There are so many different ways that a highly-regarded prospect in baseball can fail. He can be too inconsistent, possessing all the talent but not the ability to put it all together at any given time. He could encounter injuries that limit his time on the field and slowly drain of him of his ability. He could prove to have been regarded too highly. And there are so many other possibilities. One though, stands out: stubbornness, the completely inability to make adjustments.
Delmon Young has stayed healthy and he has all the talent you can ask for. Why has he failed? Well first of all, he has never learned to skill of plate discipline so despite being a .287 career hitter he has just a .321 OBP. His power, which was supposed to have been prolific, has not shown up as Young has managed just one 20 home run season in the big leagues. That could have had to do with Young’s patience- or lack thereof- as well because he hasn’t been able to recognize which pitches to drive. And then there are the off-the-field issues. In 2006, Young threw a bat at an umpire following a strike three call. And then Young was arrested this morning after getting into a brawl following anti-Semitic slurs towards towards a Jewish man outside the Hilton New York and could be indicted for a hate crime. Delmon Young has a lot of things going against him.
No, he doesn’t. He has always had one problem- his stubborn belief that he’s always right. He has been told for years to work hard on his plate discipline. That never happened. And the off-the-field issues? Same exact thing. Why did he throw the bat? Because he was sure in his mind that the umpire had completely blown the strike three call. And why did he get arrested this morning? Because he felt that he was above everyone else and could insult someone else for his religion without repercussions. Delmon Young’s failure is entirely his fault. He never matured as a player or a person and that will continue to cost him. For a player with so much talent, he has embarrassed himself on and off the field. He blew it.