With the New York Yankees’ 2016 regular season over, let’s take a look back at the season Chase Headley had in the Bronx.
New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley just wrapped up his second full season with the Bronx Bombers. He was a solid force for the Yankees this season on both sides of the field despite a very slow start to the season.
The switch-hitter began his season looking absolutely lost at the plate. In the month of April, Headley batted .150/.268/.150 with no extra base hits. As bleak as times were looking for the third-baseman, he did not give up and kept battling for success at the plate.
As the calendar flipped to May, Headley started putting up better at-bats at the plate and looked as if he was starting to break out of the slump. The switch-hitter notched his first extra-base hit of the season on May 12 when he launched a home run against the Kansas City Royals. This would start the beginning of a renaissance for Headley as he would finally regain his confidence.
According to Dan Martin of the New York Post about the slump, “There were a lot of situations where I had a chance to get a big hit this year and haven’t been able to get it,” Headley said. “When you finally break through late in the game to put the team up, it’s fun.”
For the next month following his first home run, Headley looked like a brand new man at the plate. The 32-year old batted .301/.365/.484 with 10 extra-base hits under his belt. He would go on to finish the month of June very successfully and have an even better month of July.
Once the dog days of summer arrived, Headley decided he would take it in his hands to carry a depleted Yankees offense. Throughout the month of July, Headley would sport a slash line of .286/.349/.506 with five home runs and 13 RBI’s. As the month of August approached the Bronx, the third baseman would find himself falling into another slump.
From the period of August 1 to the end of the regular season, Headley batted .232/.322/.361 with only four home runs. The month of September really weighed his batting average down, when he slumped with a .200 average throughout the month.
Despite a couple of slumps throughout the regular season, Headley still finished off the year with his usual average stats. The switch-hitter’s final slash line for the year was .251/.329/.383 with 14 home runs. Not a bad season at all offense wise for the third baseman, especially after his deep struggles to kick off the season.
Not only was offense an area that Headley was able to improve throughout the year, but the defense was improved as well. In 2015, the former gold glover made 23 errors while manning the hot corner. This amount doubled his previous career high and going into 2016, fans were unsure what to expect from him on the field.
Headley redeemed himself on the field this past year, cutting his 23 previous errors into just 10. This big improvement made his fielding percentage jump from .946 to .974 which is the defense fans are more accustomed to seeing from the former gold glove winner.
While looking back at the 2016 season of Chase Headley, one way to look at it is that it was an improvement from 2015. He improved his defense drastically as well as hitting three more home runs than the previous year. Headley ranked sixth on the Yankees roster in WAR (wins above replacement) with a 2.6.
With two seasons still remaining on the third baseman’s contract, it will be interesting to see how he can progress from his first two and a half seasons in the Bronx.