The Yankees’ offense still has another big jump to make

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees couldn’t have started the 2024 season on a better note. They tore the Houston Astros down from their pedestal and set them back four games in the opening series. The Yankees now sit at a comfortable 4–0, already proving their worth against one of the best teams in the game.

Obviously, this is a different Yankee team than they’ve had in recent years, notably because of the impact Juan Soto has had early on.

Over the first four games, Soto’s value hasn’t just shown up in the batter’s box. He’s also made a number of quality defensive plays, including gunning a runner down at home plate on opening day to maintain a slim lead. However, he’s also made a number of diving catches and has already picked up a defensive run saved.

Juan Soto Has Represented the Yankees’ Offense

Offensively, the 25-year-old is the hottest player in the game right now, hitting .529/.600/.765, including one homer, four RBIs, and a 298 wRC+. He hosts a 15% rate and 10% strikeout rate, making every bat look like life or death.

With that being said, the Yankees still aren’t at full capacity since superstar slugger Aaron Judge has struggled to open the year.

The 31-year-old is hitting .125/.211/.188, recording one RBI and a 31.6% strikeout rate. Of course, Judge will continue to improve and look like his normal self, but the Yankees have been leaning heavily on Soto to get the job done. Last year, if Judge wasn’t producing, the Yankees simply had nothing to show for their efforts, and now they have a great security blanket in place to pick them up when Judge is down.

Once the veteran MVP award winner from 2022 has hit his stride, the Yankees will have one of the most dominant and intimidating offenses in the game. Judge and Soto batting back-to-back represents a gauntlet that opposing pitchers will struggle to get through.

Considering their historical on-base percentages, having Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton behind them will provide substantial results, and the Yankees know they haven’t even cracked the surface of what they can become.

At the very least, Steinbrenner has certainly witnessed firsthand what Soto can accomplish, and the idea of a blank check is certainly becoming more probable. After all, the Yankees have finally found Houston’s Kryptonite, and they can’t let that go.

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