St. Petersburg, Fla. — Tampa Bay prospect Delmon Young was suspended for 50 games without pay by the International League on Tuesday for throwing a bat that hit a replacement umpire in the chest.
IL president Randy Mobley said he believed the suspension was the longest in the league's 123-year history. There was no record of the most severe suspension in the minors for an on-field incident.
Young was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft and was chosen the 2005 minor-league player of the year by Baseball America. His brother is Detroit Tigers player Dmitri Young.
"Fifty is a fair amount, and I'm going to serve it and then I'll be back on the ballfield," Young said at the Devil Rays' minor-league complex.
"No, I really don't think I have anger-management issues," he said. "I'm competitive. I just let the emotions get a little better than me sometimes. I've got to control that."
The suspension is retroactive to April 27, the day after Young tossed his bat in a Triple-A game while playing for Durham. The 20-year-old outfielder has agreed to perform at least 50 hours of community service, and can play again June 19.
The Devil Rays supported Mobley's decision on the penalty, said Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay's team's executive vice president of baseball operations.
"What happened has no place in this game, and it can't ever happen again," he said. "I think he grasped the magnitude of the situation. I think he's committed to getting the most out of this."
Young expects to resume working out at the minor-league complex today. The Devil Rays might check whether he can play in extended spring training games before returning to an active roster.
"I'd like to say I'm sorry for this incident. I do regret this situation. I'm going to get through it," Young said.