The New York Yankees lost a couple of fan favorites this offseason, the heartthrob Tyler Wade and the kid with the great local story, Andrew Velazquez. Two players that most Yankee fans are not happy to see gone. But looking deeper will the Yankees miss them now that they are gone?
The answer if you do some soul searching and stats checking, is probably not. Wade always thought of a a real cute guy to Yankee female fans, spent his entire 9 year career, including the minors with the Yankees. But in all that time he was never a stand out player, mostly known for his versatility and base running and stealing. He never was a power hitter, but looking deep into his 2021 season when he played the most, he had some career lows.
On the surface he was coming off his best season in the majors. Wade slashed .268/.354/.323 in 2021 with a 92 wRC+ and 0.9 fWAR over 103 games. You have to admit those a pretty good numbers for his role on the team. Wade last week turned 27-years old.
Concerning, is that he saw a big drop in his hard hit balls, that was low to begin with. His average exit was 82.2 mph with only a 13.8-percent hard hit rate were both career lows. He got the most at bats last year of his major league career. But the more at bats you have, it shows more of the type of player you really are. Wade also experienced a career low in barrel percentage with 1.1 percent.
This past season his batting average was quite a bit better compared to previous seasons, but his career lows suggest that he could easily go back to his previous numbers that were less than exciting.
We never expected Wade to be an over the fence guy or a hard hitter. His role has been mostly coming off the bench to run or provide defense. Therein lies another problem, looking at the numbers his defense was nothing to rave about either.Â He had -4 defensive runs saved at shortstop and -5 DRS at second base in only 63.1 innings, which was the worst of anyone that played second base last year. Even worse than GleyberÂ Torres. The only way he could really contribute is with his base running while costing the Yankees with his poor defense. Looking at the whole picture he really wasn’t an asset for the Yankees.
Andrew Velazquez was an entirely different story. Looking back, it was more about his story than his play. Born and raised in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, being the only home town boy to play for the Yankees, made him and his story really popular without doing a thing.
Sadly for the hometown boy, looking at the stats, his story may be interesting but his hitting and defense was nothing to write back home to his parents, that also live in the Bronx. Velazquez hit .224/.235/.358 with a .594 OPS and 57 wRC+. He was a non-factor at the plate, especially with his 33.8-percent strikeout rate.
But similar to Wade his job was not to be a big time hitter, but to provide base running and defense, something else he was not that good at. At short he committed three errors, when you factor in the innings played that could actually have been worse than Torres who was among the worst in the majors.
Going forward neither of these players contributed much to the Yankees. They actually may have cost the Yankees. Now we just have to wait and see if Brian Cashman replaces them with upgrades. Hopefully both Wade and Velazquez will play better with a new environment, and Yankee fans wish them well.