Since the trade this last winter involving Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, Jason Pridie, Eduardo Morlan, and Brendan Harris, Delmon Young was on a steady slope downhill in the opinion of most Twins fans and for the right reasons. Young was not delivering on most of his promise. Sure, he had a decent average, but he was still showing little patience, despite improving it over his terrible career discipline, little for power, and his defense was nothing pretty to watch. In fact, Young entered the month of August with a pitiful four home runs.
However, in just a week, that has changed very quick. Yesterday, after his heroics Tuesday night off of all-time closer Mariano Rivera, Young came up again with a huge blast, smashing a Darrell Rasner offering to right field just over the baggie for a three-run homer that would give the Twins a lead they never relinquished. In his last six games, Young is hitting 9-for-25 with three homers, eight RBI, a double, and a much more powerful swing than we have been used to over the course of the year. Is it possible that Young is finally showing the power he's supposedly had since he was drafted or is this all a week-long facade that will quickly fade and be forgotten?
Let's keep in mind that even with his recent power surge, he still only has seven homers and is hitting .290/.336/.407 overall. However, in 88 at-bats since the All-Star break, he also has a OPS over .800, and has already hit more home runs than he had (3) in 339 pre-break at bats. Of course, its also worth pointing out that more thorough researchers than myself, like Aaron Gleeman, have rightfully observed that Young show a steady decline in power in the minors before he even reached the minors. The counter-point is that Young was always young for whatever level he was at, reaching the majors at just 20.
Therefore, its probably way too early to conclude much of anything from such a small sample size and it could very easily be facade. At the same time, a small sample size like this can at least suggest slow, steady improvements from a very young player. Young may not become a 40 home run masher and his progress may ultimately be stalled by lack of plate discipline, but small improvements in patience and power nonetheless can be seen in Young's second half so far and, if Twins fans show enough patience, a good and even possibly great hitter may emerge in the coming years.
The Yankees series, then they might say, is just a taste of things to come.