The Yankees have acquired both Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, pushing their chips in and trying to get left-handed bats. Both Gallo and Rizzo are some of the better hitters in baseball, and they’re going to made immediate impacts. The only question: how should the Yankees lineup be ordered? The Yankees start a series in Miami where they’ve confirmed Gallo will play, but with Rizzo being official tonight, perhaps he’s ready as well.
Considering the stats of players on the season as a whole, how do we revamp this lineup? The Yankees need to shake things up, and if they can do so, I think they’ll see an offensive explosion.
Let’s build a lineup for the Yankees.
Who’s In CF?
When I initially wrote about Joey Gallo being a good fit, I mentioned how he was a good defender in centerfield. The Yankees could try to play Gallo full-time in CF, and I think it would make a lot of sense. He’s got great defensive skills, a great arm, and has decent speed. He’s racked up 14 DRS in the outfield this year, so I think they can live with him in centerfield for the remaining 55-60 games. It opens up leftfield for my next bold move as well.
Put Stanton in LF
The Yankees got the healthiest version of Stanton in 2018 when he was their full-time left-fielder. Im not saying that it automatically means that Stanton playing the field would keep him healthier, but DH’ing him hasn’t done much either. He’s an elite defensive left-fielder, with 49 career DRS in the outfield. Putting his rocket arm in left field even with limited mobility should provide the Yankees with a way to open up their DH spot to give Luke Voit a chance to play as well. With all of that out of the way, let’s talk about what goes into building a lineup
What Goes Into Constructing a Perfect Yankees Lineup?
Well if we’re being honest, it’s usually just the best hitters in order of 1 through 9. There are some spots in the lineup that differ.
The leadoff spot should be for the player with the highest OBP or walk rate on the team, not necessarily the best hitter (which we will use wRC+ to determine). The 2nd spot is saved for the team’s best hitter. The 3rd spot is reserved for the 5th best hitter. Why the 5th? Well because of the fact that the 4rd spot entails situations where you have no one on and 2 out, situations you don’t want your 3rd and 4th hitter entering frequently, as it limits the damage they can do. After that? It’s just the best remaining hitters in order.
Joey Gallo is the best OBP guy on the team and Judge is the best hitter. No-brainers there. Sanchez is probably the 5th best hitter true-talent-wise behind Stanton and Rizzo. In terms of true talent and wRC+ Stanton is better than Rizzo this year, and so he hits ahead of Rizzo. Now people will mention that Voit has the 2nd worst wRC+ here and is hitting 6th, but he’s an exception since he hasn’t played much due to injury. He’s a ~125 wRC+ hitter, so he gets treated like one. Urshela, DJ, and Gleyber just get ranked in the order of how good they are.
This version of the Yankees lineup can have small tweaks, but the big takeaways should be that LeMahieu should be demoted, Gallo should lead off, and Judge needs to stay hitting 2nd.
Anything else I can pretty much live with. Lineups are fun, especially now with two new toys in Rizzo and Gallo, but I think ultimately that’s how you build the perfect one.