Atlanta Braves: 3 Reasons a Martin Prado for Delmon Young Swap Is a Bad Move
According to an article by Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the Detroit Tigers are interested in trading for Atlanta Braves left fielder Martin Prado. The article also says that the Tigers' front office is willing to trade starting left fielder and postseason hero Delmon Young in a deal for Prado.
While there are rumors that do state that the Braves aren't particularly interested in Young, he is likely being considered in some way. This slideshow gives three reasons why a Prado for Delmon Young deal would not be a good move for the Braves.
Delmon Young comes with plenty of baggage, most notably a very questionable attitude. This attitude has been a big part of why he hasn't lived up to the enormous hype he received before he made his Major League debut with Tampa Bay.
Young came to spring training this season overweight and out of shape, and even casual fans were on internet message boards observing these things and calling Young's body soft. This is exactly why the fact that he struggled so badly in 2011 wasn't a surprise to anyone who followed him.
There's a reason why the talented 26-year-old has already played for three Major League teams and why the Twins gave him away for nothing. Even if the Twins hadn't given him away, they were expected to non-tender him this winter, which would have made him a free agent.
Young's Stats Aren't That Impressive
Delmon Young has now played in 729 big league games over the course of parts of six seasons, yet the extremely talented player has yet to play in an All-Star game. In fact, Young hasn't come close to living up to the hype he once received.
Young may have broken out in 2010 when he hit .298/.333/.493 with 21 homers and 112 runs batted in for the Minnesota Twins, but that's the highlight of his career to this point. So that meant coming into this year as a 25-year-old, Young was expected to have a major breakout.
Young really disappointed Twins fans as he hit only .266/.305/.357 with four homers and 32 runs batted in during 82 games. The year was so disappointing that in August the Tigers were able to acquire him for nothing via trade after he passed through waivers.
His power returned in Detroit where he hit eight homers in 40 games, but he still struggled to reach base as his on-base percentage was .298.
Young has struggled to reach base throughout his entire career. His career on-base mark stands at only .321, but it has been under .320 for three of his six seasons. He's a career .288/.321/.428 hitter with 71 homers and 408 runs batted in, which averages out to 16 homers and 91 runs batted in over the course of a full 162-game schedule.
Young does have more talent in his bat than any of us have seen at the Major League level, and he is yet to reach age 27—an age at which many players break out. Taking a chance on him could potentially pay off for the Braves, but it's a gamble where the odds just don't seem to be very good.
Delmon Young is a left fielder, and the only other position where he could possibly play is right field. He does come with a strong arm, but he just isn't capable of playing anywhere else.
Overall, Young's defense leaves plenty to be desired as he's been in the American League Top 10 for outfield errors in four of the last five seasons. That includes a league-leading eight in 2008 and seven this year—good for second-most in the league—despite Young only playing in 124 games.
Prado may not be the best left fielder in the league, but he offers plenty of versatility. In the last three years, he has played every position on the field other than shortstop, center field catcher and pitcher. For a Braves team with an injury-prone Chipper Jones at third base and Jason Heyward in right, this versatility is especially important.
Trading Prado and his versatility for a player that only plays left field is tough to do when that other player isn't much of an upgrade at the plate, if he's even an upgrade at all.