Top 10 Most Interesting Yankees in 2020: Matt Duffy
By Lincoln Mitchell
As a part of Start Spreading the News’ top 10 list of “players we are most excited to see what they do” in 2020, let’s take a quick look at Matt Duffy.
The Yankees acquisition of Matt Duffy a few weeks ago is the kind of move that can easily be overlooked. After all, Duffy is another versatile middle infielder on a team that already has Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada to fill that role. However, unlike those two, Duffy has proven he can hit at the major league level. His 98 OPS+ in 1,600 big league at bats is not going to vault him into the heart of the Yankees order, but that kind of production is valuable from an emergency backup. Duffy is the kind of player, that particularly with the expanded roster, can be sneakily valuable.
Duffy is also a fun player and, at least in San Francisco, was a fan favorite. He also hit and handled his role with aplomb when given the unenviable task of replacing World Series hero Pablo Sandoval who left the team after 2014. Fans enjoyed Duffy’s personalized bats and stories of his enormous, and now deceased, cat. More significantly, Duffy’s heads up baserunning in his first year with the big league squad helped the Giants win game two of the 2014 NLCS. Duffy will not be among the team leaders in games, home runs, RBIs, or anything like that, but I suspect before 2020 is done, he will have helped the Yankees win a few games with his bat, glove, legs or baseball smarts.