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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Perspectives: Hoping Rather Than Planning Well

by Paul Semendinger

June 15, 2023

***


It's been a parade of sub-replacement level players. Besides Aaron Judge, almost every single player the Yankees have put in the outfield this year has been a below average Major League hitter.


In order to patrol the outfield, the Yankees have tried one long-shot player pulled off the scrap heap after the next. Rather then building a quality team for 2023, the Yankees have hoped upon hope that one or more of these players would outperform their recent (or career) norms.


In other words, the Yankees went into the 2023 season dreaming on longshot hopes rather than using their resources to put together a good (note, I'm not even saying great) Major League outfield.


The other day I went through these statistics on the Start Spreading the News Podcast, but, sometimes it is easier to see the data directly.


Other than Aaron Judge, the following are the players the Yankees, the once mighty Yankees, have used as outfielders in 2023.


***

NOTE - an OPS+ of 100 signifies an average MLB hitter. An OPS+ under 100 is a player who is below average.


SECOND NOTE - I wrote this article on June 13. The stats were accurate and up-to-date at that time, some stats might have changed in minor ways since Tuesday.


***


OSWALDO CABRERA

- an infielder throughout his entire minor league career

- lifetime minor league batting average: .263

- lifetime minor league on-base percentage: .317

- lifetime minor league slugging percentage: .412


ISIAH KINER-FALEFA

- an infielder throughout his entire Major League career (534 games dating back to 2018)

- lifetime MLB batting average: .262

- lifetime MLB OBP: .313

- lifetime MLB SLG: .348

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 81 (he has never had a season where his OPS+ was 100)


HARISON BADER

- since 2019, he has not played in 31.5% of all his team's games

- lifetime MLB batting average: .246

- lifetime MLB OBP: .316

- lifetime MLB SLG: . 411

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 98


AARON HICKS

- a player who has not played in 49.7% of his team's games since 2019

- lifetime MLB batting average: .231

- lifetime MLB OBP: .330

- lifetime MLB SLG: .386

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 96


JAKE BAUERS

- since 2018, he has played for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Seattle

- did not play in the Major Leagues in 2019 or 2022

- lifetime MLB batting average: .213

- lifetime MLB OBP: .308

- lifetime MLB SLG: .358

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 81 (he has never had a season where his OPS+ was 100)


FRANCHY CORDERO

- since 2017, he has played for San Diego, Kansas City, and Boston

- lifetime MLB batting average: .215

- lifetime MLB OBP: .282

- lifetime MLB SLG: .386

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 81


WILLIE CALHOUN

- now with his fourth organization

- lifetime MLB batting average: .240

- lifetime MLB OBP: .300

- lifetime MLB SLG: .406

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 87


GREG ALLEN

- now with his fifth organization (second time with Yankees)

- lifetime MLB batting average: .231

- lifetime MLB OBP: .299

- lifetime MLB SLG: .340

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 73


BILLY MCKINNEY

- now with his seventh organization (second time with Yankees)

- lifetime MLB batting average: .208

- lifetime MLB OBP: .277

- lifetime MLB SLG: .395

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 81


ESTEVAN FLORIAL

- played 1 game in the MLB in 2020

- played 11 games in the MLB in 2021

- played 17 games in the MLB in 2022

- lifetime MLB batting average: .185

- lifetime MLB OPS+: 65


GIANCARLO STANTON

- a player who has not played in 46.9% of his team's games since 2019

- batted .211 in 2022









9 Comments


cpogo0502
Jun 15, 2023

Paul: It's simply a case of organizational failure, top to bottom. Failure to draft and develop young talent; failure to make accurate talent/health evaluations of players acquired in trades or free agency; failure to evaluate their own talent rather than ship them off in trades where the players traded thrive on other teams; failure of on-field management; failure to view the ball club from a "balance" point of view, something I've always referred to as "winning" baseball; failure to plan ahead and stay young rather than rely on aging players. Looking at the Yankees I dread a repeat of 1965 when the team all got old together and we were in the wilderness until the late 70s.

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cpogo0502
Jun 15, 2023
Replying to

In the last 10-15 years other than Judge I cannot name a single position player that the Yankees have developed into a successful major leaguer. The problem is also the organizational approach to "winning" baseball (or not). Last night was a perfect example of what I'm talking about. McKinney (i believe) doubled to right-center with no outs. Great! A chance to get a run early against Verlander. Up comes Trevino who rather than advance the runner with a grounder to right or even a bunt--remember those?--he pulls the first pitch on the ground to short. McKinney has to stay put. Next is Volpe who with his closed stance does his job and drives the ball to right center deep eno…

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fuster
Jun 15, 2023

neither Stanton nor even Bader are really sub-average hitters


Cabrera had a good debut in 2022 and ended up with an OPS+ above 100


certainly you can gripe about players getting injured, gripe about the Yankees employing patches while awaiting Pereira and Dominguez


but isn't it really you and people such as yourself, people who refuse to help the cash-strapped Yankee franchise who are to blame? you refuse to support the team by purchasing Apple plans, Youtube plans, Amazon Plus plans

and then you expect the Steinbrenners to make their kids forego hot lunches so that the team can lay out lavish salaries to cover short-term needs

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fuster
Jun 15, 2023
Replying to

Paul, my good man


I acknowledge that Bader seems to be good, but to argue that he's an above average hitter,


you 're swinging and missing


YOU ARGUE that Bader is a sub-average hitter and I'm arguing that he has not been sub-average for the Yankees.


the negation of "not sub-average" is not necessarily above-average


my argument, not your interpretation of it, is that Bader has, in his Yankee career, demonstrated that he's a bout an average hitter... possibly a tick above in the small sample thus far in his season, but average


and, given his ace-level D, an average hit performance makes his valuable

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