New York Yankees: Mid-season player report cards and comparisons

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

Before the 2021 season started, the New York Yankees looked like they had their best chance of accomplishing the next world championship goal. Two major competitors seemed to be far less strong. The Boston Red Sox with a new controversial manager and in complete disarray, and a Tampa Bay team that had traded away some of their best pitchers were Yankee Killers.

Then everything was turned on its head. The Yankees got off to a plodding start (5-10) while the Tampa Bay Rays outplayed them, and to add insult to injury, the Yankees were 1-5 against them. The bigger surprise for the Yankees was that the hapless Red Sox were 10-5 during the same fifteen-game period.

Now at the halfway point, the New York Yankees are playing inconsistent ball and are nine games out of first place in the AL East.  They can’t win against the Red Sox nor the Tampa Bay Rays. With the Yankees seemingly unable to right their ship, the team gets a D on their report card. That D extends to manager Aaron Boone who doesn’t seem to be able to inspire his team to play to their capabilities.

The first figure next to the player’s name is their card from the first quarter and the second is the change since then.

Gerrit Cole, A+/A

Gerrit Cole has a record of 8-4, ERA 2.66 with 129 strikeouts. His record 6-2, ERA 1.81in the first quarter was absolutely amazing this season, considering he has gotten pretty poor run support. He is second in all of baseball with 129 strikeouts. He also has gone deeper into games than any other Yankee pitcher. At the quarter, he led the majors in strikeouts; he is now 5th. Although he is the best Yankee pitcher, his performance has fallen off. Yankee fans expected him to win 20 games this season; at this point, that doesn’t seem likely.

Corey Kluber, A/B

Record 4-2, ERA 2.86. After a slow start in the last several games, Corey Kluber has shown that he can be the Cy Young Award pitcher that he has been in the past. First, he recorded the Yankees’ 12th no-hitter against the White Sox. But then he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. He will be out for at least another month.

Domingo German, A/C

Record 4-5, ERA 4.50, his record at the quarter was 4-2, ERA 3.05. After a rough start being sent down to Scranton, he had returned to his 2019 form when he was 18-4. The New York Yankees won six straight of his starts. But then things went downhill fast; in the second quarter, he hasn’t had a win. The Yankees have lost his last two starts, and he hasn’t gone more than 4.1 innings since June 6th.

Jordan Montgomery, B+/B+

Record 3-2, ERA 4.06, his record at the quarter was 2-1, ERA 4.07. Montgomery has been pretty good but also quite inconsistent. Other than Gerrit Cole, he is second in strikeouts but also suffered from a lack of command. Four of his starts at the quarter were for five or fewer innings. However, in June, he has pitched into the sixth inning in all of his games and complete seven innings on May 21st. The interesting thing about his stats is that the Yankees have won 11 of his 15 starts.

Jameson Taillon D+/F

Record 3-4, ERA 5.43, his record at the quarter was 1-3, ERA 5.06. Jamison Taillon has not fully shaken off all the rust from his lack of pitcher after two Tommy John surgeries. His 5/23 outing against the White Sox was one of his best. However, since then, he has only gotten worse and is the Yankees’ most undependable pitcher.

Aroldis Chapman A+/B+

At the quarter, his relief record 4-0, ERA 0.47. Chapman, with the addition of his new splitter and has been lights out, going 19 games without giving up a run and recording almost 2.1 strikeouts a game. However, on May 8th, he proved he was human by giving up his first run of the season. Since then, he has blown 3 saves and took the loss in two games and, most recently, on 6/30, failed a hold in an unbelievable 9th inning, giving up 4 earned runs while only recording a single out. If he continues his 9th inning struggles, his report card will drop like a rock.

Jonathan Loaisiga A/A+

Record 7-3, ERA 2.32, was 3-2, ERA 2.49 at the quarter. Loaisiga, ever since spring training, has been manager Boone’s most dependable reliever. Since the last report card, he has only gotten better being Boone’s most reliable reliever.

Lucas Luetge B+/B+

Record 2-1, ERA 3.15; at the quarter, it was 2-0, ERA 2.95. Luetge, after a long time out of the majors, was given a change by the Yankees, and he has not disappointed this season. He had only one bad relief appearance when he gave up 3 runs in the 6/30 game against the Angels.

Chad Green  B/B+

Record 2-4, ERA 2.48, at the quarter he was 0-3, ERA 2.25. Chad Green is Chad Green, the most dependable reliever the Yankees have had over the last several years. This season he has been put into some challenging situations but still has a low 2.48 ERA.

Luis Cessa C/B+

Record 1-1, ERA 3.31. At the quarter, he was 0-0, ERA 3.00, and hadn’t got into full relief mode, but history shows he gets better as the season progresses. That holds pretty much true as he is a dependable reliever. He gets nearly a strikeout per inning and has given up only twelve runs in 36 innings pitched. At this point in the season, he has the best ERA of his 6-year career.

Aaron Judge A+/A+

Batting average .285 at the half. Aaron Judge has been gangbusters lately after a slow start to the season, hitting 12 home runs and leading the team in hits at the quarter. At the half, he has 18 home runs and leads the team in every stat except doubles. He has played well enough to be the only New York Yankee to be elected to the 2021 All-Star Game in Denver.

Giancarlo Stanton A+/A

Batting average .269. Before going on the IL with a quad strain, Stanton led the team in home runs and was the spark that ignited the team. After a brief off period, he is hitting again and has the second-most home runs on the team.

Gleyber Torres A/C

Battin average .242. Gleyber Torres got a lot of flack at the beginning of the season for poor field play, and he wasn’t hitting. That changed, and his fielding and hitter went up. Now it has changed again, and his batting average is down, and so is his defense. He has been inconsistent and has hit only 3 home runs, compared to his 38 in 2019.

Gio Urshela B+/A

Batting average .272. Gio Urshela continues to shine at the hot corner making amazing play after amazing play. He has also been the most consistent Yankee hitter, performing at key moments. He has 10 homers on the season.

DJ LeMahieu B/B+

Batting average .273. LeMahieu is still one of the Yankee’s best hitters but is not performing anywhere near like he did last season. He bats almost full 100 points below the average he ended up with last year, earning the baseball batting title.

Brett Gardner C/C

Batting average .204. Gardner is not hitting this year and has yet to hit his first home run of the season. But he is better than several of the bench players. In the field, he hasn’t lost a beat, making incredible plays. All three of his home runs have been in the month of June. So he may finally be heating up.

Clint Frazier D/F

Batting average .186. Frazier has hit pretty poorly so far in the season, although he seems to be coming into form of late. This season’s main asset is his mostly stellar play in the field, making many wild diving catches and taking runs away from opponents. However, he is the team’s biggest disappointment this year and may soon be on the trading block.

Gary Sanchez D-/B+

Gary Sanchez has been a tale of two different players. After hitting only .147 last season until recently, he looked to be on track to have another lousy season. He even lost his starting catching job to Kyle Higashioka. But after having a .178 batting average at the quarter, he has raised that to .238. In addition, he has 8 home runs in June after only having 6 during April and May combined. He is the New York Yankees’ most improved player.

Luke Voit X/D

Luke Voit after not starting the season due to knee surgery has returned to the team. He has yet to get him hitting rhythm he is batting just .195 since his return on May 11th. He has only 3 home runs compared to his 22 last season when he was the baseball home run leader.

Some players did not get report cards due to not playing enough games or being in the IL for a prolonged period.

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