New York Yankees: One giant infield flaw

Nathan Solomon
New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres
Sep 23, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are one of the best teams in baseball and do many things very well. But, one of the things that the team lacks is infield defense. DJ LeMahieu is a stellar defender and the clear-cut best defensive infielder. Otherwise, the team is lacking in that department.

Gio Urshela is one of those guys who makes a lot of the tough plays but struggles on some of the routine ones. He had a defensive runs saved rating (DRS) of just one in 2019. His career DRS is a -2, and it’s somewhat surprising that he was in the big leagues for a few years before 2019 since his offensive was previously a huge struggle. His fielding percentage was also just a .954 in 2019.

Urshela’s third-base counterpart of Miguel Andujar is much much worse, coming in with a league-low -21 DRS rating in 2018. If it weren’t for that, he likely would’ve won Rookie of the Year that year. Across the diamond is Luke Voit, who had a -12 DRS rating in 2019.

At shortstop is Gleyber Torres, who had a -13 DRS rating in 2019. However, he platooned between shortstop and second base with the Didi Gregorius injury and was significantly better at shortstop. His DRS rating was a -1 at shortstop (still not particularly great), where he will be at for the foreseeable future. He also played more games at shortstop in 2019.

And of course, you can’t forget about Gary Sanchez. His defensive ratings aren’t awful, but he makes up a lot of his positive ratings on his arm and awareness. His career caught-stealing percentage is 33%, but it was down to 23% in 2019. His career-high was 41% in 2016. He has 47 passed balls in 306 career games, which is, uh, concerning. Sanchez also led the league in catcher errors in 2017 and 2019. He only caught 90 games in 2019, which is also somewhat concerning.

The Yankees don’t have very many flaws, but infield defense is for sure one of them.