Blog Entry

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:15 am
Michael Young

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I'm not sure I'd vote for Michael Young for the American League MVP, but I sure would have to consider the Rangers veteran if I had a ballot in the AL -- and that's a far cry from where Young started the season.

Remember going into spring training? Young had no home on the diamond and reportedly wanted a trade from the only team he's played for as a big leaguer. At 34, he seemed to be anything but what his surname suggested and of declining skills, not to mention he was a man without a position. The team signed Adrian Beltre to take over at third base, displacing him once again. Young had been moved off shortstop to make room for Elvis Andrus after previously being moved from second base. And now the team had another third baseman and it seemed there was nowhere for Young.

Instead, Young has wound up playing everywhere. In addition to 68 starts as the team's DH, he's made 39 starts at third base, 36 at first base and 13 at second. He may be the team's MVP -- with V standing for both valuable and versatile. He played in all but two games this season, and produced. He's hitting .338/.380/.477 -- all improvements over last season -- along with 11 home runs (down from a year ago), 104 RBI and a MLB-best 209 hits.

"People want to talk MVP? It's ridiculous if they don't consider Michael Young," Rangers manager Ron Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'd like someone to tell me a utility player who does what he does… When it all started, nobody thought he'd be able to get playing time."

The AL MVP vote could be one of the toughest in recent years, but Washington's right, Young should seriously be considered.

Rockies to be aggressive in offseason: The Rockies were many people's pick to win the National League West, or at least the wild card. Instead, the team has limped to a 71-87 record so far, 21 games behind the surprising Diamondbacks. Colorado has money to spend and will look for several upgrades in order to be competitive in 2012. [Denver Post]

Sayonara Kuroda? Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda said there's a 50-50 chance he returns to Japan next year. Kuroda is 13-16 with a 3.17 ERA this season. []

Rasmus blames Cardinals: Colby Rasmus hasn't played well since going to Toronto, and for that, he's blaming the Cardinals. The 25-year-old center fielder has as much talent as anyone, but his head seems to continue to get in his way. Maybe Tony La Russa was right… [National Post]

Pinch-runner paying dividends: Tyler Greene isn't playing much shortstop for the Cardinals, but he's still making his mark on the bases. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Stadium holding back A's: The A's still hope to get a new stadium in San Jose, but if they do they'll likely hold back on spending -- because the stadium wouldn't be ready for at least three years, and the team would want to build toward opening strong in the new stadium. At least, that's what the agents for Josh Willingham hear. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Extending DatDude: Reds general manager Walt Jocketty will meet with the agents for second baseman Brandon Phillips in New York this week to talk about an extension. Jocketty has already said the team would pick up Phillips' $12 million option for 2012. []

Sanchez hopeful: Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez said he expects to be ready for opening day in 2012. Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery in August. [San Jose Mercury News]

Homecoming: You think it's bad when you see minivans with a kid's name and number on the back? I know I'd be embarrassed if if my mom had "Trent" and "" on the back of her car. Or even if she wore a t-shirt with that around town. Well, imagine how embarrassed Reds rookie Devin Mesoraco felt when his mother distributed more than 700 t-shirts with his image and name on it for Saturday's game in Pittsburgh. []

Maybin wants to stay in San Diego: Cameron Maybin has apparently found a home in San Diego. When asked if he was open to signing a long-term deal with the Padres, Maybin said "100 percent." You can also find out where he buys his shoes. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

If you don't hit does it matter where you hit? The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano isn't happy about batting seventh most of the season fo rthe Cubs. Shouldn't he be more upset with him putting up the type of production that makes him a seven-hitter? []

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:46 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 5:24 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 7:42 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

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Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:56 am

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

No he does not. Verlander is a pitcher that was in 22% of the Games his team played. Do you get that? That is nearly 8 out of 10 games he was sitting on his arse in the dugout doing nothing. When he was on the field he had the help of eight other guys. Get a grip tool.

Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: September 26, 2011 10:58 pm
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Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: September 26, 2011 7:30 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

Why the hate againt Young?  He's done everything this franchise has asked.  I like Kinsler, but he needs to improve his hitting avg and fielding(14th at his position in the AL).  Recall at least a couple of times he cost games with easy fielding errors.  Fielding % Kinsler = .984, Young = .982

Put in the DH position Young is putting up his second best year hitting overall (best avg) and filling in the holes in the field when asked.  What more do you want from him?

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2011 6:44 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

Ellsbury, then Verlander...

Verlander has been SO good that he has to be considered.

And Granderson has a very good year... but they say 40% of his HR's are OUTS in an average ballpark... Gotta discount him a lot.


Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: September 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

Good Luck counting on Nova against a GOOD team.... He's been faid at best against good hitting teams....

Freddy Garcia??? You got to be kidding... ERA of 5.40 post all star break....

And CC has been very hittable over the past 2 months...

3 pitchers that are solid, CC, and Robertson, and Mariano.... good luck getting to them...    &nbs

Lokos like another 1st round and out.. and another WASTE of $245 Million dollars of greed and more greed.


Since: May 12, 2010
Posted on: September 26, 2011 6:06 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

Sometimes I wonder what Ian Kinsler thinks, if he ever reads stuff like this.  I'm sure publicly he'll stand up for his teammate, but seriously, if you're the best player on your team, as Kinsler is, wouldn't you be a little ticked after a while?  The only two things that make Young look better than Kinsler are his batting average and his RBI.  Otherwise, Kinsler's having by far a better year.  Kinsler's defensive value is miles ahead of Young's (despite Young's defensive "utility"), and Kinsler's slugging average is nearly equal to Young's despite the shortfall in batting average.  Let's also not leave out the positional value of a second baseman as opposed to a DH.

This defensive utility that Young supposedly has - he's played two-thirds of his season on the low end of the defensive spectrum, and only 13 games at the high end.  He's been pushed off of second for another player, pushed off of short for another player, and pushed off of third for another player.  Are we seeing the trend here?  He's fortunate that his bat plays well enough to let him DH, otherwise he'd be out of a job.

The sooner we get away from judging players based on their roto stats, the better.  Value doesn't solely consist of Triple Crown stats and stolen bases.  Young's not having even close to the best season on his team - a good season, but not nearly as good as advertised - and if you bother to look beyond roto stats, you understand why.  Let's not let the narrative get in the way of reality.

Since: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: September 26, 2011 6:00 pm

Pepper: From afterthought to MVP candidate

No pitching? hb NOva 16-4 and Freddy Garcia

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