Kevin Youkilis is off to a slow start in 2012. In 3 games played he’s 0 for 12 with 0 walks and 5 strikeouts. Should we be worried about Youk? Yes and no.
One reason we should not be worried yet is because 12 plate appearances is very small sample size. We expect players to bat 600-700 times in a season, so evaluating a player based on 2% of his body of work is silly.
We should be worried about him staying healthy. From 2009 to 2011 Youk played in 136, 102, and 120 games. Not a positive trend for a 33-year-old infielder. However, when he’s on the field he is still producing. If Youk had enough plate appearances to qualify in 2010 and 2011 his .898 OPS would rank him 2nd among AL third basemen. Production is not an issue yet with Youk but he’s on the wrong side of 30 so it soon could be. In 2012 the most important stat for Youk is games played because his history tells us that when he’s in the lineup, he hits.