Texas Rangers: Has Michael Young Become the Standard for All DH's?

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIFebruary 1, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers hits a single to center off of Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Six of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

When Michael Young took the role of DH, he did so begrudgingly at first.  Since that time, he has flourished as arguably the best in the game.

The role of designated hitter is changing and while Young wanted to be traded rather than be the Rangers everyday DH, he has proven to be the best at this new, flexible role of DH.

If asking a casual baseball fan the question: who is the best DH in baseball?  Odds are they will say David Ortiz.  Rightfully so, the man has been great for the Red Sox over the years.  However, Michael Young has been better for the Rangers.

In 2011, Ortiz might have bested Young in a few offensive categories, but overall Young proved to be the better hitter.  Have a look:

Young 159 631 88 213 41 6 11 106 0.338 0.38 0.474 0.854
Ortiz 146 525 74 162 40 1 29 96 0.309 0.398 0.554 0.953

With Young, the Rangers have a player of versatility.  He is capable of filling in at every infield position alongside his DH duties.  For the Red Sox, the team is handicapped by Ortiz.  He is really only capable of filling the DH role.  If he were to play the field, it would be in a limited role as the first baseman.  A move that seems pointless with Adrian Gonzalez already there.

Michael Young can play more positions, which equates to more games played, more offensive numbers and better overall production.  Including, but not limited to his league leading 213 hits in 2011.

It appears that the Texas Rangers were well ahead of the curve in recognizing the changing role of the DH in baseball.  It is no longer one that covets all power per se.  In Young, the Rangers have a versatile player with pop in his bat and a hell of a glove to match.

In today's baseball, the Rangers prove to be the top dogs in a lot of categories, especially when it comes to talent evaluation.