Key Similarity Number One: The Deadly First Base/Third Base Combo
The 2009 Yankees had one of the most fearsome first base/third base combos in all of baseball. Teixeira took the ship at first while Alex Rodriguez manned the hot corner. Not only did the duo play on the field opposite of each other, but they also batted right next to each other in the three and four spots in the lineup.
Not only did the duo play on the field opposite of each other, but they also batted right next to each other in the three and four spots in the lineup.
Teixeira put up an MVP-caliber season where he batted .292/.383/.565 with 39 dingers and 122 RBI’s, not much more you can ask for from your first baseman.
The switch-hitter would also go on to win the gold glove award as well as finishing second in American League MVP voting. Tex provided that spark at first base that the Yankees were looking for when they signed him in the offseason to replace Jason Giambi.
A-Rod, Tex’s partner in crime, ended the season batting .286/.402/.532 with precisely 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s. As the cleanup hitter in the Yankee lineup, Rodriguez got his job of cleaning up the bases done by driving in those 100 RBI’s.
Given the fact that he only played in 122 games, that is truly an amazing feat as his RBI total would be 130 when translated to a 162-game scale.
This dynamic duo the Yankees had on the field in 2009 helped them win a world series, but how does this year’s Cubs 1B/3B combo compare to this historic tandem?
The Cubs’ first baseman (Rizzo), put up yet another outstanding campaign which is a good reflection of his 2015 season, a great sign of consistency.
Like Teixeira, Rizzo was a key source of runs and power for Chicago as he slashed .292/.385/.544 with 32 home runs and 109 RBI’s.
He almost mirrors the way Teixeira plays the game by producing with bot his bat and glove. Both are fearsome hitters in their respective lineups who are responsible for driving in runs and do that greatly, but with the glove is another area where they shine.
This season, Anthony Rizzo sported a .996 fielding percentage with only six errors, which compares amazingly to Teixeira’s .997 percentage in 2009.
Much like Rodriguez, Kris Bryant showed his power from the hot corner as most third basemen do. This year, Bryant slashed .292/.385/.544 with 39 home runs and 109 RBI’s, numbers that many believe will win him the NL MVP award.
When looking at A-Rod’s stats from 2009 according to a 162 game schedule, Rodriguez has the same amount of home runs as Bryant, 39. Both of these power hitting third basemen were sparks in their respective team lineups and were able to launch almost 40 home runs.
Does the Cubs corner combo have the same amount of spark in them as the Yankees did to live up to the hype and win the world series title? Only time will tell.