The New York Yankees veteran designated hitter Matt Holliday has proved to be one of the steals of the 2017 season.
In an offseason that was headlined by big names such as Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman, players like Matt Holliday sometimes are forgotten. While everyone is hoping for their team to make a push for the best player available, veteran players such as Holliday wait for the big names to unfold so they can start to search for a team.
One year $17 million is the contract former Cardinal Matt Holliday received from the New York Yankees and one that had some scratching their head because big money free agents were still on the board. But Brian Cashman knew what Holliday brought to the table was much more valuable than the one-year contract he was given.
Leadership and Production, those two things are absolute requirements when building a successful ballclub. Holliday has provided the Yankees with both of those things leading the clubhouse by taking younger players such as Aaron Judge under his wing and establishing himself as a serviceable cleanup hitter with a slash line of .284 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs.
The leadership role that Holliday takes is invaluable, and it is no coincidence that AL MVP favorite Aaron Judge is having a monstrous season while being teammates and bonding with Holliday. I’m not implying that all of Judge’s success is owed to Matt Holliday however, whenever Judge gets out or hits a colossal home run take a look at who he’s talking to in the dugout, 99 percent of the time it’s the Yankees DH.
For the “Baby Bombers” to have a go-to guy such as Holliday when seeking advice, you can’t put a price tag on it. It’s worth all the money possible to sign an established clubhouse leader like that where he can help navigate players throughout the season.
During the offseason into the beginning of the year, you heard Holliday continuously praise Judge, and there is indeed reasoning behind that as he was in a way challenging him to be great and to live up to the hype that he was bringing upon him. Judge has responded quite well this season, to say the least.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 11, 2017
The presence of a player like Holliday does so much for such a young team like the Yankees because sometimes veterans can help shape the careers of younger players by showing them how to act appropriately, and like a professional.
In so many cases talent goes to waste by inappropriate actions. Having a leader in the clubhouse prevents inexperienced players from making dumb decisions that will tarnish their image with their fanbase. Following a player who’s been there, and done that is the best form of advice a player can receive.
It certainly helps that Holliday is producing at such a high rate for the Yankees, but the invaluable leadership quality that he possesses should not go unnoticed, as the Yanks are in the middle of an unexpected incredible season and their fans should be showing Matt Holliday a ton of credit.