There is no doubt the Yankees postseason ended earlier than we all wanted it to. With how magical a season it was, it really felt like this year would be the year with #Replacefor28 and the savages. Although it was not to be, there were some truly standout moments this postseason and a little bit of magic from some of the Yankees’ best players.
Today we’re going to take a look at the best Yankees postseason players. To do this, we will use the invaluable Baseball Gauge and look at Win Probability Added (WPA). Basically WPA tells you how much value a player added to his team’s win probability each game. For example, if Aaron Judge hits a homerun which changes the Yankees’ win probability from 60% to 80%, Judge gets a WPA of 0.2 for that play. Likewise, if Brett Gardner grounds into a double play which lowers the win probability, he gets a negative WPA for that play. Add it all up across the playoffs, and we have total WPA for each player.
Here are the top 3 for the 2019 Yankees in the playoffs.
1. Gleyber Torres 0.5 WPA
To nobody’s surprise, Gleyber Torres led all Yankees with a 0.5 WPA. It started in the 5th inning of Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins with a 2 RBI double down the left field line. At that time, the game was tied and Torres’ double set the tone for the rest of the series. In Game 2, he had an RBI single and in Game 3 he hit a solo homerun. We spent all playoffs hearing about how amazing this 22 year-old is, and it is clear we are seeing the ascension of the next Yankee superstar. On R2C2, CC predicted Torres would be the breakout star of these playoffs and he could not have been more correct.
2. DJ LeMahieu 0.4 WPA
DJ does what DJ does. And in the playoffs that meant hitting .325/.386/1.011 with 3 homeruns. None of them were bigger than his game tying home run in Game 6 of the ALCS which unfortunately may be forgotten. However, DJ was the tone setter at the top of the lineup all playoffs. He did what he did all season long which was spray the ball all over the field, get on base, and score. He was also a scoop machine at first base which saved all the infielders throwing errors.
3. Masahiro Tanaka 0.4 WPA
#PlayoffTanaka showed up once again. In 3 starts he pitched to a 2.25 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP. Hilariously, that raised his postseason ERA. In Game 2 of the ALDS with the BP Crew in attendance, Tanaka was awesome throwing 5 innings of 1 run ball. Here’s an incredible action shot of the 472 #BPCrew members after a Tanka strikeout. You can see my awkwardly pointing at the 35 second mark.
He was even better in Game 1 of the ALCS outdueling Zack Greinke with 6 shutout innings and facing the minimum number of hitters. Although the series did not end well, Tanaka showed us and the Yankees that they can win in Houston which was something they were unable to do in 2017. Death, taxes, and Tanaka kicking ass in the postseason. I’m all for it.
You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20