The story of the last 2 seasons in Yankeeland is one of offensive disappearance. Once the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees have fallen off the run-scoring map and they've found drastically different ways to make the fall. Last year it was cheapness, plain and simple. They tried to cobble together a half-decent lineup under the restriction of a flawed budget plan and they failed. This year it was the exact opposite. The checkbooks opened, the money flowed, new better players were brought in, and the lineup was completely rebuilt. They failed again.
2 different strategies, same terrible results. How could that have happened? Might as well look at the numbers to try to figure it out. First up, the basics. The counting statistics. How did those stack up for the 2013 and 2014 Yankee teams?
Standard Counting Statistics (Team):
Batting Line- .242/.307/.376 Runs Scored- 650 Home Runs- 144 Stolen Bases- 115 BB Rate- 7.7% K Rate- 20.1% Total PA- 6,045
Batting Line- .245/.307/.380 Runs Scored- 633 Home Runs- 147 Stolen Bases- 112 BB Rate- 7.4% K Rate- 18.6% Total PA- 6,082
Advanced Counting Statistics (Team):
OPS- .683 wOBA- .301 wRC+- 85 ISO- .133
OPS- .687 wOBA- .305 wRC+- 92 ISO- .135
The big takeaway here is how distressingly similar these numbers are. While the 2014 team was better, it wasn't better by much. They hit for only 3 more average points and 4 more slugging points. They hit more home runs, but only 3 more. The walk numbers and the stolen base numbers are very similar. It's basically the same team in 2 different skins. Or is it?
The one thing that doesn't fit the mold of this year's team being slightly better than last year's team is the run totals. The 2013 Yanks scored 650 runs, which is awful, but not as awful as the 633 scored by this year's team. How is that possible? How could a team that hit for a better average and more power, that struck out less in a time when players are striking out more than ever and had almost 40 more plate appearances, and that was supported by both standard and advanced statistical averages as the better offensive team score 17 fewer runs? How indeed. We'll dig a little deeper in Part II next week.