New York Yankees Analysis: An analytical look at position match ups based on fantasy ratings

New York Yankees, JT Realmuto

For the New York Yankees, there is much talk about how to solve the team’s problems that cause them to fail, postseason after postseason, and this year losing the East Division. Do the Yankees have Torres at second or LeMahieu? Do the Yankees have Luke Voit at first or DJ at first? Do the Yankees have Brett Gardner in left or Mike Tauchman? Do the Yankees have Clint Frazier in right-field or Aaron Judge. You get the picture.

The Athletic’s Derek VanRiper has released his 2021 fantasy baseball draft rankings. He comes up with these rankings quite complicated and probably not of much interest to the average Yankee baseball fan. But trying to explain it in the most uncomplicated way, it’s a combination of The National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) and Games played by position (GPAP). Other factors go into the ratings as well; likely injuries and the effect of the past shortened 60 game season, and how much of an effect it had on performance considering the 2019 season.

What you really have to know about the rankings is that the lower the ranking, the better. In looking at these rankings, I will tease you with some comparisons for players the New York Yankees may be contemplating. There are several reasons that these rankings may be suspect, basically because the 2020 season was so unusual, and few know what effect that strange season may have had on players.

First, let’s look at our position players, starting at home plate and Gary Sanchez’s sub-par performance. Gary Sanchez – 197, Kyle Higashioka – NA (didn’t catch enough games). Austin Romine – 492.8, Yadier Molina – 299.8, J.T. Realmuto – 37.6. Most of the reason Sanchez’s ranking is as high as it is due to his home runs, not his defense or batting average. But look at the difference between Realmuto 37.6 and Sanchez’s 197.

First base; Luke Voit – 52.4, and DJ LeMahieu – 27.6. At second base, DJ at 27.6 and Gleyber Torres at 58.2. At shortstop, Torres 58.2 and Francisco Lindor – 17. Quite a difference at short. At third base Geo Urshela – 147.4 vs. Miguel Andujar – 423.8.  For outfielders, we have Clint Frazier – 176, Aaron Judge – 45.8, Giancarlo Stanton – 112.8, Aaron Hicks, 296.2, Brett Gardner – 575.2, and Mike Tauchman – 525. Both Tauchman and Gardner’s rankings were affected by lack of home runs, just like Stanton’s is better due to home runs.

These rankings are just another fun way to look at the value of players to the New York Yankees, rather than personal opinion or sportswriters’ opinion. Looking at these rankings, there is no question that J.T. Realmuto is an upgrade at the backstop, also even more obvious is the Francisco Lindor upgrade at shortstop. Another important observation is that at 27.6, DJ LeMahieu is the Yankee’s best overall player. You might also notice that of all the players on these lists (17) is Lindor.

On the pitching side, the New York Yankees Gerrit Cole rated the best of all starting pitchers at 5.8, Jordan Montgomery – 258, James Paxton – 278.8, Masahiro Tanaka – 300.8, Deivi Garcia – 304.6, J.A. Happ 425 and Jonathan Loaisiga at 658.8. Here is how the Yankee’s possible trade targets ranked: Adam Wainright 377.2, Jake Odorizzi 321.6, Walker 268, Lance Lynn 66.2, Corey Kluber 207, Charlie Morton 165.6, and lastly Trevor Bauer 15.8. This list shows that Trevor Bauer would be the Yankee’s best acquisition. For mid-rotation, it would be Lance Lynn, hands down.  I can’t compare Aroldis Chapman (90.4) and Zack Britton because the rankings only included closers. Of note is that Chapman was listed third best after Josh Hader of the Brewers and free-agent Liam Hindriks.