A post by Dave Schoenfield at the SweetSpot Network caught my eye yesterday:
Using the top three rated outfielders for each club, here are the top five clubs in the AL:
1. Yankees (Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher): 7.8 WAR.
2. Royals (Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur): 5.6 WAR.
3. Blue Jays (Jose Bautista, Corey Patterson, Juan Rivera: 5.4 WAR.
4. Twins (Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel): 5.2 WAR.
5. Indians (Michael Brantley, Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore): 3.9 WAR.
In the National League, the Diamondbacks (Justin Upton, Chris Young, Gerardo Parra) rate at 7.2 WAR, the Cardinals (Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Colby Rasmus) at 6.8 and the Pirates (Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones and Jose Tabata) at 6.2.
While the total is inflated by Curtis Granderson’s fantastic start, it is similarly suppressed by Nick Swisher’s poor first few months. Overall, it seems fair to say that the Yankees have one of the best, if not the best, outfield in all of baseball. As a group, these 3 play strong defense, get on base, have some speed, and hit for power. One thing that struck me as interesting about this outfield is that its existence is really a credit to Brian Cashman, who made two strong trades to acquire Granderson and Swisher, while Gardner is a product of the Yankees’ farm system. While he’s made some pitching moves in recent years that clearly belong on the negative side of the ledger, the current Yankees’ outfield earns him a big gold star. Additionally, Swisher is the oldest of the group at 30, so Cash could have the Yankees set in the outfield for the foreseeable future if he chooses to re-sign Swisher and Granderson to long-term deals.
Feel free to use this post as your open thread for the evening.
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