Others here have offered their midseason evaluation of this year’s Yankee squad, and this afternoon I will do the same. I’ve ranked every notable player on the 2010 Yankees on a 1-5 star basis, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. My methodology is to evaluate both current performance against past performance and true talent level. Like Moshe said a year ago in his Midseason Report Card piece, “…the grades are based on a player’s own talent level. If Frankie Cervelli has a better grade than Joba Chamberlain, it does not mean that he has been more important to the team, just that he has performed his particular job better.”
Nick Johnson. $5.5M got us a .188/.388/.306 line with 2 HR in 98 PAs before a wrist injury most likely ended Johnson’s season. I liked the deal at the time, despite the risk, because of Johnson’s crazy OBP skills, but it’s unfortunate that it turned out so poorly. At least we didn’t pay a $52M negotiating fee for our bust, though.
Randy Winn. It still feels mean to hate on the backup outfielder, but nothing about Winn’s short time with the Yankees is worth praising. His line was a ghastly .213/.300/.295, and he also made some really ugly mistakes in the field.
Chan Ho Park. This was another low-cost, high-upside free agent signing that hasn’t exactly panned out thus far. CHoP has dealt with various injuries, both gastrointestinal and muscular, but has had a tough time on the mound when healthy: 27 IP, 6.18 ERA, 5.21 FIP, 7.16 K/9 and a 2.28 BB/9. His HR/FB rate is a bit high, but it remains to be see whether Cashman and Girardi will be willing to wait out his early struggles.
Boone Logan. He throws hard and is left-handed. That’s about it. Please keep him in AAA until further notice.
Alfredo Aceves. Poor Aceves has only pitched 12 innings this year, thanks to a bulging disc in his back. Last year’s 1.2 WAR bullpen Swiss Army knife may not make it back to the mound at all this year, which is certainly a big disappointment.
AJ Burnett. Over 108 IP, Burnett has a 6.75 K/9 and a 3.83 BB/9 with a 4.75 ERA and a near-identical FIP. We may be witnessing a post-World Series hangover, the result of throwing more innings and pitches in a year than ever before.
Joba Chamberlain. Joba’s struggles have been covered extensively here and elsewhere. He has certainly been a disappointment in 2010. His peripherals suggest that the struggles may not last forever, but his difficulties with command make many Yankees fans nervous.
Damaso Marte. Still waiting for Marte to return to the form he exhibited on the Pirates. The lefty reliever has seen a spike in his walk rate and a decrease in his strikeout rate in 2010, and his 3 year, 12M deal continues to look like a mistake.
Sergio Mitre. Before coming down with an oblique injury, Mitre logged 25 innings for the Yankees and posted a 2.88 ERA. His peripherals suggest he’s not nearly that good; I believe the peripherals.
Curtis Granderson. The center fielder also missed time with a
n oblique groin injury and has only hit to a .240/.309/.409 while continuing to struggle mightily against lefties.
Derek Jeter. This has not been the best year for Derek Jeter. His .732 OPS is the lowest of his career, causing many fans to wonder if we’re finally seeing the inevitable age-based decline. As JMK noted over the weekend at RAB, there are reasons for optimism going forward, but a continued poor performance would make for a very interesting contract negotiation after the season.
Javier Vazquez. First five starts: 23 IP, 9.78 ERA, 1.092 OPS-against, 7.8 K/9, 5.9 BB/9. Since then, Vazquez has made eleven starts (and one relief appearance): 72 IP, 2.75 ERA, .569 OPS-against, 7.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9. Javy’s been the man for the better part of two months. I wonder how many fans have stopped booing long enough to realize it?
Francisco Cervelli. The backup catcher turned starting catcher has put up a meagre .266/.338/.333 line despite a hot, BABIP-fueled start. It’s not really his fault per se, as he doesn’t have the minor league pedigree to suggest that his bat is anything more than backup-worthy. Both he and the Yankees would be better served if he returned to a backup role.
Mark Teixeira. The first baseman struggled mightily in the first two months of the year but heads into the All-Star Break with a .254/.360/.465 line, 17 HR, 63 RBI, a robust walk rate, a low strikeout rate, and a BABIP 40 points under career average. Expect a giant second half for Tex, and trade for him in your fantasy league immediately if you still can.
Alex Rodriguez. Alex has hit to the tune of .269/.345/.481 with 14 HR, 46 R, 70RBI, and 2 SB so far in 2010. The OBP is slightly concerning, given that his walk rate is down and his K rate is up. However, Alex’s BABIP is also 40 points below career average and his HR/FB ratio is 10% down, so there are reasons for optimism going forward.
David Robertson. Last year’s strikeout king has had an odd first half. He has an ugly ERA of 5.46 and a sky high walk rate of 5.2/9, but his strikeout rate is a still respectable 9.7/9. Despite a rough outing on July 2nd against Toronto, Robertson has pitched relatively decently since the start of June (14.2 IP, 13K, 8 BB, 5ER).
Marcus Thames. My expectations for Thames were fairly low, so it’s good to see his .294/.398/.447 line with 3 HR in 103 PAs. The Yankees can continue to extract value from Thames by using him as a platoon player off the bench.
Jorge Posada. Sure, he’s aging. Sure, he gets hurt all the time. Sure, he’s a Catcher/DH combo at best. But among AL catchers with at least 100 PAs, Posada has the second-highest wOBA and the third-highest OPS. If he can stay on the field, he’s good value for the team.
Phil Hughes. Despite some recent trouble, Hughes has had a very good full season debut as a starting pitcher, throwing 101 innings in 16 starts, striking out 91 batters and walking only 29. He may get moved to the bullpen come late-September and October, but for now Yankees fans can enjoy Hughesday every fifth day.
Nick Swisher. Mr. Final Vote Winner American League All-Star is rocking a .298/.377/.524 line with 15 home runs. Yes, please.
CC Sabathia. The gigantic lefty continued his spectacular first half yesterday against Seattle and now has a 3.09 ERA (3.79 FIP) over 131 innings with a 7.15 K/9 and a 2.82 BB/9. In the second half, we can look forward to more of the same, if not better, from Sabathia. He’s historically better in the second-half, with an ERA a half run lower and a K/9 a full batter higher. Given his low ERA and his high win total already, two stats often valued highly by voters, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Sabathia make a strong run at the Cy Young award.
Andy Pettitte. Pettitte is having a great year, hurling 113 innings in the first half with a 2.70 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 2.5. There’s no denying that his strand rate and BABIP are well below career average, so we may see some regression from Pettitte in the second half. Even so, Pettitte has outperformed any reasonable expectation so far, and his 11 wins gives him a good shot at winning 20 games for the third time in his career. I hate the W stat as much as anyone, but it will be fun to watch him join Sabathia and Hughes in the pursuit of 20.
Robinson Cano. The most valuable Yankee, Robinson Cano is making a strong case for the MVP award in 2010, hitting .336/.389/.556 with 16 HR and 58 RBI. He’s been worth 4.4 Wins Above Replacement, and his wOBA is 7th best in the AL. There’s nothing like a sweet hitting position player entering his prime.
Brett Gardner. Gardner has surprised most fans, I would imagine, with an OPS of .811 in the first half of the season. He’s getting on base at nearly a 40% clip and has already swiped 25 bases. Sure, his BABIP is a bit high, but we don’t really have a reasonable baseline expectation for a player with his peculiar skill-set. Combined with his defense, Gardner has proved to be a very valuable player for the Yankees in 2010 and may enable the Yankees to pass on Crawford in free agency this winter. What a pleasant surprise.
Mariano Rivera. This year more than ever: the greatest of all-time.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees