Should We Be Worried About Youk?

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.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Should We Be Worried About Youk?

  1. cgoogs

    I see this going either one of two ways.
    1 – Its like Ortiz in ’09 and ’10 when he had very slow starts but the numbers were there at the end.
    2 – Some injury sidelines him for most of the season like Pedroia in ’09 where he is comes off the DL and within a week is back on it for another month or so.

    • Bucky

      I don’t know what to expect. The injuries in 10 and 11 were unrelated. Bad luck or the sign of a guy breaking down? We don’t know yet.

  2. Wolfie Jones

    I for some reason have no patience with him. He is not a great defensive third basemen anymore and he has looked so lost from the beginning of last year through last night. I don’t see the sox re signing him. I hope he has a decent year so we can trade him for relief and call up middlebrook$ or use punto at 3rd.

    • Bucky

      Defensively, Punto has a the edge. Youk is average at best while Punto is above average at third base. Offensively, Youk is better by a huge margin (.880 OPS for Youk vs. .653 for Punto).

      Middlebrooks might be ready for August/September. I don’t know what to expect from him though. He has good power but has not shown an ability to get on base regularly.

      I never saw Youk being “lost” last season. His numbers were down from 08-09, but an .833 OPS in 120 games is still well above league average.

  3. Pingback: Maybe That Works In Japan | BoSox Banter

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