Now that Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson will both be starting the season on the DL most eyes have turned to Mark Teixeira as the most logical source of where the Yankees will need to get their missing power. And make no mistake about it, Tex has to produce. The Yankees will need him to plug that hole. But he isn’t the only source of potential power in the Yankee lineup. It doesn’t get mentioned much, but the Yankees did also add Kevin Youkilis.
Youkilis, of course, is a bittersweet addition for Yankee fans. He was probably the least popular Red Sox among the Yankee faithful, and now he’s a Yankee. That said, he has the potential to be a very good Yankee. Given his issues last season, it is easy to forget that as recently as 2010 he had a .564 SLG and a .419 wOBA. In 2011, the first season when Youkilis began demonstrating decline, he still managed a .459 SLG and a .366 wOBA. That production is welcome on any team.
The question is if he can do it in 2013. Youkilis has never been durable. Even in his prime in Boston he only averaged about 145 games a year. His injury risk is high. Furthermore, he didn’t rake with the White Sox, after he left Boston. He managed just a .236/.346/.425 line. That’s pretty mediocre. An average player in your lineup is nothing to sneeze at, especially one with Youkilis’ on-base skills, but he hasn’t been the All-World player he was for at least two years now.
Youkilis will be only 34 this season. He certainly has something left in the tank. While it seems unlikely that he will morph back into the .400 wOBA player he once was simply because he’s put on pinstripes, he should still be considered as a source of run production in the Yankee lineup. The Yankees are probably figuring they will get the .328 wOBA player Youkilis was last year, but there is a real chance he produces to a higher level. He should also be seen as a possible over achiever while the Yankees wait to get healthy.