10 Positions in 10 Weeks: Analyzing Right Field
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In Part 8 of a 10-week series, I will be analyzing the last outfield position and the last fielding position (besides the pitcher). Right field is perhaps the most interesting position from 2020 and going forward.
Things started well for Aaron Judge in 2020. He began the shortened season with five consecutive games with a home run and could not seem to be stopped. This was the Aaron Judge that fans love to see on a nightly basis.
Then injury struck. Judge’s right calf began giving him problems to where he was forced onto the 10-day IL, only to go back on the IL one game after coming off. Judge was on pace for an incredible 60-game stretch, making a lethal 1-2 punch of D.J. LeMahieu and himself. But if only that did happen for the entire season…
In 28 games, Judge did manage to hit nine home runs with 22 RBIs and an OPS of .891. His fielding percentage was perfect and while he may argue he did not have the season in the field he wanted to, he still made many plays that most outfielders cannot.
Although he did not have the usual postseason he typically has, Judge’s bat did make an appearance or two during the playoffs, as he managed to hit three home runs in seven total games.
The big story in right field this season was not even Judge, but Clint Frazier, who managed to fill in well for Judge while he was injured. In 39 games, Frazier hit .267 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs with a .905 OPS. He managed to work 25 walks, nine more than all of last season in 86 fewer plate appearances.
When it came to fielding, many were worried that Frazier’s struggles in the field would continue. He managed to prove many wrong by committing only one error in right field and significantly improving his overall game. He is no Aaron Judge when it comes to fielding, but he proved that he deserves a roster spot for next season.
Judge should be returning at full health to begin the 2021 season, which will see him back in right field for the majority of the team. Frazier could shift back to his natural position in left field, where there will be an opening if Brett Gardner is not re-signed.
Both of these players are expected to make a big impact on the team this upcoming season. As long as they can both remain healthy, there is a good chance that they can propel the Yankees to the playoffs.