Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Delmon Young Enroute; Jonny Gomes to Pay Fare

Regarded by many to be the top prospect in the minor leagues, Delmon Young has been advised to get his affairs in order and be prepared for an immediate callup to the Devil
Rays. If the 21-year-old phenom doesn't appear instantly, expect to seem him not much later than Tampa Bay's Aug. 15-24 homestand versus the Blue Jays, Indians and Rangers. Young's playing time likely will come at the expense of Jonny Gomes, Russell Branyan and Damon Hollins, all in protracted slumps, none worse than Gomes. Gomes, 25, a free-swinging, former 18th-round pick who seemed to come out of nowhere last year to hit 21 homers in 348 ABs, has flamed out like meteorite as pitchers have discovered they can take him up the ladder with high fastballs, or get him to chase pitches in the dirt. Though the San Francisco Bay area native hit 14 homers in his first 40 games this year, Gomes has only six in the subsequent 70 games and is batting a mere .056 since the All Star break. Astonishingly, Gomes can count all his hits on one hand for the period, nearly 80 appearances. By comparison, Young at last count was hitting .357 with six homers and 21 stolen bases in just 268 ABs for the AAA Durham Bulls.