With players returning from injury coupled with natural development, the New York Yankees offense is expected to do big things this year.
Giancarlo Stanton and other New York Yankees players have begun to ramp up their offseason workouts. The offense is primed for a historic season with a full season of Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit.
Here are some predictions as to what the Yankees offense could look like in 2020:
We begin with the catcher, Gary Sanchez. The Yankees catcher hasn’t played more than 130 games in a season in his career.
His strikeout rate was a career-high in 2019 and his walk rate dipped below 10%. He did post a career-high in barrel rate and that is one of the best predictors in baseball for success. Sanchez has hit 30 or more home runs in two of the last three seasons and I expect him to do as much again in 2020.
Release the Kraken; Sanchez will put 2020 of .255/.340/.565 line with 36 home runs and a 4.5 fWAR/150.
Yankees first baseman Luke Voit seemed to fall off at the end of the year due to injury. Voit still has two good attributes that could lead to success going forward, great plate discipline and a good barrel rate.
Voit’s defense will hold him back in his WAR calculations but he should still put up a solid season. Voit’s 2020 could see more than few trips to Beloit, with a 2020 line of .272/.383/.546 line with 31 home runs and a 3.7 rWAR/150.
At his best spot, DJ LeMahieu is going to be playing a full season of second base. DJ is a top-tier defensive second baseman and his prime value will come from that spot. He will likely take a step back offensively, even though there’s nothing to really indicate his performance isn’t sustainable.
I believe his overall value will remain roughly the same due to a full season as at his best defensive position. LeMachine’s final line is .318/.370/.485 with 18 home runs and 5.2 rWAR/150.
Gio Urshela earned the third baseman spot in 2019 and the Yankees front office believes his performance could repeat itself. His xwOBA was over .350 in 2019 and his exit velocity was above average. Urshela’s main issue is discipline. He swings a lot more often than the average hitter, both in and out of the zone.
If the Yankees’ third baseman can improve his discipline, he could see a similar result in 2020. I don’t think that happens, but I do think his ability to make the routine play improves to help his overall defense. The happiest fella’s final line is .279/.326/.469 with 21 home runs and 3.0 rWAR/150.
The young phenom, Gleyber Torres, had another solid year at the plate. His 125 wRC+ improved from the year before and he hit 39 home runs. Projections have put Torres hitting over 40 home runs in 2020 and beyond. I don’t see that happening and not entirely sure he will hit over 30 home runs either. Torres’s plate discipline improved slightly but he swung the bat inside the zone more in 2020.
I expect his plate discipline should improve and so should his glove. I also expect him to get a few more hits in 2020 as well. 2020 will be the year of Gleyber day with a .303/.374/.548 line with 28 home runs and a 4.8 rWAR/150.
Brett Gardner returns to the Yankees in 2020 and expects to be in the outfield on opening day. Gardner had one of his best years at the plate in 2020, but it comes with some signs of regression.
Gardner’s walk rate was the lowest it had been since 2015 and his xwOBA was well below average. His glove was still solid enough to warrant him being in the lineup, but Gardner should take a step back offensively.
The Gardy Party won’t be happening at the same rate in 2020 with a line of .243/.318/.390 with 12 home runs and 2.8 fWAR/150.
Mike Tauchman will be doing the bulk of the outfield work in Aaron Hick’s absence. Tauchman burst onto the scene in 2019 with stellar defense and quality offense. Tauchman’s expected stats would tell you he’s bound for regression, but Tauchman may be able to prove those wrong.
He has a “tight” launch angle which gives him a more repeatable swing. Thus, what he did in 2019, is not impossible for him to repeat in 2020. He’s also one of the best defensive outfielders and has that reputation in his minor league career. The “Sockman” can deliver a line of .267/.354/.476 with 15 home runs and a 3.8 fWAR/150.
Aaron Judge is ready to put the league on notice in 2020. I predicted a Judge break out already but to state the argument again. Judge hits the ball harder than anyone in baseball and has excellent plate discipline. His glove has improved the last few years and now has turned into one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.
Judge should be fully healthy in 2020 and is ready to put the league on notice again. Here comes the Judge, with a 2020 line of .293/.416/.680 with 51 home runs and an 8.8 fWAR/150.
Giancarlo Stanton missed most of 2019 and while the Yankees were able to produce his value through great performances from Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, and others. Stanton is needed in the lineup and one the second-best hitter on the team. Stanton’s career 142 wRC+ is one of the best in major league history.
Stanton should be splitting time in the field and at DH which would affect his WAR but allows him to focus on his offense. Giancarlo will give the Yankees two hitters with over 40 home runs in 2020, as his .272/.361/.585 with 43 home runs and a 5.1 fWAR/150 will help lead the way for the Yankees.
Several other players will contribute throughout the year, but that is most likely your opening day lineup. It provides the best defense and offensive value for the team. This Yankee squad is dangerous and could have one of the best offensive seasons of all time.