A Michael Young Phillies Retrospective
The Phillies traded Michael Young yesterday, ending a brief era of gritty veteranosity at third base the Phillies hadn’t seen since David Bell. When the rumors started swirling, I was ready to give up atheism:
God does exist, and He will prove it by sending Michael Young to the Phillies.
— Bill Baer (@CrashburnAlley) December 5, 2012
God said, “let there be Michael Young”, and there was Michael Young, donning freshly-ironed red pinstripes at the press conference. It wasn’t long before he would begin taking batting practice and fielding grounders in Clearwater in preparation for the regular season.
Then the regular season started and Michael Young started grounding into double plays at an historic rate. From May 4:
The Phillies third baseman has logged 23 plate appearances in which a runner is on first base with less than two outs, meaning that Young is grounding into a double play once for every 2.5 opportunities. Additionally, he has logged 114 PA, giving him a pace of 12.7 PA per double play.
A player has crossed the 30+ GIDP plateau just 16 times in baseball history. None of them have had such a high rate of GIDP on a PA basis and few have even come close [...]
Once the double plays subsided, Young really started to shine defensively with precious .gif after .gif:
It wasn’t all bad, though. Young went 3-for-5 yesterday, his final game as a Phillie. He was 4-for-5 the night prior, and had logged multiple hits in five of his previous six games. He was in the middle of the Phillies’ comebacks on back-to-back nights against Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt on August 21 and 22. On the 21st, Young broke a 3-3 one-out tie by lacing an RBI single to left field. The following night, he knocked in Jimmy Rollins on third base with a two-out, game-tying RBI infield single to shortstop. The Phillies would win two batters later when Domonic Brown lined an RBI single to right field.
Young goes to the Dodgers ranking among the 20-least valuable players in baseball, according to Baseball Reference. His -1.1 Wins Above Replacement follows up last year’s -2.0 performance, making him the second-least valuable player since the start of the 2012 season.