The New York Yankees are working diligently to prepare for the 2022 regular season, which starts on April 7. While the starting pitching rotation has struggled, the Yankees’ offense has been dominant, displayed by a whopping of the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.
Thanks to dominant power-hitting, the Yankees outscored Philadelphia 14–2, including a grand slam from 25-year-old third baseman Max Burt.
However, Marwin Gonzalez has been the more underrated players this spring, who the Yankees signed to a minor-league contract and spring invitation. Gonzalez has made a legitimate case to be on the opening day roster as a utility man who can play multiple spots.
Gonzalez has experience at shortstop, third, first, second base, left field, and right field. The majority of his actions come in the infield, which provides extreme value for a team that is still trying to piece together the starting roster.
At 33 years old, Gonzalez is coming off a 2021 season where he split time with the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. He hit a collective .199 after posting a .211 average in 2020. By most accounts, Gonzalez has fallen off significantly from his best year in 2017 with Houston, where he hit .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs.
Nobody expected Gonzalez to be such a dominant threat at the plate this spring, but he’s been tremendous, posting a .545 average width six hits, three homers, and nine RBIs over 11 at-bats. While the sample size is extremely small, new hitting coach Dillon Lawson has done a great job getting the most out of the Yankees batters recently.
Given general manager Brian Cashman DFA’d Rougned Odor and Tyler Wade, they need a bit more infield depth that can fill multiple positions to supplement injury. Gonzalez fits the bill perfectly, hosting a .969 fielding percentage at shortstop, .968 percentage at third base, and .980 percentage at second base. Most of the Yankees’ current starters hover around those numbers at every position, showcasing Marwin’s value.
With just a week left until opening day, Gonzalez has a few more opportunities to show why he’s deserving of a major league contract, but at this rate, I would be surprised if he wasn’t included.