The Young family

A diverse group of players in the major leagues share one commonality: the last name Young. Today we will take a look at what these unrelated Youngs can offer in 2010.

The perplexing outfielders

Delmon Young‘s struggles in his first few major league seasons have been well documented. While it is extremely unlikely Young will ever develop into half the hitter people thought the former first overall pick could, from a fantasy perspective he has settled into decent contributor in the outfield. The past two seasons he has provided—despite his horrid plate discipline—a .280s average and low tweener power numbers.

Those numbers are not quite good enough for mixed leagues but ownable in most AL-only leagues. Seven games into the season Young has impressed, blasting two homers and already stealing a base in 2010. Paint me skeptical that Young has a breakout season in store, but any owner not overrating his abilities is likely to be pleasantly surprised by his trending upward flyball and home run per flyball rates that indicate around 15-17 home runs.

I would not trade for Young or necessarily expect to “sell him high,” but if he is available in your deep mixed league or AL-only league, I would pick him up. And if he is on your team already, be happy that you are getting quick return on your low investment but do not believe you own the Adam Lind of 2010.

Chris Young is another scarcely picked outfielder off to a blazing start. With three home runs to his name already, Young is looking increasingly likely to reach the 20 home run plateau he’s shown he can reach. Regardless of how he fares this season, Young’s batting average is unlikely to break .250, but the value of a 20-homer/15-steal player in fantasy baseball is evident.

Similar to Delmon, I wouldn’t trade for him, and if he’s available—not sure how, but if he is—I’d pick him up in almost all leagues.

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Young displays his interesting mechanics in which he shows no effort to hide the ball. (Icon/SMI)

The veteran

For Michael Young this will be his 10th season in the majors and after his impressive .322 average, 22 home run campaign last year, he has shown little signs of slowing down. With third base eligibility now, this Young is still a valuable fantasy contributor.

The revitalized pitcher (sort of)

Another Chris Young patrols the stadiums of major league baseball but unlike the Arizona outfielder, this Chris Young is a pitcher in the friendly confines of San Diego’s Petco Park. Coming off an injury-ruined and ineffective 2009 season, Young looked rejuvenated in his first start of 2010, throwing six scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

Any future success will have to wait as Young promptly felt shoulder tightness following his start and was placed on the DL. Nevertheless, he will likely be pitching again in a few weeks and is capable of a great ERA and WHIP with solid strikeout numbers. If he is available in your league, I would not hesitate to pick him up and stash him on the DL since a solid season is in store for this 6-foot-10 right-hander.

The deep options

Eric Young Jr. is a name that has become synonymous with speed. This Rockies middle infielder is currently in the minors buried behind Clint Barmes on the depth chart, but later in the season Young could find himself in the majors to the delight of fantasy owners. If given regular playing time, Young Jr. would join the club of elite basestealers but for now he is simply a name to keep in the back of your head.

Unless you are in a deep NL-only league, Delwyn Young is a name you are probably unfamiliar with. The Pirates experimented with him as their starting second baseman for a time last year, but for the most part Young did not perform up to expectations. To express their lack of confidence, the Pirates went out and signed both Akinori Iwamura and Bobby Crosby, making many think Young would be left without a place on the team this year.

So far Delwyn has been utilized more than expected, pinch-hitting and also filling in at third base and the outfield whenever a player gets a day off. In terms of production, Delwyn won’t offer much more than mild pop and a decent .270s average but in an NL-only league sometimes you are only looking for at bats, and Delwyn will accrue a solid amount this year all over the diamond.

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