ST. PETERSBURG, FL-The Tampa Bay Rays have signed outfielder/designated hitter Delmon Young to a minor league contract. The right-handed hitter will report to Double-A Montgomery today.
Young, 27, returns to the organization that originally selected him with the first overall pick in the 2003 June Draft. He played for the Rays in 2006-07, hitting .293 (226-for-771) with 16 home runs and 103 RBI in 192 games before being traded in November 2007 to the Minnesota Twins along with Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie in exchange for Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Morlan.
This season with the Philadelphia Phillies, Young hit .261 (71-for-272) with eight home runs and 31 RBI in 80 games. Against left-handed pitchers, he hit .286 (18-for-63) with a .361 on-base percentage. He was designated for assignment on August 9 and released on August 14 after clearing waivers and refusing an outright assignment to Triple-A.
After being traded from the Rays, Young played for the Twins (2008-11), Detroit Tigers (2011-12) and Phillies (2013). He was named the Most Valuable Player in last year's American League Championship Series after hitting .353 (6-for-17) with two home runs and six RBI for the Tigers against the New York Yankees. In his only full season with the Rays, he finished second in the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year voting to Boston's Dustin Pedroia after hitting .288 (186-for-645) with 13 home runs, 38 doubles, 93 RBI and 10 stolen bases in all 162 games. For his career, the Alabama native has hit .306 against left-handed pitching and .283 overall. He is just three homers shy of 100.