Is Michael Young the Worst Everyday Third Baseman in Baseball?

Is Michael Young the Worst Everyday Third Baseman in Baseball?

Well, is he? Probably not seeing as Michael Young has been playing more first base than third since the trade deadline.

Okay, but apparently up until three weeks ago, Young was the worst everyday third baseman in the Majors, this according to wins above replacement. Ryan Fagan for The Sporting News compiled a position-by-position list of the worst everyday players based on WAR, which found Young at the bottom of the pile over at the hot corner – after a little tiebreaker anyway.

WAR (and other stats): 0.1, .271/.334/.393, eight homers, 37 RBIs

2013 salary: $16 million

The question of why the Phillies didn’t trade this free agent-to-be at the non-waiver deadline has to flummox Philadelphia baseball fans, but that’s neither here nor there.

Technically, Young and Matt Dominiguez are tied with a 0.1 Fangraphs WAR, but using Baseball-Reference as a tie-breaker, Young gets the nod.

Still though, was or is Young really the worst starting third baseman in baseball? There are six qualifying third basemen who have been less productive at the plate this season based on OPS, which are your on-base and slugging percentages added together. And while he wasn’t winning a Gold Glove or anything, I’m not sure fielding cuts into the difference between Young and a few of these guys all that much.

It should also be noted the Phillies aren’t paying him $16 million, either. The Texas Rangers reportedly picked up the tab for $10 mil or so of that when they traded him to Philly in the offseason. That takes some of the sting away.

I guess the argument is moot anyhow. Cody Asche is seeing most of the action at third these days, and Young will not be retained once he reaches free agency at season’s end – so one area we do have to agree with the writer, again, is how dumb it is not to have dealt the 36 year old for whatever basically.

Of course, had the Phillies been contending at this point in the year like they originally planned, at least they had an everyday third baseman. Whether he was the worst or not – and I’d lean not – they were still better off than they’ve been in recent years with Placido Polanco, who’s always in and out of the lineup and conveniently did not have enough ABs to qualify for this dubious honor.

Oh well. WAR says Michael Young is the worst, so clearly he is.

>> Ranking baseball’s worst everyday players by position [TSN]

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

Up from 217 to 250, Ben Simmons also stronger mentally from work with LeBron

CAMDEN, N.J. — It appears Ben Simmons took the saying about having the weight of the world on your shoulders a tad literal.

The Sixers' No. 1 overall pick walked into the team's sparkling new training complex for media day sporting a much bigger frame than when his name was called on draft night.

"I'm a lot stronger. When I started getting ready for the draft I was about 217 [pounds] and now I'm around 250," Simmons said Monday.

When you're expected to be the centerpiece of an organization that managed just 10 wins a season ago, it helps to have that extra bulk to carry those expectations. 

But Simmons isn’t just being looked at as a key to help change the franchise’s fortunes. He’s also being viewed as perhaps a once-in-a-generation talent after drawing several comparisons to LeBron James, who Simmons shares an agent with in Klutch Sports Group.

So how did the incoming rookie deal with being likened to four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion James? He went to work like someone trying to achieve those same goals.

“Just being around him and learning from his habits and what he does has just helped me overall,” Simmons said of working out with James and other NBA stars during the summer. “He’ll be one of the first guys in the gym every day. It doesn’t matter what day it is. He’s one of those guys who gets the work in and enjoys the rest of his day. Just learning from him I think I can take a lot from what he’s done. ... He’s done a lot for me. He’s helped me experience things I need to learn.

“They get in the gym and work. It’s one of those things where they don’t play around. They get straight to it. Obviously in the weight room too. LeBron loves the VersaClimber and they also brought two more in here. I’m starting to learn from what these guys do, D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) also. They’re all doing the same thing, working out every day and getting ready.”

That type of work ethic will go a long way toward Simmons' earning the respect of his Sixers teammates. The group was already eager to get on the floor with him for training camp at Stockton University and get a firsthand look at the versatile forward, especially his prowess as a passer.

“The most exciting thing that I’ve seen was his passing ability,” Jahlil Okafor said of Simmons. “That’s going to help me out a lot. He’s selfless. Being with the summer league guys he was always about the team. I’ve always considered myself a good teammate and he’s a great one as well. I’m excited to work with him.”

“I think for anybody who likes to shoot or likes to score, whenever you can have a big man who is a really good ball handler, can make good decisions, has great vision, it’s always a great thing,” Gerald Henderson said. “If you can be aggressive on the offensive end you don’t always have to have the basketball to be able to be right there and score. You have somebody that can find you and really is thinking pass-first. I think it’ll be great, not only for us but just our offense in general.”

Considering that the Sixers finished 29th in scoring a season ago, Simmons knows they will need him to be more than just a facilitator. The team needs consistent scoring from everyone on the court. And while the LSU product’s jump shot was questioned during his lone year in college, he believes he has worked hard to silence those doubts.

“I usually try to take what they give me. Obviously I’ve been working on my shot a lot with all the coaches,” Simmons said. “I can shoot the ball. I’m not really worried about that. Coming into training camp, it’s one of the things I’ve been working on since LSU.”

Simmons made it clear several times that he is confident in his offensive game and that the Sixers’ logjam in the frontcourt will work itself out on the floor. One thing he’s not so sure about: that he’s even in this position.

Despite dreaming about being in the NBA since he was a kid in Australia and being groomed to be the No. 1 overall pick for years, Simmons said it’s still a bit of a surprise to be at this point.

“I think it’s still surreal for me,” he said. “I think it’ll finally hit me once I step on the court matched up against OKC the first game.”

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

There were Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons fans at the debate last night

I'm not sure if they could win nationally, but there is absolutely no doubt that a Wentz-Simmons ticket would dominate the Delaware Valley.

An intrepid Philadelphia sports fan was up at the Presidential Debate last night at Hofstra University and made a sign showing his support... for the Eagles and Sixers.

I don't know though, I'm pretty sure Simmons was born in Australia.