It’s no secret that the Yankees are missing many key players. In fact, the players on the IL essentially make up what was our Opening Day lineup. Due to all the injuries, the lineups these days look tremendously foreign. I mean, Brett Gardner batting third? Yet somehow the team has managed to still put up some impressing Statcast measures.
Even so, the team still has players who can hit. Clint Frazier, for one, is finally showing why he was such a highly touted prospect. However, we’ll have to wait to see more of him as he was placed on the IL Thursday.
Mike Tauchman is starting to come around. And of course, D.J. LeMahieu is his consistent self.
Looking at team Statcast measures, the Yankees rank high in many of them. Here are some of the categories when the team is near the top:
Hard Hit %
Exit Velocity (MPH)
Granted, Aaron Judge’s 66.7 percent hard-hit rate and 98.4 MPH average exit velocity ranked in the top one percent of the league. However, even with the small sample size, Kyle Higashioka has a 50 percent hard-hit rate and a 93.2 MPH average exit velocity. Luke Voit is in the top two percent of the league with a 21.4 barrel percentage. Even Austin Romine is above the team average in exit velocity (91.7 MPH).
The team also ranks fourth-best in the league with a 2.9 weak hit percentage and third-best in solid contact at 7.9 percent. In terms of WAR, Yankees hitters have accumulated a mark of 23.6, good for fifth best in the MLB.
On the pitching side of Statcast measures, the Yankees tend to be in the middle of the pack. They rank eighth in XWOBACON and barrel percentage against, as well as tenth in getting opposing hitters to chase pitches out of the zone. As expected, they rank very high in terms of strikeouts as a staff with 231 strikeouts (second-best). This includes guys like Domingo German stepping up, with a 1.75 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 25.2 innings pitched. He also currently leads the American League having only allowed 4.56 hits per nine innings.
Even having endured injuries to Luis Severino and CC Sabathia, the team’s starting pitching ranks fifth in the MLB in WAR at 12.7. The teams ahead of them are the Indians, Nationals, Astros, and Mets, all teams who were expected to have strong rotations coming into the season. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Yankees’ bullpen leads the league with a cumulative 5.3 WAR, well above the second-best team (the Astros at 4.1).
Putting the two together, the Yankees have the third-highest WAR at 41.6 (behind the Astros and the Dodgers) as well as the second-best run differential (+30) trailing only the division-leading Rays (+40). So while the team is tied for the fourth-most concurrent IL players with 13 on the shelf, the B-team is stepping up.