The general consensus on the Michael Young trade is that it was worth the risk for the Phillies. But if Young doesn’t pan out, the club has a good backup option in Kevin Frandsen.
In the trade for Michael Young, the Phillies resolved their search for a third baseman. Yet the 36-year-old had one of his worst big league seasons in 2012, so how excited should Phillies fans be about the acquisition?
That answer depends on whether or not you were convinced by Kevin Frandsen’s stint at the hot corner to finish out last year.
In 55 games — roughly just one-third of a full season — the 30-year-old infielder produced a slash line of .338/.383/.451, hit two homers and knocked in 14 runs. He dominated left-handed pitching, hitting .400 against southpaws, but also hit righties, against whom he produced a .308 average.
It was enough to convince the Phillies’ front office to sign Frandsen to an extension worth $850,000 for 2013 but not nearly enough to earn him the starter’s job.
His 2012 numbers are very comparable to Young’s from 2011, when the Rangers’ seven-time All-Star produced a line of .338/.380/.474 in 159 games. He similarly hit lefties (.361) better than righties (.330).
Last season, however, Young struggled mightily. His .277 average was his worst year at the plate since 2002, and his .370 slugging percentage was his lowest mark ever.
History shows Young has a very good chance of bouncing back this season. And if he doesn’t, the Phillies have a backup plan that’s equally worth the risk.