New York Yankees: What can we expect from Gio Urshela this year?

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela
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The New York Yankees had an interesting season last year. With all the injuries they had to deal with, they were set up to have a bad season. But as we know, that wasn’t the case. Every player that was brought up and given a role paid off and contributed to the team’s success. One of those players is Gio Urshela, who was a big part of the Yankees’ lineup and dazzled over at third base.

Tremendous Defense

It’s no question that Urshela is one of the best defensive third basemen in the Major Leagues. It’s ironic that the offseason before last season, the New York Yankees were looking to possibly sign Manny Machado for a huge price. Instead, Gio Urshela held it down for the Yankees and at the end of the season, Urshela only finished three spots behind Machado in fielding percentage.

Strong Bat in 2019

Despite being traded away from two teams due to the lack of offensive production, Gio Urshela was one of the most productive hitters in the Yankees’ lineup last season. He finished second in the team’s top 10 hitters, behind DJ LeMahieu.

It’s possible that Urshela was locked in all year and just had a good year, but I think the Yankee coaching turned his game around. In two seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Urshela batted .225 and .224. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and played 19 games, batting .233. As soon as he puts on pinstripes and steps into Yankee Stadium, he’s batting .314 with 21 home runs and in the mix for league batting leaders.

Simulated Stats (through May 26)

Baseball-Reference has simulated stats for Urshela at .250 batting average with nine home runs through 40 games. Of course, this is based on all his seasons including his struggling years with the other clubs, but I still believe this is insultingly low.

It’s hard to repeat a .300BA year after doing it for the first time, but I think Urshela can stay in the .290 range with 20-25 home runs. There shouldn’t be any concerns about third base, but it’ll be interesting how he hits this season after last year’s huge success.

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