Last year, the Yankees had success from a lot of first-year signings. Players like Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, and James Paxton all had great debut seasons with the Yankees.
What should we expect from them this year?
DJ LeMahieu was the best player for the Yankees last year but will he perform that way again? LeMahieu is one of the best hitters in the MLB and that doesnâ€™t change overnight. He will still produce impressive numbers and be clutch for the Yankees, I estimate. With a shorter season and fewer opportunities at the plate, itâ€™s hard to see LeMahieu playing as big of a role in the Yankees’ success this year. Thatâ€™s not to say that it is not possible, it is just something that I see as a stretch.
Here are LeMahieuâ€™s numbers from last season: 602 AB, 197 H, .327 AVG, 102 RBIâ€™s, 27 HR, .375 OBP, .518 SLG, .893 OPS. Postseason: 44 AB, 13 H, .295 AVG, 7 RBIâ€™s, 3 HR, .373 OBP, .629 SLG, 1.002 OPS. Hard numbers to repeat.
On the other hand, I think Gio Urshela will get even better. He was to most people, more surprising than DJ LeMahieu. He now has a full season under his belt and I think he is bound to improve and be a game-changer for the Yankees.
His impressive numbers allowed him to take the spot of young hitting sensation Miguel Andujar. Everyone knew that Urshela was gold glove material but no one thought he would show up the way he did at the plate. His numbers were top-notch and got better as the season went on. Heâ€™s a player youâ€™re going to see in the Bronx long term.Â
Here are Urshelaâ€™s numbers from last season: 476 AB, 139 H, .314 AVG, 74 RBIâ€™s, 21 HR, .355 OBP, .534 SLG, .889 OPS. Postseason: 33 AB, 8 H, .244 AVG, 2 RBIâ€™s, 2 HR, .277 OBP, .428 OPS, .705 OPS. Very impressive numbers.
Lastly, we have James Paxton. James Paxton was acquired by the Yankees from the Mariners last year and I think itâ€™s safe to say that was a good move. The Yankees needed an ace last year and being held to that standard in the big apple is not easy. However, he performed great. He proved that he is ready for the bright lights. To me, heâ€™s in his prime and will pitch like an ace next year. Heâ€™s a free agent next season and I think itâ€™s no question he should be re-signed. The sky’s the limit for this guy.
Here are Paxtonâ€™s numbers from last season: 5-6, 3.82 ERA, 186 SO, 3.3 BB/9, 11.1 SO/9, 1.281 WHIP. Postseason: 1-0, 3.46 ERA, 20 SO, 4.8 BB/9, 13.8 SO/9. These are ace quality stats.
All of these players are going to be sticking around for a while. I am confident they will all win a World Series together one day!