Why Delmon Young is the Twins MVP


I wasn’t panicking over the Twins recent performance in Kansas City and Detroit, but it was clear that they need to win last night’s game. It was about as meaningful as a meaningless game can be – if that makes sense. Not only is being swept by Kansas City is humiliating, the Twins still have a shot to clinch home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs.

That Delmon Young carried the squad in last night’s 4-2 victory over the Royals should not be surprising. When his team has needed him most this season, Young has delivered.

The Twins were at a crossroads at the All Star break. Having lost 7 out of 10, they limped into the season’s ceremonial midpoint with a 46-42 record and trailed first place Chicago by 3 ½ games. Their best player in the first half – Justin Morneau – had recently been sidelined with a concussion. His return date was unkown and ultimately, elusive. The Twins first season in Target Field appeared to be headed nowhere.

Enter Delmon Young. After a typical low start, the 25-year-old began to show signs of life in June. While the talent outfielder had shown flashes of his ability before, nobody could have predicted what would happen next.

Young was dominant in July. The former 1st overall pick, hit .434 (46 for 106) and slugged .736 with 6 HR and 30 RBI for the month. If it seemed like every night the Twins leftfielder was picking up a couple of hits and driving in a run or two, that’s because he was.

Led by Young, the Twins surged in July, eventually took over first place in the AL Central and haven’t looked back. While he inevitability cooled off his torrid pace, Young enters tonight’s game against Toronto hitting an even .300 with 42 doubles, 20 homeruns and 110 RBI - numbers AL MVP voters should not ignore.

Because he’s not very media savvy, Young hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves in 2010. Joe Mauer hasn’t hit for power, Jim Thome doesn’t play every day or in the field and Jason Kubel has been streaky. Delmon Young has played in 149 of 158 games, hit throughout the line-up for average and power and improved his outfield defense. In my mind, that makes him the Twins Most Valuable Player.

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