delmon Young to the Twins. Brendan Harris has been relegated to Rochester for the Twins. Jason Bartlett has also had his struggles with the Rays this season. So the trade has amounted to a Young for Garza swap. I still feel that it is hard to weigh in on how this trade went for both teams. The Rays and the Twins both wanted to get rid of an attitude on their team. The trade was a wake-up call for both players and if Young and Garza continue to develop the way that they have been then it will look like a great trade for both teams.
It has been quite the season for Delmon Young this year. Justin Morneau had been carrying the offensive load for the Twins at the beginning of the season. Morneau has been out of the line-up since the beginning of July and Delmon has stepped in the fill that offensive void. Young is currently 5th in the AL in both batting average and RBI. In July alone he batted .434 with 30 RBI.
Another dramatic change has been the weight that he lost coming in to this season. Young has a new focus for this season and it has helped him in many facets of his game. There are fly balls that he is getting to that he wouldn't have got to in the past. There are infield hits that he can now beat out down the line. He is maturing into the player had hoped for when the Twins traded for him.
For Young to continue to be in the talks for MVP he is going to have to continue his torrid hitting from July. The Twins are also going to need to continue to push for another division title. Young is going to have competition from Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, etc. But with his new attitude, new focus, and new direction he can be the leader that the Twins hoped for.
Here's hoping your MVP caliber season continues, Mr. Young.
There are still opportunities to see the Twins on the road this season with a group of other Twins fans. Hop on the Twins Train to see the Twins in Chicago and Detroit. The Twins are fighting for the division lead so enjoy a road trip with the Twins Train. Here is my post about my experience on the Twins Train from earlier this year. (Detroit: A Twins Train Diary)