Why You Should Bybass Michael Young On Draft Day

I was doing a mock draft recently and was slightly taken aback when Michael Young was selected in the ninth round.  After looking at the ADPs, I realized that this was actually the norm (ADP of around 95).  Really?  I know that third base is thin this year, but why are we reaching this far?

The easy answer is his 2009 production:

541 At Bats
.322 Batting Average (174 Hits)
22 Home Runs
68 RBI
76 Runs
8 Stolen Bases
.374 On Base Percentage
.518 Slugging Percentage
.354 Batting Average on Balls in Play

It’s extremely interesting to look at, compared to his history.  He had been considered a source of average, runs and RBI as a shortstop for the past few seasons.  He has hit .300 or better each year (except ’08) since 2003.  From 2006-2008 he averaged nearly 92 runs and 93 RBI a year.  The funny thing is that those numbers came courtesy of 35 HR…total.

I just don’t buy into the home run resurgence, as it had been three years since he broke the 20 HR plateau.  Heck, he didn’t hit more than 14 HR in a season from 2006-2008.  Just look at his HR/FB during that span:

  • 2006 – 8.6%
  • 2007 – 6.9%
  • 2008 – 7.2%

Last season he was at 14.9%, a career best (he was at 14.2% in ’05).

He also saw his flyball rate increase:

  • 2006 – 27.0%
  • 2007 – 24.4%
  • 2008 – 30.8%

Last season he was at 32.5% (the only time he was better than that, and the only other time he was above 30% was 2004, when he was at 37.3%).

You add those two numbers together and it just screams for a power regression in 2010.

I know, his RBI and Run numbers from last season seem like an aberration.  He is in a tremendous lineup and a healthy Josh Hamilton, along with the addition of Vladimir Guerrero and Ian Kinsler moving down in the lineup should provide him plenty of opportunities to score runs.  All he needs to do is get on base, something he has never had a problem doing with a career OBP of .349.

The RBI should be there as well.   He’ll have Julio Borbon at the top and, for all intents and purposes, a second leadoff hitter in the form of Elvis Andrus in the ninth spot, trying to get on and wreak havoc on the base paths.  No, his days as a 100 RBI guy is not likely, but 75 is quite possible.

You put that all together and get the following projection for 2010:

.303 (182-600), 15 HR, 75 RBI, 85 R, 8 SB, .342 BABIP, .359 OBP, .452 SLG

Granted, it’s borderline ninth round value (I have him as the 111th player on my Top 300), but is that a player you really want to deal with there.  One with very little upside to produce?

Third base is a shallow position, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options with upside.  You can get Adrian Beltre over 100 picks later and, outside of the average, his potential is nearly equal to that of Young (I have his projection as .276, 24 HR, 85 RBI, 75 R, 12 SB).  There’s Kevin Kouzmanoff, who is going undrafted in many leagues.  There’s names like Garrett Atkins and Jhonny Peralta who have the potential to bounce back and come close to the production of Young significantly later in the draft.

Third base is a shallow position, but that doesn’t mean that you want to simply settle for someone like Young.  I’d much rather pass on him and take one of those other options significantly later if I miss out on the top names off the board.

What about you?  Is Young a player you would draft?  What would you be expecting from him in 2010?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5), click here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2010 projections, including:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. TY says:

    Why should you and everyone pass? BECAUSE HE’S BORING.

    .300 average, 15HR/8sbs…. BORINGGGGG.

    Gordan Beckham has upside and goes about the same time. I’d rather take Adrian Beltre 5 rounds later and fill my 3B slot. In the 9th round you could take a 20/20 cargo, possibly a 30+ HR bruce, or a 15/35 McCutchen, why take a BORING MICHAEL YOUNG.

  2. Totally agree with you guys. He is who he is. He’ll have a solid year, but you get much better value taking Cantu, Kouz, Peralta, or Polanco later.

  3. Aaron says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Solid fantasy player but not for where he is drafted.

  4. PigBodine says:

    funny before i even read the rest of the article, i was thinking its an easy pass on young to wait on beltre or the crushin’ russian. If you fail to lock up one of the top 2 tiered 3Ber’s i wouldn’t waste a 9th round pick on young.

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