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5/12/10

The Twins' most valuable corner outfielder?

Today is Delmon Young day in the Twins' blogosphere. The Delmon Young day, like the Nick Punto day, is the brainchild of Andrew Kneeland of Twins' Target. My premise today is simple: Let's examine who so far has been the most valuable corner outfielder for the Twins, especially since a corner outfield (Delmon Young so far) has been freequently on the bench in order for Ron Gardenhire to find plate appearances for both Jason Kubel and Thome. There are lot of personal opinions and biases, but numbers do not lie.

Lets compare Mike Cuddyer and Delmon Young this season using rate starts to be fair.

Hitting slash line: Cuddyer .275/.318/.442, .760 OPS; Young .287/.337/.479, .816 OPS. Advantage: Young across the board
BB/K ration: Cuddyer: 0.556, Young: 0.80. Advantage: Young
isoP: Cuddyer: .167, Young: .192. Advantage: Young
extra base hits/hits: Cuddyer: .316, Young: .444. Advantage: Young
% swings on pitches outside the strike zone: Cuddyer 38.5%, Young 37.3%. Advantage: Young
runs/hits+bb: Cuddyer: .354, Young: 0.400. Advantage: Young
win probability added : Cuddyer: -.88, Young: -.11. Advantage: Young
UZR (today's game not included): Cuddyer: -4.0, Young: +1.0. Advantage: Young
Range Factor per 9 innings (today's game not included): Cuddyer: 1.9, Young 2.1. Advantage: Young


Any way you dice it and slice it, Delmon Young has been more valuable for the Minnesota Twins this season than Mike Cuddyer. Numbers do not lie. Everything else is opinion and gut feelings. The majority of the Twins' fans, the vast majority of the sports media and bloggers covering the Twins, and, unfortunately, the one who makes the decisions, do not see it this way... and this hurts the Twins. It is time to take the blindfolds off and open the minds: Delmon Young is the most valuable Twins' outfielder so far this season and he should get more playing time than Mike Cuddyer when Jason Kubel and Jim Thome both need to be in the lineup.

6 comments:

Castino said...

Problem is your "More Valuable" assertion is, based on just what you've written, builit on flawed logic. Numbers alone never tell the entire story but are merely a starting point. Someone who hits
280 vs. Dontrelle Willis has not outperformed someone who's hit 280 vs. Willis & Zach Grienke, Justin Verlander. Someone who's put up those numbers in 2-3 games per weeek vs. someone who's done it 6-7days a week is not comprable.

Leaving the names & your personal bias aside it not such a "Any way you dice it and slice it" slam dunk.

Of course your never ending drumbeat on "Cuddy sucks & Delmon is should play instead" misses the whole point. To be their best as a team the Twins need Cuddy playing well manning right with Delmon playing well in left. It's more about Delmon doing the things neccessary to force the Managment to not have a choice but to play him. Not how Delmon should be handed something another player has clearly earned the benefit of any doubt to keep (And I wish Cuddy would do some things better as much as the next guy).

Focus on Delmon. Although it appears most of your waking moments are spent doing just that.

thrylos98 said...

Hmmm...

So you really think that Cuddyer has outplayed Delmon this season? Based on what? Might want to take the blindfold out and look at reality... Numbers are not everything and cannot predict everything, but they are perfect in describing performance during a particular point in time and that's what I am doing here.

Cuddyer has not earned anything... He had 2 good seasons while younger (and both came in contract years - the second one in the option pickup year). He is old. His skills are diminishing. He costs 5x as much as Young while performing less. These are facts.

As also is the fact that Young will see more bench (even though he does not deserve it) than Cuddyer, because the manager of the millennium shares your opinion that is based on past performance, emotions, gut feelings and not facts.

I hope Cuddyer has an MVP season to help the Twins. The fact is that sitting Young instead of Cuddyer at this point has not helped the Twins.

Castino said...

It's amzing how, I'm assuming, such a smart person can wright things so dumb.

First, "More Valuable" just like Most Valuable" is always or entirely about the numbers performance. Just ask Kirk Gibson's MVP trophy.

Second, I love how looking at the current numbers of the 1st month of this season are "facts" that should be acted upon. But numbers built over a recent period of time are "opinion, emotions, gut feelings and not fact.

Fact, Cuddy's money is irrelevant to who should be playing right. Fact, Cuddy's "only 2 good seasons" are two better than any Delmon has in his young career.

Fact, Line-up 30 GM's all possesing teams that are legit division & maybe World Series contenders and ask them which they'd pick to be their everyday outfielder for just this season & I'm pretty sure virtually all would take Cuddy.

Fact, "has not helped the twins"? Really, they're 10 games over 500. I don't think even your dumb enough to suggest they'd be 12-15 games over if Delmon and Cuddy's playing time & position had been reversed.

The only one bringing bias, opinion, hope and gut feelings to this discussion is clearly you.

Cuddy's not going to the Hall of Fame. Neither is Delmon.

Gardy is guilty of many things & Cuddy maybe getting more rest & Delmon getting more playing time in the right situations in the future certainly can be put on that list. But having Cuddy as his starting right fielder this season is not one of them

I wish Delmon continued success because one month does not a career nor a pennant make.

thrylos98 said...

Here is the thing:

a. you got to put it within the framework of this season: Do you suggest that Cuddyer has performed better than Young so far? I am not sure that there is anything that can sustain that suggestion

b. Young is before his prime and Cuddyer on the decline. And it is obvious. So past performance use is risky here... Using past performance, Thome should be the Twins' every day third baseman.

c. Some of the things you are mentioning as "facts" (other than past performance) are well... not facts. Just opinions.

d. Yes. The Twins are several games over .500. But the Tigers are closing in and kids who were born the last time the Twins won a world series can vote this year. If you like that fact...

Castino said...

Fact, IT"S ALL PAST PERFORMANCE! Today's agem is now past performance. You've just chosen the most recent 1 month sample that reflects Delmon in his best possible light to be more imporant that anything else these two players have done in their major league career (when healthy).

Fact, the Tigers lost a half game in the standings and are 1 1/2 farther back in the stadnings then as of last Tuesday. So, FACT, despite playing having won 4 of their last 6 they're not closing in on anyone technically.

Fact, you "B" is was either written by somebody blind, drunk, stupid, not very funny, or by someone who can't pay attention very well. You should get that person a nap.

Fact, it doesn't matter whether Cuddy has out performed Delmon to be "more valuable". For example someone who gets 10 hits & hits .300 can't be more valuable to a team then someone who hits .280 with 130 hits. Yes it's partly beyond Delmon's control but it doesn't change the FACT.

Please take Howard's advice & lay low with this weak, ill-timed bashing of Cudddy in order to promote Delmon. It makes taking your other interesting baseball observations, reseach & analysis a bit more difficult to give weight to. And that's a FACT.

Marv said...

There appears to be some evidence that Delmon is hitting well as a member of the 'corner outfield' corps. The names do not matter. I have no commitment to having some particular corner outfielder sit.
I would like to see Young in a few more lineups. I think the stats make that a fairly reasonable request.