David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
We can all agree that Delmon Young is a mediocre regular-season player.
From 2011-2013, he batted .266/.301/.404, which amounted to a 91 OPS+. Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers posted comparable stats in that time frame, but at least he added considerable value as a baserunner and defender. Young, meanwhile, was such a liability in those aspects of the game that the Philadelphia Phillies released him midway through this past summer.
With that said, Young deserves credit for redeeming himself when it matters most.
In 25 games played during the 2011-2013 playoffs, he has a .286/.333/.604 batting line with nine home runs. The replacement-level designated hitter won 2012 ALCS MVP honors and was among the few Detroit Tigers to have any offensive success against the San Francisco Giants in the ensuing World Series.
More recently, his solo blast in last week's American League Wild Card Game put the Tampa Bay Rays ahead for good.
Don't you just love small sample sizes?
The Rays pitchers cannot be expected to silence Boston's prolific bats on Monday. They'll need several runs of support, and that means Young has to continue producing under the bright lights of October.