Looking At The New 2019 Strat-o-Matic Yankees Cards!
Strat-o-Matic Baseball just released their new cards – the ones representing the 2019 season. Getting the new cards in the mail is always exciting.
I figured I’d take a quick look at the cards and share some of what jumps out at me.
These cards are not in any particular order. I’ll share my thoughts as I go through the set in this random order of players (but I won’t share everything or every card because I don’t want to give all the secrets away…)
Masahiro Tanaka – The first thing that surprised me is that he doesn’t get tired as a pitcher until the sixth inning. I thought, for sure, he’d be a five inning pitcher. That’s a good thing for Strat players with this team as I don’t think this Yankees staff will have much length in their arms.
Gary Sanchez was much better defensively in 2019 than in the past. This is reflected in his defensive rating with is now a c-3 (the closer a player is to a 1, the better. A 1 at any position is a premier defender.)
J.A. Happ – This card looks to be pretty strong against lefties. He might pitch pretty well. He’s only a five inning pitcher though.
Mike Tauchman will play great defense. He’s a lf-2 (0) e2. (Like the range rating, the lower the “e-rating,” the better. An e2 is almost as good as it can get. The (0) represents his arm, which projects as average. Tauchman is a 1-15 runner which is above average. This looks like a fun card. A good depth piece, for sure.
Gleyber Torres ranks as a 3 as a shortstop and a 2 as a second baseman. He has more range on the right side of the infield. The Yankees hope that’s not the case in real life in 2020.
Clint Frazier – The worst range factor a player can have is a 5. Frazier is a rf-5 and a lf-5. If you had his card, you wouldn’t want him playing in the outfield. The Yankees might not want him out their either.
Aaron Judge – I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but let’s just say that Aaron Judge presents as a superstar with his defensive rankings. Strat-O-Matic is very high on Aaron Judge as a defender. This was great to see. His arm, too, is a rocket.
Zack Britton – should be tough of lefties, but walks could be a problem for him.
Nestor Cortes has a card!
Aroldis Chapman should dominate for one inning.
James Paxton is only a five inning pitcher. Like the real Yankees, this team will have to rely heavily on the bullpen.
Brett Gardner – Age has caught up to Gardy. His speed is down to a 1-15 (which is quick, but he used to be a 1-17 runner). His defense is again top tier. In left field he’s a lf-1 (-1) e1. (The -1 for his arm means that he has a better arm than the average big league outfielder.)
Edwin Encarnacion – In an emergency, he could actually play second base. Well, he can if you call 2b-5 e71 actually playing. It can’t get worse than that defensively (which makes sense). Against left-handed pitching Encarnacion should do some mashing.
Gio Urshela ranks as a 3b-2. I thought he might be a 1, but some advanced stat numbers weren’t as kind to Gio as many hoped. This seems to be reflected on the card.
DJ LeMahieu – This is a card that can play 2b, 3b, and 1b…all extremely well. He’s also going to hit a ton. What a card!
This looks to be an excellent team. Just like the 2019 Yankees, there is a ton of flexibility on the bench. The “next man up” theme would play true with this collection of cards.
I have been getting the “new guys” in the mail every single year for decades. It’s always a thrill when they arrive.
I think I’ll go test these cards out now. Maybe I’ll play them against the 1977 Yankees.