New York Yankees Mike Tauchman has been a slow blooming acquisition of the Yankees from the Colorado Rockies. He has spent most of his time in the minors but also has shown his abilities to play almost anywhere on the field. Late in the season he became one of the Yankees hottest bats. Let’s find out a bit more about this versatile player.
Mike is 29 years old; he is a multi-talented athlete having attended high school in Palatine, Illinois, where he played baseball and was the quarterback for the football team. In his senior year, he led a come from behind win against future NFL quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He attended Bradley University, where he played baseball for the Bradley Braves. In his senior in 2013, he won the Missouri Conference Player of the Year Award.
After college, he would be drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 summer draft. From 2013 through 2016, he would hit only one home run. But in 2017, he would hit 16 long balls. He would make his major league debut on June 27, 2017. He would play in 31 games in 2017 hitting .222. In 2018 he would be Pacific Coast League Player of the Week from May 14–20. In this week, he would make a big splash. He would hit .417 with five home runs with eight runs scored and a total of 27 bases. That wouldn’t last as he would only hit .097 for in 21 games in the major league. General Manager of the Yankees Brian Cashman saw something special in Mike and made a trade for him, making him a New York Yankee.
After the trade in March, he would make the opening day roster, which was a surprise to many Yankee fans, as it had appeared that Tyler Wade had earned the spot. Many questioned Cashman’s wisdom. In the first half of the season, he would bounce back and forth from Scranton Wilkes/Barre and the stadium. Before the All-Star break, he would hit .228 with four home runs in 42 games.
In the summer dog days, Tauchman would catch fire. In his final 45 games, Tauchman powered nine home runs, 20 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and slashed .315/.395/.582. Tauchman’s peak came in July when he had 13 RBI in 16 games, plus an OPS of 1.224. He seemed to find power and became a clutch hitter out of thin air and become an unexpectedly reliable contributor for the team. Unfortunately, Tauchman’s season came to a premature end after a Grade 2 calf strain sidelined him in September. He likely wouldn’t have played much in the playoffs anyway, but it was a sour end to a breakout season for Tauchman.
At 29, Mike should be coming into his prime. Last year the Yankees used him out of necessity due to the unprecedented number of injuries. This year, after last year’s surprising season, you may be seeing Mike “The Sockman” taking a much more major role in the Yankee success. He will most likely be platooning between the center and left field at least until Aaron Hicks returns from Tommy John surgery. Aaron Boone will want to keep Tauchman around as he also adds a crucial left-hand bat to the New York Yankee’s overly heavy lineup of right-handed batters.
Tauchman finished the year with a .277 batting average, hitting 13 home runs in only 82 games. With his excellent outfield defense, Mike is ready to contribute and wants to make an impact in his second season.