Yankees release slugger: Chris Gittens will reportedly play in Japan

chris gitten, yankees
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During the 2021 season, when the New York Yankees were struggling to get reliable production from their first basemen, they tried one under-the-radar name to see if he could at least be average offensively. He couldn’t quite achieve that feat, even though he had excellent numbers at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Chris Gittens couldn’t honor his nickname: “Hard Hittin’” slashed just .111/.250/.194 in 16 games and 44 plate appearances, with a home run and a 33 wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus), were 100 is considered average production.

Now, the Yankees are, per The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, releasing him so he can have the opportunity to get some playing time elsewhere.



Adler reported that “Yankees released 1B Chris Gittens, per their transaction page. My understanding is that Gittens intends to play in Japan.”

He couldn’t produce with the Yankees, but will try to do it in Asia

Gittens, who is 27 years old, was scorching hot in Triple-A, slashing .301/.440/.644 with 14 homers in 184 plate appearances. His wRC+ was an impressive 185. He produces lots of groundballs, but he has the potential to perform in a league like Japan.

Gittens was taken by the Yankees in the 2014 MLB Draft, in the 12th round. In two separate occasions, he has eclipsed the 20-homer barrier in the minor leagues. The Bombers, however, couldn’t give him an extended look.

Yankees hitting coordinator Dillon Lawson said, according to NJ Advance Media, that Gittens’ power is “pretty freaking special.”

“When you’re in the company of (Aaron) Judge and (Gary) Sanchez and (Giancarlo) Stanton and (Joey) Gallo — the top five in the world in exit velocity — all of those guys are one of one. It’s impressive. He’s a big leaguer, it’s certainly just a matter of when that happens.”

It looks like “Hard Hittin’ Chris Gittens” will be taking his talents to Japan, where he should receive more of a chance, like he deserves.

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