Giancarlo Stanton is starting? How about the 2nd coming of Babe Ruth, Mike Ford instead? 😎 pic.twitter.com/clgGTBMW6j
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) February 27, 2020
In the 2019 season, Ford slashed .259/.350/.559/.909 with a .372 wOBA, 134 wRC+ and a 0.8 fWAR in 163 plate appearances. Although his defense isn’t superior by any stretch of the imagination, his metrics prove he’s a more reliable defender than Luke Voit.
In 217.0 innings played, Ford posted a -1 DRS and a -1.5 UZR, while Voit posted a -6 DRS and a -3.9 UZR in 706.1 innings played. If you want to dive further into advanced analytics, Ford posted 2 outs above average, while Voit posted -6 outs above average.
In the 2019 season, Voit slashed .263/.378/.464/.842 with a .360 wOBA, 126 wRC+ and a 1.7 fWAR in 510 plate appearances. I’m not a math magician, but I can acknowledge that a 0.8 fWAR in 163 plate appearances is significantly more productive than a 1.7 fWAR in 510 plate appearances.
Assuming Ford didn’t experience a massive slump and received just as many plate appearances as Voit, he could’ve produced anywhere from a 2.0 fWAR season to a 3.0 fWAR season just from his offensive production alone.
Ford doesn’t have to be in a position to start every game, as Voit will be the primary 1B, but more opportunities would be ideal. How would this work?
With Giancarlo Stanton questionable to begin the season and the general concern surrounding his history of injuries, placing Ford as a backup 1B/DH is a practical solution.
Miguel Andújar won’t start every day at DH and Voit won’t start every day at 1B. While you could make the same argument for Clint Frazier at DH, Ford’s lefty power bat is essential for blending and providing variety to the lineup.
In the worst case scenario, assuming Frazier improves upon his defensive abilities, him and Mike Tauchman can rotate playing LF. Either or, the Yankees lineup is stacked with reliable hitters who will make a significant impact moving forward.