Yankees’ offense isn’t even ‘clicking’ yet, Aaron Boone says

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees currently sit 8–2 on the season after beating the brakes off the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon, winning 8–3.

The Yankees’ offense has been electric over the weekend, posting 17 combined runs, courtesy of Giancarlo Stanton emerging from slumber. Stanton entered the game as one of the team’s coldest players, but he is starting to heat up, and the middle of the batting order is benefiting significantly from his production.

“It’s great to rack them up,” manager Aaron Boone said of the team’s hot start. “They all count. I feel like every guy in there has contributed, and, especially early, that’s what you need.”

Over the past two games, Stanton has picked up four hits, five RBIs, two home runs, and a 415 wRC+. He smashed a grand slam on Sunday in the win, all but putting Toronto to bed early on the contest.

On the season, Stanton is only hitting .219/.242/.531, but does have three homers with a 121 wRC+. By those metrics, he is 21% better than the average MLB hitter, but he’s trying to reduce his 45.5% strikeout rate and increase his percentage, which currently sits at 3%.

Despite Stanton’s picking up the pace, manager Aaron Boone still believes the offense isn’t “clicking” just yet, so there’s plenty more to see from a unit that has several elite bats.

“We’ve been able to win games in different ways,” Boone said. “I don’t even feel like we’re totally clicking offensively yet. Yet we’re doing what we need to do. We’re seemingly making a big play when we have to.”

The Yankees Are Seeing Anthony Volpe’s Upside

One of the team’s most exciting players this season is Anthony Volpe. Although he’s only 22 years old, he looks like a seasoned veteran.

Volpe has played in nine games, missing one game due to a stomach virus. However, he’s hitting .424/.486/.606, including one homer, three RBIs, and three stolen bases. His 18.4% strikeout rate is nearly 10% less than his 2023 metrics, and he’s walking at a 10.5% clip with a 226 wRC+.

In fact, he’s already earned 0.9 WAR, half of his total from 2023 over 159 games. Defensively, Volpe has played 82 innings at shortstop, posting three defensive run saved and one out above average. With his hard-hit percentage increasing by about 2%, Volpe is making more frequent contact and spraying the ball around the field, utilizing his speed to pick up extra bases.

Aside from the core players, the Yankees are getting tremendous value from some of their reserves and bottom-half hitters. Austin Wells is starting to heat up at the catcher position, and Oswaldo Cabrera has been a fine supplement at third base in the absence of DJ LeMahieu. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees operate at lead-off once DJ returns, especially with Volpe being as hot as he is.

However, Aaron Boone may not want to fix something that’s not broken. Keeping Volpe in the six or seven-hole may be beneficial for the team, considering his pace at the moment. LeMahieu could easily slot back in as the lead-off man or the Yankees could keep Gleyber Torres there for the time being, where he’s currently hitting .250/.340/.300.

Nonetheless, Boone has a point: the Yankees’ offense isn’t entirely clicking because they’re not entirely healthy. Once LeMahieu returns and they get back one of the most experienced hitters and hit merchants, things should get even better, especially with the rest of the team starting to find their groove.

Of course, this isn’t even mentioning Giancarlo Stanton’s weekend, where he collected four hits with five RBIs and two home runs, including a Grand Slam on Sunday afternoon.

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