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Had he played two or three decades ago, his career would have been hailed as great and almost Hall of Fame caliber. After all, he retires with a .300 batting average, 2,375 hits
Player dWAR H BA WAR/pos SB PosKenny Lofton 14.5 2428 .299 67.9 622 *8/H7D9Joe Cronin 13.9 2285 .301 66.3 87 *6H/5347Barry Larkin 13.8 2340 .295 70.3 379 *6H/4DBilly Herman 12.4 2345 .304 54.5 67 *4/53HJoe Torre -0.6 2342 .297 57.3 23 235H/7Mark Grace -5.4 2445 .303 46.1 70 *3H/1DJoe Judge -5.5 2352 .298 47.0 213 *3/H9Jake Daubert -6.2 2326 .303 39.1 251 *3/HJeff Bagwell -8.1 2314 .297 79.6 202 *3/HD9Enos Slaughter -8.3 2383 .300 55.2 71 *97H/8Jim Rice -8.6 2452 .298 47.3 58 *7D/9H8Mickey Mantle -10.0 2415 .298 109.7 153 *8397H/645Bernie Williams -10.4 2336 .297 49.5 147 *8D/9H7Michael Young -11.4 2375 .300 24.1 90 654D3/HOrlando Cepeda -14.2 2351 .297 50.2 142 *37D/H95Frank Thomas -23.5 2468 .301 73.6 32 *D3/H
"Leadership"? The guy's a certifiable #######. He led the team in ######## about where and how much he played.
While Young probably isn't a Hall of Famer in any era, his raw stats would have won him significantly more acclaim if he'd posted them from, say, 1970-1984 or 1950-1964 (had Young posted his raw numbers from 1960-1974, he'd probably have a HOF argument considering the low run environment.) Moreover, Young probably wouldn't be retiring just yet, while he still obviously has some ability to hit and he probably wouldn't have been shuffled around the infield as much.
He's a white middle-infielder who played for a long time. I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's enough for some people to slap a "leader" label on him.
Just to illustrate my point, Michael Young's career translated to the '68 Dodgers per bRef. Obviously not the definitive final word on the matter:
While Young probably isn't a Hall of Famer in any era, his raw stats would have won him significantly more acclaim if he'd posted them from, say, 1970-1984 or 1950-1964
A great player in the wrong era
Young was born too late, he missed out on his chance to be overrated in a Steve Garvey kind of way. In the 1970s, a high average mediocre middle infielder would be considered a star.
Yes, I'm sure that that's why Ron Washington calls Michael Young a leader
Ron Washington is one of the guys who had to dance around for several offseasons, avoiding the phrases "because he really can't play third base" and eventually "because he's not a good baseball player anymore" because his "leader" is such a selfish red-ass that the truth had to be avoided at all costs.
Without examining stats, I would think Young in the 70's would look about like Steve Garvey at a harder defensive position without the consecutive game streak.
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