Young's In the Outfield

Jerry Royster is one of those who'll be interviewed next week for the now-vacant Dodger managerial post and you can't blame Delwyn Young if he's rooting for him. After all, while there's a plethora of Young supporters in the system, no one has been more vociferous for him than Royster.

"You think that Joel Guzman or Andy LaRoche are the best young hitters we have?" he queries. "Well, I think it's Young. No question. It isn't very often that a bat goes through the zone the way his does. It makes you pay attention."

Certainly no one can question that D.Y.'s bat moves like a cobra striking its prey. It's carried him to a .300-plus average for his four years in the minors. What's more it generates a lot of pop from his 5-10, 180-pound frame. This just-concluded season saw him total 20 home runs, 16 with Jacksonville where he averaged .296 and four more after moving to Royster's Las Vegas club where he upped his mark to .325 .

So, Young's getting close to challenging for a spot in L.A. and with that in mind, he's now in the Instructional League playing the outfield for while observers love that bat, they've been far less enchanted with his glove work at second base. As far as this experiment goes, Young himself is non-committal. "I'll play where they want me to," he allows. "We'll see how it goes."

He doesn't feel he's having any trouble at all, making the move. "Any problems?" he responds when asked. "No, not really. It's just like shagging flies."

He's been confined to left field since the stretching out of his arm to make the throws from the outfield are far more demanding than those at second and the ones from left are less strenuous than those from center or right are.

Normally, players who've advanced as far as D. Y. has aren't found in this camp which is usually for the younger guys but it's a good place to make position switches especially if it's for a more immediate return which it seems to be in Young's case.

So far he's been making the plays well enough to encourage anybody to believe that he'll be comfortable enough out there come spring. And that is, of course, when whoever manages the Dodgers will be judging just how soon D. Y. will be able to make the last final move to the big league locker room to stay.