Stamford, CT: Through Sunday, the New York Yankees have the best record in baseball at 46-21. They are on pace to break the record for most home runs in a season of 264. It has been impressive. But looking up and down the Yankees lineup, there are plenty of guys who are having sub-par years. Do the Bombers have room for growth in the second half?
No one expected Miguel Andujar and phenom Gleyber Torres to come up and produce this quickly. Gleyber, who missed the first few weeks of the season, is fifth on the team in RBIs, only five behind Giancarlo Stanton. Andujar, who only got a chance due to Brandon Drury’s injury, has the highest batting average on the team of the regulars at .293. He is also second on the team in hits.
Just Right Acheivers
Aaron Judge has done his part, leading the Yankees in HRs, RBI, OPB, slugging, and runs. But he hasn’t really gone on a tear yet. Austine Romine has been a stellar backup catcher, hitting .329 with 20 RBI in only 70 ABs.
Other than that, point to a Yankee who is having an above average year. Gary Sanchez is hitting .192. Stanton’s power numbers are not terrible, but his average is down about 20 points from his career. He’s also striking out on a pace to blow past 200, when he’s never had more than 170.
Didi Gregorious went into a prolonged slump after a hot start, and vice versa for Brett Gardner. Aaron Hicks and Neil Walker have had their moments, but haven’t been great. Greg Bird hasn’t looked great since coming off the DL.
For a few quick examples of what might be coming, Stanton has averaged 44 dingers over 162 games in his career. Hell, the man hit 59 last year. With only 16 so far this year in a little over 40 percent of the season, we could be looking at around 25 bombs the rest of the way. Sanchez has averaged an even better 45 HRs per 162 games, albeit in a smaller sample size. And as a catcher, he’ll play a lot fewer than 162 games. Still, with only 13 so far, I think we can book him for about 20 more if he can get it going.
The Yankees are third in the league in runs scored with 359, but that’s in five fewer games than the two teams above them. If the Yankees score their average of 5+ runs in those five games, they’ll be in first. However, the Yankees are way down at #17 in hits. As you may have heard, this is a team that relies on the long ball.
Top Heavy AL
The American League standings are as top heavy as Kate Upton wearing a lead sombrero. Four teams (NY, Houston, Boston, and Seattle) are at least 20 games over .500. The Angels and Indians are four games over and the A’s are an even .500. Everyone else is below. At this rate, the four playoff teams will be determined before September.
So we have a lineup of Yankees hitters who might have a better second half facing a bunch of crappy pitching and second half call ups. It could be a big offensive second half for Los Yankees de Nueva York.
It should be a fun second half if you like to see the Yankees bludgeon teams. But is this team too reliant on the big fly? The 1997 Mariners currently hold the HR record and things worked out for them, right?
Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward, whose writing has room for growth in the second half of the year. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.