Tampa Bay Rays (13 days until pitchers and catchers report)
A college newspaper in Minnesota got a hold of Delmon Young for a quick little Q&A following the Minnesota Twins FanFest. And boy, what a difference 1,600 miles makes.
When asked about his experience with Tampa Bay…
Tampa was fun. They were the first organization I played with and I appreciate everything they did for me to get to the big leagues and let me play for just over a year … I had great teammates down there …, a talented team and everything, they are going to do well but they are in a tough division.
When asked about having to move from right field to left field with the Twins…
I will do whatever the team wants asks me. That’s what spring training is for, I have all the time in the world to get comfortable in left field. There is only a slight difference with the ball going the opposite way. It’s just a position, you know, just get a glove and let your instincts take over.
Twins fans have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. We cannot wait until the first time Ron Gardenhire asks DY to hit a ball to the right side with a runner on second and no outs, to get the runner to third. Or the first time he insists that Young take a pitch until the pitcher throws a strike after he has walked two straight batters (This is essentially why David Ortiz never posted big numbers with the Twins). We think it is just a matter of time before Gardenhire is Gettin’ a Delmon.
Q&A with Delmon Young [The Record]
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Rob Neyer ranks the 10 best left fielders for the next 5 years. He has Carl Crawford on top of the list. Still, it is not the most flattering evaluation ever. [ESPN]
You have to like Crawford, but it’s worth mentioning that he has not showed a normal growth curve. At 22, he was roughly six wins better than a replacement player … and was roughly six wins better than a replacement player at 23, 24, and 25. I’m not sure what to make of that, except there’s no obvious reason to think he’s suddenly going to become a great player (though I do believe he’ll have a few great seasons).
- The Stat Pack takes a close look at Rob Neyer’s list of the top left fielders. [The Stat Pack]
- Drays Bay takes a look at Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein’s list of the top 100 prospects and where the Rays prospects fall on those lists. The most surprising is that both have Desmond Jennings in the top 20 (11 and 18 respectively). [DRays Bay]
- Rays Anatomy breaks down Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook list of the Top 30 Tampa Bay Rays prospects. [Rays Anatomy]
- The Tampa Tribune has more details about that 35-person task force being formed by the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce to review the Rays proposal for a new stadium. [TBO]
- The Rays Hot Stove Radio Show will make its 2008 debut on Monday at 7:00 pm on 620AM. Andrew Friedman and BJ Upton will appear on the show and will be available for autographs. [DevilRays.com]
- Anthony DiComo takes a look at 10 rookies that could be dominant in 2008, including Evan Longoria. [MLB.com]
Down in Tampa Bay, Longoria is set to start at third base a year after slugging 26 homers between two levels of the Minor Leagues. And oh, yes, he’s only 22 years old.
The last part of that biography seems most impressive. On a team loaded with young talent, Longoria has a chance to be the star. He’s not two years removed from flying off the Draft board third overall, yet the Rays believe he’s ready for the big leagues — both on and off the field.
- UmpBump thinks everybody will be pulling for the Rays this year and that they will be a trendy playoff pick. [Ump Bump]
- Mitch Talbot was honored at his high school by having his jersey retired. When interviewed, hr stated that he expects to start the year in Durham, but he expects to be ready for the majors by mid-season. [Cedar City Review]