There has been a lot of debate in the Diaries on this topic, so I thought, I'd weigh in.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Delmon Young this year. From his mysterious loss of power in AAA, to the "bat incident", then came his awkward interview with a MiLB.com reporter, and his press conference where he snapped at a report that tried to fix the microphone, telling him not to touch him. It's been long reported that Delmon is very arrogant, and is pretty selfish. Asking to be paid for an interview with a local reporter in Montgomery. We know he's a jerk, will this keep him out of the majors, no. Throughout history, there have always been jerks in the big leagues, and athletes with inflated wallets and big egos will always be tolerated because of their talent. In his defense, I've never heard any reports of problems with teammates, so he's got that going for him I guess. So we know that as long as he doesn't go to jail, he's going to be in the majors, and soon, the question is, should he be there now?
Well, lets look at his stats. His line going into today: .374/.397/.472/.869. An .869 OPS is really, really good for a 20 year-old in AAA. He's also only struck out 18 times on the season in 33 games. He's making contact at a very high rate. Along with his .374 average, a low K rate, he's stolen 15 bases and only been caught 2 times. That's an 88 percent success rate, which is incredible considering he's supposed to be a power guy. He's showing he is truly a 5-tool talent. But as others have pointed out, there are some problems with him still. His OBP and SLG percentages are both very average driven. His IsoD is a minuscule .23 and his IsoP is .98 for the year. He's not walking, and not hitting for power on the season.
However, in the 13 games he's been back, his power seems to be coming back. His line in those games looks like this: .404/.404/.553. His IsoP is a lot more respectable .149, his IsoD is 0 but that is because of 3 sacrifice flies that have negated his two walks. He's still not walking a lot, but the power is coming around it would seem.
At this point, we know what we are getting with Delmon, a guy who is immensely talented, has tremendous power, but doesn't always show it, can steal a base, has hit for a high average everywhere he's been, doesn't walk much, and is a jerk. The question is, should he be a Tampa Bay Devil Ray, or a Durham Bull? The answer to that question for me is two fold. First, can he help the team? Secondly, is it beneficial to the player to be up now? My answer to that question is that yes, he can help the team now, and it will be beneficial in the long run to have him up now. At this point in the season, the Rays are not risking making him a Super-2 by calling him up, so long term, it's not hurting the Rays financially by calling bringing him up. They also have no clear RF on the ML team. Damon Hollins, Russ Branyan, Greg Norton, Tomas Perez, and whomever else Joe might run out in RF the rest of the year, are not going to be better than Delmon. Like it or not, he's going to be the starting right fielder for us next year. So I say, why not call him up now? There won't be any financial repercussions because of it, and the extra two and a half months of development time in the majors will help both him and team as he won't have to go through a transition period next year, he'll already experience what it's like to hit big league pitching and be ready to go from the start next year.
I say, call him up right after the All-Star break. He's honestly not going to "learn his lesson" because he's in AAA. As much as I'd like him to be a "good person" his personality isn't going to change because he was left in AAA, call him up and lets find out what he can do at the next level. He's not a perfect prospect, but honestly, who is, and he'll get better in time, but right now, the Rays need him in RF, and calling him up, in my opinion, is what's best for his future, and the future of the franchise.