Monday, September 12, 2005
Devil Rays prospect claims franchise is 'cheap'
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tampa Bay prospect Delmon Young is
unhappy about not being called up from the minor leagues this
season and said Monday the Devil Rays were reluctant to promote him
because the organization is cheap.
The 19-year-old brother of Detroit's Dmitri Young was selected
Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year after splitting
time this season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.
Asked why he felt he was not called up, Young replied: "The
only thing I can think of is they're being cheap."
"When it comes to free agency, no use trying to stay around
there for the long haul," he said. "Get your six years and
Young, an outfielder who was the first overall pick in the 2003
amateur draft, batted .336 with 20 homers and 71 RBIs in 84 games
for Montgomery. He hit .285 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 52 games
after joining Durham.
After initially telling reporters on a conference call that he
was not disappointed with the Devil Rays' decision, Young changed
his stance and criticized the organization.
"I put up great numbers, better than a lot of players who got
called up around the majors. A lot of them were on contending
teams," Young said. "Tampa's going nowhere this year, so they
could at least call up the guys who are going to be there in the
Young, who turns 20 on Wednesday, is the youngest player to be
picked as minor league player of the year since Andruw Jones won
the award as an 18-year-old in 1995 and again in 1996, when he was
19. He's the second Devil Ray to win, joining Rocco Baldelli
Young said he will prepare for spring training this winter with
intentions of making the big league team but that he wouldn't be
surprised if the Devil Rays wound up sending him back to Durham for
part or all of next season in order to hold down his service time
in the majors and extend the time the team unilaterally can set his
Players become eligible for salary arbitration when they have
three years of major league service or they are in the top 17
percent of service time among players with two to three years.
"We think Delmon Young is one of the finest players in all of
minor league baseball and by sometime next season we believe he
will begin to establish himself as an outstanding major league
player," Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said.
"Having said that, we saw him play the latter part of August
and thought he had had enough. He had already gone from Double-A to
Triple-A, and we thought it was time for him to go home and get
ready to play winter ball if he wanted to, or if not, get ready for