Leyland has been impressed with Young

Leyland has been impressed with Young

Leyland has been impressed with Young
ST. PETERSBURG -- A week after being traded from Minnesota to Detroit when they were facing each other at Comerica Park, Delmon Young had another reunion at Tropicana Field, back where his Major League career began.

While Young hasn't been a Tiger for long, it feels like he has a new home. The Tigers certainly feel that way.

"He appears to be very happy," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's a very professional person, very polite, a very interesting guy. He's very bright about the game, and I've really been impressed. And [Twins manager Ron] Gardenhire told me I was going to be. He really liked him."

Young first made an impression on Leyland down the stretch last year, when his production over the second half helped the Twins make up for the loss of Justin Morneau and win the American League Central. Now that he has seen him up close, that impression has been backed up.

It's an impression built from maturity after Young reached the big leagues as a Ray at age 20.

"I can see where he was as well-liked as he was by his teammates and stuff like that," Leyland said. "I think when he first was here, he was real young and full of expectations and everything, probably wasn't settled in yet. He's a good guy. I really like him.

"He's a player. When he hits it, something happens, as you can see. This guy's a real talent. He got a little bigger this year, probably hurt him a little bit. I think if he gets toned down just a little bit at some point, there's no telling what this guy can do. This guy's a real talent. This guy's a run producer. I really like what I've seen. I like him a lot."

Young, meanwhile, has settled into the third spot in the Tigers lineup, immediately ahead of cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera. Young's double in the eighth inning helped set up two big insurance runs.

"First of all, you don't want to be batting 10th," Young joked. "I appreciate just being in the lineup. But in the three hole, I've got a different mind-set. When guys are on base, I'll try to drive them in. When guys aren't on base, with Miguel, Victor [Martinez], Jhonny [Peralta] and other guys behind me, you at least see some pitches before they get up. So I can go up and take a few more pitches, since they don't want to face those guys with anybody on base."