Some time ago, JP wrote a piece about Michael Young needing to be benched, and he was right. If you haven't taken a look at just how bad it's gotten, here you go (along with links to the stats if you don't know what they mean!). For all the talk about trade deadline targets, the greatest way to improve the Rangers would be to replace Young with someone good enough to belong in Major League Baseball.â†µ
With a .280 weighted On Base Average, only two players in baseball -- Jemile Weeks and J.J. Hardy -- have been worse offensive performers in 2012 over at least as many plate appearances. League average this year is .316. Young, of course, gets to call a hitters' park home, so when that wOBA gets adjusted for park and compared to that league average, you get a 67 wRC+; the sixth worst in baseball among qualified hitters.
Meanwhile, Young is primarily a DH, a position where literally the only value you provide to your team is with your bat. At a position absolutely anyone can play as long as they can hit, the Rangers are sending out one of baseball's worst hitters. The rare time he does play the field, it's first base, where you still need to be able to hit, and he can't even handle first base defensively. That's why, today, Michael Young sits tied for the very fewest Wins Above Replacement in all of baseball with Jeff Francoeur (per FanGraphs). -1.4 wins above -- or more than a win below if you prefer -- a scrub, a guy barely good enough to belong in the Major Leagues.â†µ
That is who the Rangers hit fifth every day. There is probably some bad lucky going on, as Young is hitting more ground balls than he ever has before, but that still probably does not quite explain a 40 point drop in batting average on balls in play. Still, he's become an abomination on the roster for a team with serious hopes of winning a championship.â†µ
Young is one of the greatest Texas Rangers of all time, but he's now having probably the worst season in franchise history. He currently holds the 11th worst wRC+ in Texas records (with at least 400 PA), and is just about two runs below replacement from passing Mike Lamb (2000) for the worst WAR total in the team's half decade of existence. Young held of aging far longer than many expected, but it seems once age finally caught up with him, the result was completely falling off a cliff.â†µ
After JP wrote his piece, Adam Morris wrote a rebuttal, stating Young was definitely terrible, but would never be benched. Unfortunately, he, too, is right.â†µ