Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Outfielders!

Now we're rolling.

Hey, we have to extend this.  I forgot:  the All-Star break is now 4 days...which makes the decision to give away 2 games in St. Petersburg all the more ridiculous.

But that's all blood under the bridge.  Here are our outfield grades:

OUTFIELDERS:

Aaron Judge: Inc, A— pending.

What's not to like about The Judge?  Great name, great attitude.  Even when he was out for nearly two months this year, he could regularly be seen in the Yanks' dugout, cheering on his teammates.

His hitting is still up around last year's—.917 OPS, as opposed to .919 then—he is a good outfielder with a terrific arm, he can steal the occasional base, and he has a lot of field sense.  He is, as they used to say, a credit to the game.

So, what's to worry about?

Only this: he is another potential superstar who can't stay on the field.  103 games on the EL just in the last year-and-a-half, and let's not forget the two months of so in 2017 when he slumped horribly while trying to play through a shoulder injury.

I'm not saying it's PEDs—in fact, I'd say it almost certainly is not—but one has to wonder how much of Judge (coincidentally, Babe Ruth's nicknamed.  Besides "Babe," that is.) we'll see in the years ahead.  Ironically, this giant of a man seems to shrink steadily in one's consciousness.  I can't tell you now how infrequently I think of him in the context of any Yankees situation.  It's as if he already some long-retired player:  'Say, remember when we had Roger Maris?  Or Dave Winfield?'

Not a good sign.

Aaron Hicks: Inc, B— pending.

The other, likable Aaron.  Who also cannot stay on the field.

Hey, he's a useful piece—when he can play.  He can (or could) do a lot of different things, and while he's only hit .233 this much-interrupted season, he has been bombing the clutch hits, and he plays a good outfield.

But the big, 7-year deal was ridiculous; I wonder if we're going to be calling him "Giancarlo, Jr." before long?  So is the frequently heard contention that he is "the second-best centerfielder in the American League."  Right, because there is Mike Trout and ____________?

What's more, a partial speed player, Hicksie seems to be losing that skill (as speed players will) with only 1 stolen base in the 41 games he has managed to play this year.  He seems to be a classic Cashman inamorata, beloved because Coops got him.  I suspect his shelf life is very limited.

Brett Gardner: B+

The surprise player on the Yanks this year.  After an awful start, he has reversed the whole tendency of his career, looking better and stronger the more he's played.  Up to 15 homers and 8 steals now, if he can keep this up it'll be huge.

If.  The likelihood is great, of course, that Brett will go south in the second half.  If he does not, that will be a huge step forward for us.

Cameron Maybin: A+

Wow, what's not to like?  The guy has played out of his head for us: .891 OPS, has been showing power like he never did before, and covers a mile of turf out there.  The injury was a bummer.  But this guy could actually take somebody's starting job away.

Mike Tauchman: C

And a very solid "C" at that.  The man has done much more than we could have hoped, playing well in the field, hitting some big home runs.

Trouble is, there's only so much talent here.  He does nothing on the road (0 HRs, .595 OPS away; 4 HRs, .857 OPS in the Bronx), he strikes out a crazy amount (39 times in just 129 plate appearances), and Coops, as is his wont, is pushing his stay to the limit.  He was a nice find, a good plaster job.  Time—past time—to truly rebuild the outfield.

Clint Frazier: Suspended. B+ pending.

Master Frazier has talent and an obvious future, if he could only apply himself.  Instead, he does not play well with others and is frequently tardy or absent.  We suspect problems at home.

It will be very sad to see Clint transfer, as now seems likely.  But it's is also unfair to the other students to have to put up with his constant whining, pouting, and temper tantrums.  A timeout would seem to have been a more appropriate punishment.

Giancarlo Stanton: ?

The staff regrets to report that we can find no file or other records of any sort regarding this student.  We have heard credible rumors of his existence, but we are at a loss to predict when he might be seen again, or what his grade will be.

There have also been indications that he might take on a more full-time enrollment, playing the outfield as well as batting.  Considering the precarious state of his health, this could well lead to a more permanent state of truancy, akin to that which has fallen Mr. Ellsbury.

Next up:  Starting pitchers!  (Yes, we do have them.)









9 comments:

Carl J. Weitz said...

All in all fair grades. Except I wouldn't have given Hicks more than a C minus. Ditto for Tauchman.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Hicks = incomplete.
Seems like there have been more in the revolving door.

Anonymous said...

CAN STANTON EVEN BE CONSIDERED AN OUTFIELDER?

DEBATABLE.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Stanton is serviceable as a fill-in. Either as a off day for a regular or an injury replacement. He carried the Yankees for a while last year.

Is he ok as a regular starter in the OF? Hell, no. However, I think he is less dangerous defensively than the red menace has been.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Not that I like his contract. At all. Except it's better than Glassbury's.

Joe of AZ said...

I think Glassbury deserves an A+..... for staying off the team

cabish47 said...

I thought the Babe's teammates called him "Jidge" for George. Might be wrong.

JM said...

Jidge? Is that the Walter Brennan pronunciation of Judge?

HoraceClarke66 said...

You know, I think you're right cabish47. Although I have seen it as "Judge" also. But Jidge makes much more sense.