Former Montgomery Biscuits outfielder Delmon Young can just flat-out hit. He bludgeoned the Southern League for much of the season en route to winning MiLB.com's Double-A Offensive Player of the Year Award.
The first overall pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Young took the league by storm for three months, hitting .336 with 20 home runs and 71 RBIs through July 8. He also legged out four triples and stole 25 bases, all while
contending for the Triple Crown.
It's no wonder Young was selected by Baseball America as its 2005 Minor League Player of the Year.
The younger brother of Detroit Tigers' All-Star slugger Dmitri Young made a quick and memorable impression on the Minor Leagues by going 3-for-4 with a game-tying two-run homer in an Opening Day 9-8 victory over the Mississippi Braves.
One of the more remarkable things about Young's season was his consistency. He went hitless in consecutive games just twice, with each "slump" lasting all of two games. The 20-year-old Devil Rays prospect also collected 27 multi-hit games on the Double-A level, meaning he got at least two hits every third game he played.
The greatest display of his skills came during three games in early May. Between May 7-9, Young went an astounding 11-for-14 with two homers, two doubles and eight RBIs.
The May 8 game against the Carolina Mudcats might have been his best in Double-A, as he went 4-for-5 with two round-trippers, five RBIs and two steals in the Biscuits' 8-4 victory.
All of that came while he was still only 19.
Tampa Bay came to realize the Southern League no longer presented a challenge to Young, so he was promoted to Triple-A Durham. Despite being the youngest player in the International League, Young held his own, batting a respectable .285 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 52 games with the Bulls.
Uncertainty swirled around the Devil Rays in the offseason as the organization introduced a new owner, new front office and new field manager. But it's a pretty safe bet that Young will find himself roaming the outfield on Florida's Gulf Coast in the not-too-distant future.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.