2005 Minor League Player Of The Year: Delmon Young
September 12, 2005
• Game Changing: How Delmon Impacts The Game
• John Manuel: Inside The Selection Process
• Chat Wrap: John Manuel took your questions about the selection
DURHAM, N.C.—Outfielder Delmon Young, who dominated Double-A and held his own as the youngest player in the International League, is Baseball America's 2005 Minor League Player of the Year, as selected by the magazine's staff.
Young, 19, becomes the second Devil Rays farmhand to win the award in the franchise’s eight-year history. Outfielder Rocco Baldelli won the award in 2002. He’s the youngest player to win the award since Andruw Jones won back-to-back awards as a teenager (18 in 1995, 19 in 1996). Young, the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, continues a trend of Minor League POY winners. Seven of the last eight POYs who were drafted out of high school—a list that includes Baldelli, Josh Beckett (2001) and Eric Chavez (1998), among others—won the award two years after being drafted.
"It's a great honor, since a lot of guys who have gotten the award went on to have success in the big leagues,” Young said. “I don't think too much about awards, but it's definitely an honor to be recognized by Baseball America."
Young ranks second in the minor leagues in hits since the start of the 2004 season with 341; only Angels farmhand Erick Aybar (351) has more. He was on pace to win the triple crown at Double-A Montgomery this season, hitting .336-20-71 in 330 at-bats before being called up to Triple-A Durham. Young, who was named to this year's Futures Game for the second straight season, ranked No. 3 behind Joe Mauer (Twins) and Felix Hernandez (Mariners) on Baseball America's Top 100 prospect list at the beginning of 2005. He also won Best Hitting Prospect, Best Power and Best Outfield Arm in the Southern League this season in BA's Best Tools survey.
“It is obviously a tremendous honor for Delmon Young," Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMar said. "At his age, to be able to dominate at the Double-A and Triple-A level is a credit to his ability and his work ethic, and the manner in which he has handled all of this is a testament to his upbringing as well.
"He has the chance to become a tremendous major league player. The Devil Rays look forward to him joining what we think may be the best nucleus of young players in all of major league baseball."
Baseball America magazine, based in Durham, N.C., has awarded a Minor League Player of the Year award since its inception in 1981.
THE DELMON YOUNG FILE
Born: Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 14, 1985. Home: Santa Barba ra, Calif. Height: 6-3. Weight: 190. Bats-Throws: R-R.
Career Highlights: Drafted No. 1 overall in 2003 and signed a guaranteed major league contract worth $5.8 million . . . As an amateur in 2002, Young starred at the World Junior Championship, where he helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal while batting .513-8-19 in 38 at-bats . . . Batted .523-7-28 in 22 games his senior year at Camarillo High . . . Missed the first five games of his senior season with a sprained ankle, but the team went 21 -0 after he returned . . . Devil Rays made him the first overall pick in 2003 draft, and he signed a major league contract in September worth a guaranteed $5.8 million . . . Made his pro debut in the Arizona Fall League, hitting . 417 (20-for-48) with five doubles . . . Led the South Atlantic League in first full season with 116 RBIs and 165 hits, and his 25 home runs ranked sixth, all setting organization records for a first-year player . . . One of six players in the minors to reach the 20/20 club in 2004 and was the only minor league player to post 25 home runs and steal 20 or more bases . . . Ranked by BA as the top prospect in the Sally League and the AFL in 2004, a year after he was ranked second behind Durham teammate B.J. Upton . . . Also the Devil Rays' top prospect entering 2005 . . . Made his second straight appearance in the Futures Game in Detroit in July . . . Won Best Batting Prospect, Best Power and Best Outfield Arm in the Southern League in BA's Best Tools survey this year . . . Won the Southern League MVP award and led the league in hitting, despite playing just 84 games for Montgomery . . . Reached Triple-A in spite of playing entire season at 19.
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