The Minnesota Twins are just 21 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore. As we near that day, here is more Twins history related to that number.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectation after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will highlight numbers from team history that represent the number of days until Opening Day on March 29th in Baltimore.
Yesterday we highlighted the Twins young, right-handed slugger Miguel Sano. Today we will highlight yet another right-handed slugger that was supposed to be the key to unlocking a left-handed heavy lineup. He was to be at least part of the answer to finally beating the New York Yankees in the playoffs and he is number 21, Delmon Young.
Young’s path to Minnesota
Young entered professional baseball as the highly touted number one overall selection of the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2003 MLB Draft. He would make his major league debut in 2006, and became a full-time player by playing all 162 games in 2007. A season in which Young batted .288/.316/.408 and hit 13 home runs as well as 28 doubles. It was that performance as well as his promising upside that caught the Twins eye.
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That led to the bit of a blockbuster trade on November 28, 2007, that brought Young to Minnesota. He brought with him to Minnesota infielder Brendan Harris and outfielder Jason Pridie in exchange for starting pitcher Matt Garza, shortstop Jason Bartlett, and Eddie Morlan. Young was able to deliver immediately for the Twins at the plate as he slashed .290/.336/.405 along with 10 home runs and 28 doubles in 152 games.
Time as a Twin
In 2010 the Twins got to see the MVP type performance from Young they had hoped for when they traded for him. That season he batted .298/.333/.493 with a career-high 21 home runs and career-high 46 doubles. What a good way for Young to break in his new home at Target Field and also get some league wide recognition finishing 10th in MVP voting.
Even though Young often produced some value with his bat he always drew criticism. That in part may have been that the price paid to acquire him brought the expectation of an MVP candidate year in and year out. Another reason was watching him play the outfield was, well, painful. It wasn’t always painful because he couldn’t make plays, but painful in there was nothing smooth about the way Young got to a fly ball.
Looking back at who Young was with the Twins there was always a lot of criticism surrounding him. Even with that criticism, he would have been the exact type of right-handed bat we would have probably profiled for the Twins if he was a free-agent this past offseason. There was always the good and the bad with Young, and today we remember the whole package as we reach 21 days on our countdown to Opening Day.