Minnesota Twins: Delmon Young wins home run derby
By Nate Palmer
Minnesota Twins fans were able to take a unique trip down memory lane as former outfielder Delmon Young won the title of home run derby champion.
The Minnesota Twins were likely reminded of what could have been in regards to the team’s former outfielder Delmon Young this past week. Young recently won a home run derby put on by the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, at a time when most of us had probably forgotten about him.
Young as a former number one overall draft pick was traded to the Twins with Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie back in 2007 for Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza, and Eddie Morlan. Young came into Minnesota as a right-handed bat and outfielder that was supposed help boost a rather light-hitting lineup. In ways that did happen.
2008-2010 were pretty good seasons for Young at the plate, with 2010 being the season where we truly thought Young had found his groove as the hitter we had hoped he would be. Quickly in 2011 that turned for the worse and his combination of bad hitting and laughable defense landed him in a trade within the division to the Detroit Tigers.
For the last several years we haven’t seen much of Young until this past weekend when tweets and videos began to surface showing Young winning the home run derby. It wasn’t a derby without competition as he had to work his way through some noteworthy names on his way to winning the derby crown.
Delmon was able to take down Cincinnati Reds All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suarez. Suarez who spent 2018 hitting .283/.366/.526 and a .892 OPS along with 34 home runs and 22 doubles. Also on Delmon’s way to the derby title was another All-Star in Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras spent 2018 slashing .249/.339/.390 with a .730 OPS and 10 home runs. Contreras isn’t quite a power hitter but he is still a notable major leaguer.
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Young’s final test was rookie phenom and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. The same Acuna who spent 2018 as a major part of the surging Braves and did nothing other than hit with a slash line of .292/.366/.552, a .917 OPS, and 26 home runs. Even Acuna couldn’t stop Delmon Young that night as Acuna lost 13-10 in the final round of the derby.
Young has also been performing well during the actual winter league by hitting .302/.342/.566 with a .908 OPS and 13 home runs. Something he has been doing in a number of leagues since leaving major league baseball in 2015. Now while it would make for a pretty great comeback story, at 33 years of age this is probably just a really cool story and we shouldn’t expect to see Young waltz back into the MLB after this victory.
Depends on how you feel about Delmon but it either makes you smile and maybe even chuckle a little bit, or down right cry because he didn’t do anything like this in a Twins uniform.