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Is This The Year That Breaks The Streak? Comparing Two Teams (Part 2)

Just for fun, I decided to do a quick comparison between the 1992 Yankees and the 2020 Yankees by looking at the teams position-by-position and just comparing some traditional counting stats, the triple slash lines, and bWAR.

For the 2020 Yankees, these numbers are through Sept. 10, 2020. Also, of note, of course, all of the 2020 Yankees on this list have the opportunity to perform better or worse than their current numbers. Also we can take homers and RBI’s with a grain of salt for the 2020 Yankees, but I share them just for a point of comparison.

This is the first in a short series. Today we’ll look at the outfielders, designated hitter, and other key non-starters

Left Field:

1992- Mel Hall .280/15/81 .310/.429/.739 bWAR = 2.3

2020- Brett Gardner .165/3/9 .293/.299/.592 bWAR = -0.2

Ouch. Brett Gardner is having an absolutely awful year.

Center Field:

1992- Roberto Kelly .272/10/66 .322/.384/.706 bWAR = 1.4

2020- Aaron Hicks .209/4/13 .377/.391/..768 bWAR = 0.5

Aaron Hicks’ counting stats are poor, but his triple slash makes his season look better. Still, less than 1.0 bWAR in center field does not a championship team make.

Right Field:

1992- Danny Tartabull .266/25/85 .409/.489/..898 bWAR = 4.1

2020- Clint Frazier* .288/5/17 .406/.538/.944 bWAR = 1.2

(*Frazier has played in only 46% of the Yankees games, but it is the most of any right fielder in 2020)

The best thing to come out of this exercise thus far today is the optimism that comes with Clint Frazier’s season. It seems that he might have arrived. He is still just 26-years-old, so his time could be now and in the immediate future.

Designated Hitter:

1992- Kevin Maas .248/11/35 .305/.406/..710 bWAR = 0.2

2020- Mike Ford .139/2/11 .222./.278/.500 bWAR = -0.5

(*I put Mike Ford here, but with 14 games played as DH, Giancarlo Stanton still leads the team in games played at DH. Ford, though has played in 26 total games.)

Amazingly, the Yankees are getting no real production from their DH in 2020.

Others (who played in at least 60% of the games*)

(*In 1992, they would have played in 98 or more games. In 2020, they would have played (to date) in 26 or more games.)

1992- Bernie Williams .280/5/26 .354/.406/.760 bWAR = 2.0

2020- Mike Tauchman .238/0/10 .347/.300/.647 bWAR = -0.3

2020- Tyler Wade .161/1/4 ..264/.242/.506 bWAR = 0.1

The 1992 Yankees had a rising superstar in Bernie Williams. ‘Nuff said.

Quick Conclusion – Because of the injuries to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton and the poor play of every other outfielder/DH/reserve player (at least the ones not named Clint Frazier), the 2020 Yankees are getting a negative level of offensive production from these positions. Not one of the 2020 Yankees (other than Frazier) has contributed the value of even one win. Combined these players have accumulated a bWAR of -0.4. With Clint Frazier, the bWAR of all the 2020 Yankees on this page combined is 0.8. All of this explains why the Yankees have been one of baseball’s worst teams with the absence of Judge and Stanton. Their value to the 2020 Yankees cannot be overstated.

By- Paul Semendinger

Posted – September 11, 2020

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