MLB won’t be playing official games in the foreseeable future. That’s a fact, and we should consider ourselves lucky if we get to see any action before June or July at this point. The New York Yankees, just like every other team, are playing the waiting game.
The available time and our fascination for stats leave us with plenty of opportunities to speculate what could happen in a shortened season, which is looking like the most likely scenario at this point.
In this case, we will look at which current members of the New York Yankees could lead several statistical categories in 2020. We don’t know if the schedule will have 162 games, 120, 100, 81, 40, or none, but let’s play along!
Yankees with a chance to lead categories
Batting average: I like DJ LeMahieu’s chances of winning the batting title in a shortened season. He is a career .302 hitter and had a .327 mark last year. He feasts on fastballs, breaking balls, offspeed stuff, you name it. The infielder has virtually no weaknesses in the batter’s box.
Runs: Several Yankees could lead the Major Leagues in runs in what is shaping up to be a fantastic lineup. Aaron Judge is a prime candidate with that beautiful on-base percentage, and DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres could be in the mix, as well. Judge scored 128 times in 2017, but he needs to stay on the field.
RBI: Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres are in the mix when we talk about runs batted in. The latter needs to keep growing in the plate and as a player, generally speaking, while the former needs to avoid hitting the IL.
Home runs: If health is on his side, I would favor Stanton over Judge (slightly) to win the home run crown. Let’s not forget that he hit as many as 59 while playing with the Miami Marlins.
Doubles: If he had regular playing time, I would put young slugger Miguel Andujar as the Yankees’ best candidate to lead the league in two-baggers. That’s not the case for now, however.
Walks: Aaron Judge and Luke Voit are the most logical choices here. The former has a career 16.1 BB%, and the latter holds a 11.9 mark, with a 13.9 register in an injury-filled 2019.
Pitching categories: Among current New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole is the most logical candidate to accumulate league-leading figures in wins, quality starts, ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.
However, in a shortened season, there could be enough variance and randomness that another hurler, say Masahiro Tanaka or James Paxton, could accumulate more wins than the free agent signing.