New York Yankees Most Underrated Player of the Month

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela
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With New York Yankees youth star Miguel Andujar rehabbing from a small labrum tear, the third base position became a massive question mark. The Bombers tried DJ LeMahieu out at the corner spot but he’s not accustomed to playing there, so they had to look for outside help to fill the spot.

Gio Urshela was brought in to help fill the void with adaptable talent, and he’s been fantastic since joining the Yanks several weeks ago. Take a look at his improvement compared to his past production in the majors.

Urshela’s Offensive Improvement

Season BB% BABIP wRC+
2015 6.3 0.266 65
2017 4.8 0.256 41
2018 4.3 0.281 67
2019 10.8 0.360 115

FanGraphs



How has Gio Urshela been so effective for the New York Yankees?

Now only has Gio’s BABIP for 2019 improved, but there are two categories in which he’s elevated his game. His increased walk-rate has directly raised his OBP. This also directly influences his strike-out rate, lowering it significantly. The league’s average strikeout rate is 23.4% and Urshela sits at 18.9%.

These two influential improvements have allowed him to get on base more frequently and score more runs as a result. Something about playing for the Yankees seems to bring the best out in inconsistent players.

In 11 games for New York, he’s hitting .294 with 15 hits, 1 homer, and 5 walks over 51 at-bats. However, aside from his offensive production, his defense has been solid too, turning seven double plays in 18 total games. Andujar turned just six double plays in all of 2018. This is a massive upgrade defensively for the Yanks with Urshela at third and could indicate him staying put as Andujar features as the designated hitter until Urshela inevitably hits a cold-streak.

The expectation is that Andujar will return in the next few weeks as he joins the minors and plays in several games to regain his form.