Yankees: 3 players with a lot to prove as 2023 season winds to an end

mlb: milwaukee brewers at new york yankees, giancarlo stanton
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees’ disappointing season is almost over, with just about two weeks remaining in the regular season.

During this final stretch, there are plenty of questions about certain players that will need to be answered. As the season comes to a close, three Yankees players are still playing with something to prove.

Can the Yankees rely on Giancarlo Stanton?

Giancarlo Stanton has been the topic of conversation for most of this season as he has been swarmed with criticism.

Stanton is in the midst of his worst season as a pro, currently hitting .194 with a 92 wRC+ and a -0.6 WAR, all of which are career-lows. While there still has been some power in his bat, as he has 23 home runs on the season, his whiff rate is in just the ninth percentile, according to Baseball Savant.

Therefore, Stanton has been all or nothing this season. Given that he was expected to be a serious force to be reckoned with in the middle of the Yankees’ lineup, the season he is having is beyond disappointing.

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Considering Stanton is playing under a massive contract he signed almost a decade ago with the Marlins, the Yankees will likely be unable to move him anytime soon based on this level of production. Stanton will need to use these final weeks of the season to prove he can once again become a formidable threat in the lineup, or else the Yankees will find themselves with a gaping hole at the DH spot.

Oswaldo Cabrera has been dreadful this season

Oswaldo Cabrera earned the opportunity to be an everyday player for the Yankees after a strong Spring Training, but his second big league season has been nothing short of dreadful, which resulted in him losing that everyday gig.

After a promising, yet, short-lived 2022 campaign, the utility man is hitting just .220 this season with only four home runs in 245 at-bats. Things have looked better for him over the past few weeks, as he is hitting .282 in his last 15 games, but the power in his bat has virtually disappeared.

The Yankees have tried to allow Cabrera to fix his swing in the minor leagues on numerous occasions, but injuries sustained by other outfielders on the roster have forced Cabrera to attempt to figure things out at the big league level. At this point, if Cabrera wants to earn his starting job back, he will have to earn that by staying consistent through the rest of the season and carry that over into Spring Training.

Can Oswald Peraza capitalize on this big opportunity?

Oswald Peraza was the leading candidate to be the Yankees starting shortstop entering Spring Training, but Anthony Volpe’s impressive performance forced Peraza to take a back seat in triple-A.

With their playoff hopes all but gone, the Yankees recalled Peraza in late August to give him his biggest opportunity as a big leaguer. It started out very slow for Peraza, but things have picked up lately, as he is hitting .300 over his last seven games and demonstrating a bit of pop with a booming home run into the Green Monster at Fenway Park on Thursday.

Peraza has the chance to prove that he can stay in the big leagues and possibly be the solution at third base, but he has to stay consistent the rest of the way and prove his latest success is sustainable.

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