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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.