Young Trying To Take The Final Step

    VERO BEACH, Fla- Delwyn Young has a problem. "I can't hit in April," he moaned, "No matter what I try, it doesn't work. Can you give me some help?" he asked a sportswriter with mock solemnity.

    If he had been serious, he was, for sure, in a deep mire to seek advice from a guy that could keep his average above .300 in amateur ball only by beating out slow rollers.

Besides, Young may not hit much in the early part of season but he does quite well the rest of the year. After all, who led the whole organization last year in doubles, total bases and runs batted in? It wasn't Matt Kemp or James Loney or any of the big league guys, for that matter. It was D.Y. himself.

  What's more, he staged a great escape from second base where the clank of his glove could often be heard around the park to the outfield where if he wasn't Roberto Clemente, he didn't have to hang his head in shame either. And,  when he first made that move, he went to right field, not left where they usually send the suspects to hide.

  "Actually, I found right field easier than left," he went on. "I could track the angle of the ball better for some reason." And his arm played satisfactorily out there, too.

  In all, 2006 was another good year for Young and he finished it up with the big club although after five big league at-bats, he's still looking for his first hit up there.

  He might not get the chance to pick that up immediately because they seem to be sorting among others for the extra outfielder's job and not really glancing his way while they're doing it. And not being able to produce offensively in the early season isn't helping matters.

  As far as the Dodgers then , it's difficult to see where he fits in. That's a shame for he might have the quickest bat in the organization. He does have those chilly spells but when he heats up, he can carry a club for awhile.

  Although he's only 5-10, he's strong, hitting 18 home runs in 2006. He's bopped as many as 22 (in 2004 for Vero Beach) and would seem capable of reaching double figures in that department in the majors on a regular basis.

  Right now, though, it looks like he'll have to wait awhile for that opportunity although as it gets closer to opening day, a trade may see him change uniforms rather than go back to Las Vegas. In the meantime, though, there's that April dilemma to be solved.

  The answer provided was to turn the calendar around so that it reads "August". "So what happens when August really comes?" he queried. "Turn it back again," was the answer.

  Who knows, he might even do it. To take that final step to the bigtime, you gotta believe.

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