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Can He Repeat in 2011: Delmon Young

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2010 Performance

.298/.333/.493, 46 doubles, 21 home runs, 112 runs batted in, 77 runs scored, 5 stolen bases

BB rate - 4.6%, K rate - 14.2%, BABIP - .312, Line Drive Rate - 15.5%, Fly Ball Rate - 39.8%

Rankings

My Original Rank: Not Ranked in Top 50 among OF

ESPN's Preseason Rank: #84

Yahoo's Final Rank: #15

ESPN's Final Player Rater Rank: #22

Nobody really saw this coming, now did they? Was he a one year fluke, or is this a sign of things to come for Young?

My Thoughts

Batting Average - Young's previous high batting average was .290, and has never hit below .284 in any season since arriving in the Majors, so to me the batting average is probably legitimate. His BABIP actually went down from his career numbers, as he had posted a .338 BABIP in each of the last 3 seasons prior to 2010. This is probably a result of the additional homeruns that he had not hit in a season before.

Home Runs - Young hit 21 home runs in 2010, a career best. His previous high had been 13, and it could definitely have been that he's now hitting more with an elevated fly ball percentage (39.8% in 2010 vs. 33.2% career). The interesting thing to me is that it wasn't at the expense of hitting line drives particularly. His LD% has dropped from 17% 2 seasons ago to just under 16% in 2010, but his GB% has dropped significantly (55% in 2008 vs. 45% in 2010). Throw in that he set a career high in doubles (46) this season, and I'm inclined to think this is real as well.

Runs Batted In and Runs Scored - Young scored 77 runs and drove in 112 runs, and that number was also a career high. But looking at the lineup that the Twins ran out on a consistent basis, there are quite a few of these players who will be back next season. While it's not a great barometer of RBI, it says to me that he should have a decent shot at repeating next year based on the fact that the majority of the lineup that hit around him this season will be returning.

Something to note as well from Delmon's advanced numbers were that he significantly cut down on his strikeouts. He struck out just 14% of the time in 2010, compared to a previous career low of 18%. More contact means he's more likely to make good contact, and that doesn't hurt either.

Summary

Overall, I think that Young had a great season this year, and while I don't think that he necessarily will repeat all the numbers he posted, I believe he will likely post similar numbers. His homerun total may even increase, but I wouldn't expect to see 112 RBI again next year. But a 100 RBI, 75 run season seems extremely likely.