While the New York Yankees are seeking reinforcements from the injured list, right now they are showing the league they are far more dangerous.
This is not the team the New York Yankees dreamt up when they headed into the 2019 season. The names they trot out each day are not evoking any fear in the hearts of their opponents.
Which is more terrifying? Aaron Judge or Mike Tauchman? Miguel Andujar or Gio Urshela? Let’s face it: the Yankees out on the field right now are not intimidating in the least, and yet, they are coming away with wins almost every night.
The New York Yankees are known as the Bronx Bombers and that reputation has been upheld with big bats like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks. While Luke Voit is holding down the fort with the power, this lineup is not quite known for their power.
And because of that, that should make the Yankees less dangerous, right? Wrong.
While this has been a trying time for the Yankees, they still are managing to win and they’re doing so using alternative methods.
You know what I mean. Small ball. Hit and run plays. Actually hitting with runners in scoring position. They’re doing it all and the league should take notice.
The home runs are stellar but this squad is proving that the team’s talents run far deeper than the long ball. While last year’s team could be easily shut down when they didn’t have the opportunities to hit home runs, this year their game has improved on all fronts.
One of those improvements comes from having a little more speed on the base paths. While Sanchez and Stanton can hit bombs, they can’t typically advance to get into scoring position from a steal. Tyler Wade, Brett Gardner and Thairo Estrada, however, are bringing that lightning speed back to the base paths.
In the first 20 games of the season for the Yankees, the Bombers stole six bases. In their last 10 games, they’ve stolen 12 bases and, probably not coincidentally, have gone 7-3.
Tyler Wade is leading the charge there, adding five stolen bases on this season in just 19 games. Last season, in 23 games, he only had one stolen base.
Speed is a big deal but now so is hitting with runners in scoring position. The previous Yankees didn’t seem to believe that was a real stat so when it came to plating runs, they relied on the home run.
Not anymore. This season the Bombers are batting .272 with runners in scoring position while last season they were batting 20 points lower.
It’s not a problem to rely on the home run. In fact, when the big guys come back, they’ll be aiming for the fences to make up for lost time. However, when the big guns return, the Yankees are going to need some of these no-name players who are driving in runs using other methods.
That, my friends, is what we call a complete team. It’s not just about the home runs. It’s not just about the small ball. The combination of the two will lead to far more success for this team.
Last year, they struggled when it came to producing runs other than from the home run. The Boston Red Sox actually looked complete, doing it all and winning practically every game. It’s 2019 and the tables have turned.
Home runs aren’t bad but with the Yankees steadily improving on their small game, they’ve just become far more dangerous than they ever were before.