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MLB Today: Michael Young is Still a Ranger and Still Raking

July 19, 2011 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Clay Hensley is getting a chance to start for the Florida Marlins.
Clay Hensley has moved into the starting rotation for the Fish.

Wasn’t Michael Young supposed to be dealt away from Texas before the season started? Well, not only is he still a Ranger, but he’s been their leading hitter (outside of Endy Chavez, who hasn’t been up with the team all season and is now a part-time player).

Yet Mr. Please Move From SS to 2B to 3B to DH is not only still raking away enough to be invited to his seventh All-Star Game last week, but he’s adopted a major leadership role in Texas, taking some of the young players under his wing to help build them into better players.

Meanwhile, Young has remained a must-own Fantasy asset and when Adrian Beltre was struggling and Josh Hamilton was out, it was Young the Rangers turned to as their clean-up hitter.

Power has never been a huge part of Young’s game, but he has shown the ability to drive in runs, and continues to do so, with an RBI in the first three games of the Seattle series before taking an 0-for-4 on Sunday as the Rangers cruised to an 11th straight win.

After cooling off in June, Young has been unconscious so far this month, wielding a .340 bat, taking him up to .321 for the season, nearly a career best. He’s been very productive, as mentioned, but has also cut his strikeout rate. Yes, Young’s pop has waned since 2009, probably the best power year of his career, but that’s not a huge shock given that he’s now 34.

Quick Hits

  • Asdrubal Cabrera hit 18 dingers in his first four seasons as a big leaguer, but his three-run shot to seal the first game of Monday’s double header against Minny was his 17th of the season. We only thought Cabrera would be a top 15 shortstop this season, but he’s emerged as the best at his position in the AL and really only Jose Reyes has been better among all big leaguers at his position.
  • The injury-decimated Twins got some good news about first baseman Justin Morneau (neck surgery). He has started to play catch and will resume baseball related activities this week. There’s hope he’ll be back sometime next month, so it’s nearly time to think about stashing him if you’ve got the room.
  • How about taking a flier on Clay Hensley in NL-only leagues? Stretched out as a starter now, Hensley came off the DL Monday and in his first start in the bigs in three years, he tossed five innings of one-hit shutout ball, striking out three and walking two against the Mets. It’s a pretty damn impressive outing for a dude that hadn’t pitched in the majors for over six weeks and last started a game on July 24, 2008 when he was still with the Padres. This is the kind of waiver claim that can really pan out because it’s a long shot, you won’t have much competition and it couldn’t hurt to toss him out there for his next start Saturday against the Mets to see if Monday was a fluke or not.
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