My 2020 Yankees (If I Were The GM) – How Did I Do?
By Paul Semendinger
Way back in October and November in the year 2019 (which seems a lifetime ago), and as I have done every off-season, I announced my plan for how I could build the 2020 Yankees.
At the beginning of the season I revisited my roster and promised that I’d look at it again at season’s end to see how I did.
It is now time to revisit my team against the real 2020 Yankees to see which team did better by seeing (as best as we can) where my players out-performed or under-performed compared to the real Yankees.
…And, of course, this was the season of small sample sizes so any analysis must be willfully taken with a grain (or two) of salt also remembering that these are all just exercises in speculation and fun.
My 2020 Yankees:
1B – Carlos Santana (vs Luke Voit)
Carlos Santana – 60 games: .199/8/30 .349/.350/.699 bWAR 0.6
Luke Voit – 56 games: .277/22/52 .338/.610/.948 bWAR 1.5
Luke Voit led the league in homers. Carlos Santana didn’t hit his weight.
To make matters worse, Santana is 34-years-old and Voit 29-years-old.
Brain Cashman easily proved to be the better GM in regard to picking the Yankees first baseman of 2020.
2B – D.J. LeMahieu (The Yankees and I saw this similarly)
SS – Gleyber Torres (The Yankees and I also saw this similarly)
3B – Miguel Andujar (vs. Gio Urshela)
Miguel Andujar – 21 games .242/1/5 .277/.355/.632 bWAR -0.4
Gio Urshela – 43 games .298/6/30 .368/.490/.858 bWAR 1.9
Gio Urshela proved that he is the Yankees’ third baseman of today and the future.
Miguel Andujar proved that he is probably trade bait. I wanted to give Andujar the chance to win back his position.
Again, I was bested by Brian Cashman.
UTL – Gio Urshela (the Yankees will probably go with Tyler Wade) – Note: I like Gio Urshela, and I thought he could get regular playing time in this role.
Note – So, to give me just a little credit, I would have had Gio Urshela playing somewhat regularly, just not at third base. The positive, I would have had Urshela. The negative is that I wouldn’t have had him at third base and the Yankees would have been weaker for that.
LF – Giancarlo Stanton (vs Brett Gardner)
Giancarlo Stanton – 23 games .250/4/11
Brett Gardner – 49 games .223/5/15
I’m going to give this a “push.” Stanton was basically hurt all year. Gardner had a terrible year.
CF – Joc Pederson (vs Aaron Hicks)
Joc Pederson – 43 games .190/7/16 .285/.397/.681 bWAR -0.4
Aaron Hicks – .54 games 225/6/21 .379/.414/.793 bWAR 0.6
I didn’t think Hicks would have returned from the surgery and not missed any games, but, 2020 was a different season. Hicks wasn’t great by any mark, but neither was Pederson. (Then again, Joc is in the World Series.)
Still, I was bested by Brian Cashman again.
RF – Aaron Judge (the Yankees and I had the same approach)
C – Gary Sanchez (the Yankees and I were both disappointed)
Starting Pitching – When I did this exercise last year, I thought it was too easy to just say “Get Gerrit Cole.” That was a no-brainer. I also wasn’t convinced the Yankees would get him so I went into this part of the exercise building the team as if the Yankees would not get Cole and had to build the rotation a different way.
SP 1: Masahiro Tanaka (He was a Yankees starter)
SP 2 : James Paxton (He was Yankees starter)
SP 3: Luis Severino (He would have been a Yankees starter, but he was out for the season.)
SP 4: Madison Bumgarner – He did not pitch well. He went 1-4, 6.48 in 9 starts. I always want the lefty. This wouldn’t have been a good signing.
SP 5: Cole Hamels – He pitched in one game. Again, I wanted the veteran lefty, but this also wouldn’t have worked out.
I thought in Bumgarner and Hamels, the Yankees would have two veteran arms to anchor the staff and teach the three young bright arms how to succeed in the big leagues. That part of the equation we will never know. Maybe they would have.
Next – Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and Mike King (I did not think that Clarke Schmidt would have been ready for the 2020 season. I am happy he had progressed so quickly.)
BULLPEN: I was happy with the Yankees bullpen arms and my bullpen would have looked like theirs did.
Conclusion – It is safe to say that Cashman’s 2020 Yankees out performed mine.
But, we’ll see who does better in 2021 when I try again!