The New York Yankees are finally bolstering their outfield by promoting Triple-A standout Jake Bauers to the 26-man roster, according to Chris Kirchner of The Athletic. The Yankees needed additional outfield support after Aaron Judge sustained a hip injury during an awkward slide on Wednesday, but the corresponding move has not yet been announced.
The loss of Judge is a substantial setback for the Yankees’ offensive output, particularly as the outfield has been underperforming at the plate. Bauers has been on fire at the Triple-A level, having refined his swing and prioritized contact over launch angle. This minor adjustment has led to considerable improvements.
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Why the Yankees need Jake Bauers to step up:
The 27-year-old veteran has played in 328 MLB games over three seasons, recording a .213 average with a .307 OBP and 82 wRC+. However, he appears poised for a significant leap forward, hitting .319 with a .460 OBP in Scranton. He also boasts a .812 slugging percentage and 1.271 OPS, crushing nine home runs with 20 RBIs and five stolen bases. As a former top prospect, Bauers brings a left-handed bat to Yankee Stadium, one that can take advantage of the short right porch.
Ultimately, amidst the outfield’s offensive struggles, Bauers aims to offer more value and make a greater contribution than players like Aaron Hicks, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Franchy Cordero, and Oswaldo Cabrera. Each of them has a sub-100 wRC+, indicating below-average performance at the start of the 2023 season.
The Bombers have been keeping a close eye on Bauers, and as injuries begin to accumulate, now is the perfect time to give him a chance.