By John Perrotto
Delwyn Young has found out what is feels like to be wanted. The Pirates have been trying to trade for the switch-hitting outfielder ever since Neal Huntington became general manager late in the 2007 season.
The Pirates finally landed Young on Wednesday, trading either two players to be named or cash consideration to the Los Angeles Dodgers for him.
Young, 25, joined the Pirates on Friday night and popped out as a pinch hitter with runners on first and second to end the seventh inning
“He’s someone who we’ve had an interest in as an organization for quite some time, particularly for his bat,” Huntington said. “We feel he gives (manager) John Russell another option off the bench, gives him a third or fourth bat off the bench that he can use as a pinch hitter or in double switches.”
Scouts who regularly watch the Dodgers feel Young
can be a good bench player, who can provide some pop from the left side of the plate, though they feel he would be stretched if asked to play regularly.
Young had spent his entire professional career with the Dodgers. He was their fourth-round draft pick in 2002 then made his major-league debut in 2006.
However, he welcomed a chance to change organizations.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve never been traded before, so it‚Äôs a little bit of a different experience, but it‚Äôs also an exciting time because I‚Äôm coming to a growing organization that is trying to build something good with young players,‚Äù Young said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a little different situation than I was in with the Dodgers. They had established players in the outfield and I was up against a roadblock.‚Äù
The Dodgers‚Äô outfield of Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Etheir with veteran Juan Pierre in reserve is certainly a tough one to crack. However, Young will also be used in a reserve role by the Pirates.
‚ÄúHe gives us another bat and a really good option off the bench,‚Äù Russell said.
However, the Pirates are going to see if they can put Young in position where he could contribute beyond backing up in the outfield. He will be tried at second base and third base, working with first base coach and infield defense instructor Perry Hill.
Young does not foresee playing second base as being a problem because he came up through the Dodgers‚Äô farm system playing that position. As far as third, he said, ‚Äúwe‚Äôll see but I don‚Äôt know why not.‚Äù