New York Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman was among those who stepped up to have a tremendous 2019 season.
Like DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino, Tauchman was previously a member of the Colorado Rockies but came over in a trade unlike the other two. Before 2019, Tauchman appeared in just 52 games and had a .153 career average. That would all change.
The 29-year-old of Palatine, Illinois, hit .277 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs in 2019. He had a .504 slugging and a .865 OPS in just 260 at-bats. He spent some time in AAA throughout the year and missed the final three or so weeks of the season due to injury.
Tauchman had just one error in 86 games played on defense, and that’s incredible. He’s showing that his glove has the potential to be elite, and that helped him win playing time over the not defensively gifted Clint Frazier.
Tauchman is expected to play quite a bit for the Yankees, but will likely not quite be an everyday player.
The team has Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, and Giancarlo Stanton to play right, center, and left, respectively. The amount of playing time he gets will likely be dependent on how often Stanton plays the field. If Stanton plays a lot of defense, someone like Miguel Andujar or Mike Ford would likely DH. However, if Stanton DHs a lot, then we will see Tauchman more. And, we will, of course, see him any time an outfielder needs rest.
If Tauchman can do something similar to last year, that would be great for the Yankees. They don’t need him to bat .300 or anywhere near it. They need a reliable option to back-up the outfield, and Tauchman can provide that.