The New York Yankees scraped and clawed away at the 2019 regular season after losing several starters to injury. Their scrappy nature and ability to fill essential positions with unexplainable quality allowed them to break the 100-win mark. Third baseman, Gio Urshela, played a massive part in the team’s success, hitting .314 on the year and locking down the hot corner after the injury to Miguel Andujar.
The decision to keep Urshela, a career average player, at the third base, will be difficult for the Yankees and manager Aaron Boone. Still, it shouldn’t take much to justify his solidification at the position. Urshela offered high offensive production and a valuable defensive glove all season for the Yanks, and he might have earned himself an extension and the starting role, despite the return of Andujar.
The question is, do the Yankees resort back to their youth player or stick with the veteran who proved himself this year?
After taking over for Andujar, Urshela finished the first half of the season with a 117 wRC+ and league-average defense. Andujar’s deficiency is with his glove, which is concerning, especially considering he barely played in 2019. The veteran was even more stellar in the second half of the year, logging a 148 wRC+ and stellar defensive measures.
Can the New York Yankees trust Gio Urshela?
The primary concern with Gio is his consistency, as, before his most recent campaign, the highest he ever hit was .233. Sky-rocketing to .314 is undoubtedly impressive, but the reality is, those numbers may never repeat themselves. If he can replicate that in 2020, the Yanks should insert him into the third-base spot and forget about ever considering his replacing.
Also, it’s important to note that Boone could look to play the hot hand. Having two quality options at any given position is a significant problem to have, so we can rule out a potential trade or free-agent pickup. The salary allocations must be focused on the starting pitching rotation, which leaves the hot corner in the hands of Urshela and Andujar.