The New York Yankees are not known for their speed as a team. When you think of the “Bombers,” the 2020 edition will be just that: a powerful team with lots of hitters capable of belting myriads of home runs. However, they do have some speedster and guys that can take advantage of that in the basepaths.
One of them, perhaps the best and most dangerous baserunner on the team, is Tyler Wade. The Yankees will likely use him to their advantage based on a single rule change that will be implemented in the 2020 shortened season.
For this year, each extra inning will begin with the batting team having a runner on second base. A guy like Tyler Wade can wreak havoc in the bases. While stolen bases aren’t particularly useful in that situation, he can advance to third on a fly ball, or even score from second on a single. He has game-changing speed.
According to manager Aaron Boone’s latest conference call, he will use that to the Yankees’ benefit. “There is no question that he (Wade) is an elite baserunner and that shows up when he gets in the game,” the skipper said.
The Yankees have a game-changer in the basepaths
Wade was in the 93rd percentile in MLB when it comes to sprint speed. Per Statcast, Wade is the fastest player on the Yankees with an average of 29.1 feet per second on the bases last year.
But the New York Yankees also expect Wade to be a valuable super-utility player, not just an extra-inning baserunning weapon.
“Tyler can be that really valuable super-utility guy, rule change or not. He has an ability to defend the middle of the diamond, in the infield, and we have seen just how good an outfielder he can be when we have put him in that situation. For him, it’s about continuing to progress offensively and we think he can be a very valuable player for us,” Boone said.
“He is always (trying to improve) his offensive game, and looking to take advantage of his speed, laying down a bunt, and working on that line drive swing. He’s got a pretty good understanding of the strike zone and hopefully, with more reps and opportunities, we can start to see that at this level,” the manager said.
For his career, Wade has a .197/.268/.298 line, which improved to .245/.330/.362 last season.