Michael Young's numbers are solid for a shortstop, but as a third baseman, they would be a bit more pedestrian.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
For those who were giving 100% attention to the NFL playoffs this weekend, there was a small news story that you may have missed. The Texas Rangers have "asked" Michael Young to move from shortstop to third base for the upcoming season to make room for rookie Elvis Andrus, a 20-year-old from Maracay, Venezuela.
Andrus looks to be a classic leadoff hitter - little power and lots of speed. After coming to the Rangers organization from Atlanta in the Mark Teixeira deal, Andrus hit .295 with 82 runs scored, four HRs, 65 RBIs and 54 stolen bases for the AA Frisco RoughRiders. On the other hand, he made 32 errors in the field, so he might not be ready for the big leagues but that's not what this piece is focused on.
If Young were to move to third base, how would the change effect his value as a fantasy player?
Young has always been among the best at shortstop and the 2008 TSN Year End Review had him as No.8 at the position after he hit .284 with 102 runs scored, hit 12 HRs and knocked in 82 runs. They are solid numbers for a shortstop, but as a third baseman, they would be a bit more pedestrian.
While his 102 runs would have ranked third behind only David Wright (115) and Alex Rodriguez (104), his lack of power would drop him drastically in position rankings. Twelve HRs would place him just 25th among third basemen while 82 RBIs would be ninth-best at the position.
And at third base, there are a few youngsters who are on the way up (Evan Longoria, Alex Gordon, Garrett Atkins) while at 32-year-old Young is probably on the downside of his career (2008 batting average was the lowest since 2002, RBIs total lowest since 2003, slugging percentage lowest since 2003).
So instead of being the eighth-best shortstop his value as a third baseman would be no better than 11th or 12th.
Third basemen I would select before Young would be: Wright, Rodriguez, Longoria, Aramis Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Atkins, Jorge Cantu, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Troy Glaus and Gordon.
Young's reaction to the "request" was not good, he asked to be traded, as is our reaction as a fantasy owner.