It was March of 2019 when the New York Yankees acquired Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for relief prospect Phillip Diehl. It looked like nothing more than a minor depth trade at the time, but Tauchman took advantage of his opportunity once he put on the pinstripes. In 87 games two seasons ago, he slashed .277/.361/.504 with a 128 wRC+ and 2.6 fWAR, all while showing off borderline-elite defensive numbers. He recorded 19 defensive runs saved and nine outs above average, which ranked him in the 94th percentile in all of baseball.
Tauchman’s 2020 season wasn’t pretty, and he never had a clear spot on the roster this year. With no more options remaining on his contract, the Yankees felt as if they could use his value to find help elsewhere—and they did. On Tuesday night, New York shipped Mike Tauchman across the country where he will now play for the San Francisco Giants. In return, the Bombers received left-hander Wandy Peralta and a player to be named later.
We’ve seen the last of the “Sockman” in New York. His tenure was filled with a fair number of highs and lows for a reserve player, but it was most importantly filled with an energy that not many others could bring. He was one of my favorite players to watch on the diamond because of that. Let’s look back on Tauchman’s career in pinstripes and relive his best moments as a Yankee.
Tauchman robs Severino of a home run
There’s no doubt that Mike Tauchman can play the field at a high level. In what was probably his best defensive play in pinstripes, watch Tauchman fly up in the air to make an unbelievable catch to steal a homer. Come for the catch, stay for the reaction.
Tauchman’s go-ahead single against the Red Sox
We’ve seen what he can do in the field, but how about at the plate? First, let’s set the scene. It’s a late-summer game between the Red Sox and Yankees in the Bronx. The bases are loaded—and in steps Mike Tauchman to face Matt Barnes in a tie ballgame.
Tauch worked himself into a hitter’s count, sat on the curveball, and slashed it the other way. Two runners scored and it gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh. The Yankees would go on to win the contest by that very same score, thanks to Tauchman.
Tauchman’s RBI double off of Blake Snell to give the Yankees the lead
This next highlight puts Tauchman’s energy on full display. The Yankees were visiting Tropicana Field to face off against the Rays on Mother’s Day in 2019. Blake Snell was on the mound, coming off his Cy Young season the year prior. Snell had it pretty easy through 4.2 innings.
Austin Romine led off second as Tauchman walked into the batters box. Pink bat and all, the Sockman laced Snell’s fastball into center field, and it came oh-so-close to getting out for a homer. He trotted into second with an RBI double to put the Yankees on top. When the camera focuses back on Tauch, look how amped up he was! His passion will surely be missed.
More Tauchman highlights
Those three plays above were some of the top moments that stuck out to me when I think of Mike Tauchman in a Yankees uniform. Thanks to our Andrew Mearns, the video montage that he created below will capture every other memorable moment he had during his New York tenure. Thanks for bringing the energy, Mike Tauchman. Good luck by the Bay!