Michael Young’s 2012 season didn’t impress a whole lot of people. Baseball-Reference calculates his WAR at -2.4, the worst mark for any player, hitter or pitcher, in either league. FanGraphs calculates his WAR at -1.4 with only four players across both leagues compiling a worse WAR, all hitters.

Both sites agree he was bad at both offense and defense. Baseball-Reference calculates his oWAR at -1.0 (only ten players across both leagues had a worse mark) and his dWAR at -2.2 (only Rickie Weeks had a worse mark across both leagues). FanGraphs calculates his wOBA at .297, which is 104th best of the 114 players across both leagues with at least 550 plate appearances and gives him an UZR/150 rating of -20 or worse at both second and third base.

So he didn’t have a good year.

He has before, though. And recently.

Year bWAR fWAR
2008 2.8 2.8
2009 2.5 3.1
2010 1.6 2.6
2011 2.1 3.7
2012 -2.4 -1.4

So there was a big drop off in 2012 relative to recent years.

Where would his total WAR have ranked among Phillie batters over the last five years? The table below shows the top three hitters by WAR for each of the last five seasons as well as Young’s bWAR and fWAR and where that would rank among Phillie hitters:

Year bWAR fWAR
2008 1 Utley 8.8 Utley 8.3
2008 2 Rollins 5.3 Rollins 5.6
2008 3 Victorino 4.2 Werth 5.2
2008 - Young 2.8 (5) Young 2.8 (6)
2009 1 Utley 8.0 Utley 8.2
2009 2 Werth 4.2 Werth 5.0
2009 3 Howard/Victorino 3.5 Howard 4.6
2009 - Young 2.5 (T-6) Young 3.1 (6)
2010 1 Utley 5.7 Utley 5.4
2010 2 Werth 4.3 Werth 5.3
2010 3 Ruiz 3.9 Ruiz 4.4
2010 - Young 1.6 (7) Young 2.6 (6)
2011 1 Victorino 5.2 Victorino 5.9
2011 2 Utley 3.7 Utley 4.0
2011 3 Ruiz 2.6 Rollins 3.9
2011 - Young 2.1 (6) Young 3.7 (4)
2012 1 Ruiz 4.4 Ruiz 5.5
2012 2 Utley 2.9 Rollins 4.9
2012 3 Rollins 2.3 Utley 3.2
2012 - Young -2.4 (26) Young -1.4 (26)

By fWAR, his 2011 season would have had him fourth with the Phillies. By bWAR, his 2008 season would have had him fifth. Those are the only two years times in the last five seasons his total WAR would have had him in the top five for the Phillies using the calculation of either site.

In this mailbag from the Phillies web site, Todd Zolecki discusses the possibility that Ruf will start the year at Triple-A.