What Makes Him Valuable Part Two (Two Years Later)

If you hop into the proverbial Wayback Machine with me, you’ll see I wrote this post a little over two years ago about the 2010 version of the team. As we’re on the edge of the season, let’s take a look at the current incarnation of the Yankees and see what makes each one of them valuable.

Russell Martin: Martin brings two main things to the table. He’s a good hitter for his position and he’s a top-notch defender. That’s just about all you could ask from a catcher. As a bonus, he’s reputed to handle pitching staffs very well and by all accounts, pitchers love throwing to him. Talk of an extension for Martin has been bandied about this offseason, and not without good reason.

Mark Teixeira: He’s essentially the perfect combination of offense and defense for a first baseman. I feel like at least once a week, we marvel at some ridiculous scoop or diving stop made by Tex. And, of course, he’s got all the power in the world. Though we do get plenty frustrated when Tex pops one up or hits it into the shift. Still, there aren’t many better than him.

Robinson Cano: Pretty much everything. Moving on.

Alex Rodriguez: This is something I don’t usually talk about, but I’m going to go with something intangible here. Regardless of his health or whether or not he’s on a hot streak or a cold streak, I just feel better when Alex Rodriguez is in the lineup.

Derek Jeter: While Jeter’s best days at the plate are certainly behind him, he’s still more than adequate as an offensive shortstop. While he’s unlikely to improve in terms of fielding, he’s still going to be in the black in terms of value to the Yankees.

Brett Gardner: Defense, defense, defense. The left-field position is definitely not based on defense, and that certainly helps Gardner accrue value on the other side of the ball. What is worth noting, though, is that left field at Yankee Stadium certainly isn’t your average left field. It’s a huge space and Gardner covers it nimbly and ably.

Curtis Granderson: LiK. Martin and Jeter, Granderson provides premium offense at an up the middle position. But unlike them, Granderson is most definitely a good hitter overall, and not just for his position. He walks. He hits for power. He steals. He’s the complete offensive package.

Nick Swisher: He’s like a mini-Teixeira. While he’s not necessarily an elite level hitter or fielder, Swisher’s well above average at both. He has supreme on base skills, a powerful bat, and a more-than-competent glove. He’s pretty much perfect for this team.

Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones: Platoon splits are valuable, and both of these guys are good at hitting their opposite-handed counterparts. Believe it or not, Ibanez was average against RHP in 2011. Jones, as you know, hammered LHP. An added bonus with Jones is that he can actually play the OF corners pretty well.

Tune in at a later date for pitchers.

5 thoughts on “What Makes Him Valuable Part Two (Two Years Later)

  1. Hawaii Dave

    This is the 2nd time in less than a week someone has written the value of Swisher’s defense. Dude, your data, graphs, and metrix are great, but Girardi replaces Swisher in the 8th inning of close games for defensive reasons….and rightfully so. So I do encourage you to continue using your sabertronic methods to measure skill, just don’t depend on them so much. Watch a game or 2 also. Watching a game can be as valuable a tool as stats absorption.

    • Just because Chris Dickerson is a good outfielder doesn’t mean Nick Swisher is a bad outfielder.

      If you notice, I didn’t use a single defensive metric in this post. Swisher may not make a ton of flashy plays, but he makes all the plays he should and some of the ones he shouldn’t. He may have a brain fart out there sometimes, but every outfielder does. And do not condescend to me about watching “a game or 2.” I watch every game possible and when I can’t (which is rare), I’m listening on the radio or following along via Gameday. I couldn’t possibly watch more games than I already do. Whether you’re trying to be snarky or that’s really just a throw away/innocuous comment, I don’t appreciate it in the least.

      • smurfy

        I support matt. Swish has played a solid field these last two years. Earlier enthusiastic buffoonery, leaping waves at balls 20′ overhead, he replaced with getting good jumps. He’s tuned into every pitch, without fail that I know of.

        For a big guy with average length legs, he gets to foul balls I’d never guess in range. He comes in to dive and catch a well hit low liner occassionally, but more importantly, I can’t remember a failed dive, at least that got past him. Good judgement.

        Again on range, he surprised me getting to balls on the right center wall. No flubs I can recall, he’s solid. He’s no Nelson Cruz, but…

      • Hawaii Dave

        More along the lines of innocuous, but since you ask…if you are gonna write a public blog which has a comment section, grow a thicker skin. It ain’t that deep. I’m surprised that you would even consider it as literal.

  2. Joe A

    Swisher trade was one of the best Cashman made. 25-30 hrs solid d if not graceful and an enthusiasm seldom seen at Yankee stadium. And yes,I’ve watched a game or 2 too ;)

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