How the Yankees Got Their Pop Back

It's no secret that the Yankees offense has been largely powerless this season - and I don't mean that in an ironic sense, either. The team ranks 22nd in baseball in both home runs, and they aren't terribly close to respectability, either. Their 134 home runs are just shy of ten below the MLB-average, and their .150 ISO is comfortably behind the .163 held by the league at large. And these numbers are not park-adjusted, meaning things are actually a bit worse than they seem.

Or, rather, they were.

  • April - 22 HR, .128 ISO
  • May - 30 HR, .153 ISO
  • June - 30 HR, .146 ISO
  • July - 24 HR, .137 ISO
  • August - 28 HR, .193 ISO

The Yankees have found their power stroke in the month of August, and the improvement has become even more drastic with the arrivals of Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. Sanchez, Judge, Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius and the suddenly competent Aaron Hicks have combined to hit 14 2B and 21 HR this month in just 284 AB - that's good for a .570 SLG. 

And, even with the sub-par seasons of Hicks and Castro, that quintet offers quite a bit to be excited about. All five are under team control for at least three more seasons, and  the 26-year-old Hicks is the elder statesman ... and he won't be 27 until October 2. All five were top-100 prospects at one point or another, and all have shown some of that promise at the big league level.

I know that we have done this song and dance before, being excited about Castro's first few weeks in pinstripes and so forth - but these players are young and cheap enough that the team can take its time and figure out what's real and what isn't. It is plain to see that this is unsustainable, but it's fun and informative (and there's little downside to seeing what the team has in its young players). Seeing them all hit and hit for power offers at least a glimmer of hope, and it's great to see the next generation of bombers take aim at the outfield fences.

And this is what a rebuild and/or reload is all about.