Now that some time has passed and people are awaking from their collective faints, it’s time to take a statistical look at the new Yankee third baseman.
When the Yankees step on the field opening day, a lot of familiar faces will be there and they all will be joined by perennial Red Sox Kevin Youkilis. I’ll give you a moment to picture that scenario…
Youkilis has been in the league 9 years and started getting significant playing time back in 2006. During that span, he has hit 148 homeruns and drove in 610 runs while hitting .283.
Youkilis is an average third baseman. In his career, he’s topped 20 homers only twice back in ‘08 and ‘09. 2008 was definitely Youk’s career year hitting .312 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs, finishing third in the AL MVP voting. Aside from that year, Youk hasn’t topped the 100 RBI mark in his career.
A platoon role might be exactly what Youk needs at this point in his career. The most games Youk has ever played were 147 and that was back in 2006. In the past three years, the number of games Youk has played goes as follows 102, 120 and, last year, he played 122 between the two Sox teams.
Switching gears to the defensive side of the ball, Youkilis played a total of 111 games at third base last season. He had a fielding percentage of .964, committing 9 errors in 248 chances. This led for Youk to have a defensive WAR (Wins About Replacement) of 0 between his two stops.
It should be noted that, the entire reason Youkilis will being wearing pinstripes is because Alex Rodriguez won’t be back until at least mid-season. A-Rod is having hip surgery, not on the same hip as before. So, when Rodriguez does come back, he’ll have had surgery on both of his hips. So having a solid back up like Kevin Youkilis could be huge when going down the stretch.
The Yankees should be excited about is that Youkilis’ production went up after last year’s trade to the White Sox. In 80 games, half a seasons worth, Youk’s power numbers reemerged and he hit 15 homers and drove in 46 RBIs. If the Yanks could get that kind of production from the hot corner they’d take it.
Babe Ruth, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon and, now, you can add Kevin Youkilis’ name to that list as former Red Sox to step into pinstripes. Time will tell if Youkilis can have the same kind of success that those three had while they were in New York. The Yankees sure hope he does.