Fangraphs has posted the first UZR numbers for the 2011 season. I think I've seen every inning this year and had remarked after his shocking diving catch th'other day that I had yet to see Delmon botch a play this season, so I'm actually not surprised his number is laughably good so far.
Did I say laughably? SHAME ON ME!
Ultimate Zone Rating is admittedly a statistic that need a large sample to be reliable, but in this case, I totally, definitely, certainly think we can safely make a joyous exception. Delmon Young, Twins fans, hasn't just turned the proverbial corner defensively, he's demolished the building around which he was walking, or running, or driving (or more likely gliding effortlessly past en route to his latest webgem) or whatever. THIS is the real deal. It must be. It has to be. No, it is. Surely the first (Bert says "Rawlings") Platinum Glove in MLB history will be awarded to the Crimson Ghosted one this fall.
Delmon Young's UZR/150, a number at which some may scoff after a mere two weeks but which is in indisputable fact so rock solid in this particular, exceptional, iconoclastic case you can take it to the bank and withdraw it next year to find you've turned a 300% profit and can buy that new deluxe panini-maker you've been eyeing up and down all winter: 37.8 defensive runs above average. Money babies. Money. When his bat clicks, we're talking about 10-15 WAR! And it's all for the love of the love of Daisy.
Of course, the unparalleled gazelle-like LF work of Carlos Lee does just shave him for the league lead, but c'mon: small sample size there, obviously.
Other Twins UZR/150s to date after the jump, if'n you care.Span 29.0
Kubel LF 14..5
Kubel RF 8.6
Cuddyer RF -11.3
Cuddyer 2B -35.7
Draw conclusions from these numbers if it makes you a happier person. I, for one, cannot abide any system that says Michael Cuddyer's gritty, team-oriented play at second base has been anything less than a Holy Blessing From Above.