clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

An early look at the value and projections of the 2015 Yankees: Position Players

New, 10 comments

Who are the Yankees going to get positive returns from in 2015?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about what the Yankees need and where the team stands heading into next season. In order to put this into perspective, I decided to write a two-part series using the Steamer projection system for 2015 player statistics, courtesy of FanGraphs. To evaluate the numbers in a cumulative way, I contacted Sky Kalkman and obtained permission to use his WAR Spreadsheet Version 2.0, via SB Nation sister site Beyond the Boxscore. This whole exercise is based purely off of position and pitching projections at the moment and will be updated to reflect any roster changes between now and Opening Day.

For some background reading concerning the WAR team spreadsheet, you can read more about it here and here. Hopefully you’ve read the links for the background on how the spreadsheet was designed and it's application. Using that information I’ve updated the WAR value to $7MM, along with AL wOBA average of .312, reflecting current league values.

Hitter Pos PA OBP SLG wOBA Hit BR Pos Fld Rep WAR FA $ WAR
Brian McCann CA 552 .317 .445 .333 1.28 1.25 2.50 5.03 $23.5 3.3
JR Murphy CA 123 .291 .373 .295 -1.03 1.25 2.50 2.72 $3.9 0.5

Mark Teixeira 1B 597 .315 .417 .324 0.73 -1.25 2.50 1.98 $11.6 1.6










Jose Pirela 2B 327 .307 .382 .305 -0.43 0.25 0.25 1.50 2.50 4.07 $2.5 0.3
Martin Prado 2B 630 .322 .400 .320 0.49 0.25 2.50 3.24 $15.1 2.1

Didi Gregorius SS 327 .310 .366 .299 -0.79 0.75 2.50 2.46 $8.8 1.2
Brendan Ryan SS 352 .268 .280 .250 -3.77 0.75 2.50 -0.52 $0.4 0.0

Chase Headley 3B 524 .343 .412 .335 1.40 0.25 2.50 4.15 $24.9 3.5














Brett Gardner LF 661 .328 .388 .320 0.49 -0.75 2.50 2.24 $22.1 3.1














Jacoby Ellsbury CF 630 .329 .418 .329 1.03 0.25 2.50 3.78 $26.3 3.7
Chris Young CF 475 .309 .398 .313 0.06 0.25 2.50 2.81 $8.1 1.1

Carlos Beltran RF 636 .325 .440 .335 1.40 -0.75 2.50 3.15 $8.1 1.1














Alex Rodriguez DH 283 .315 .378 .310 -0.12 -2.00 2.50 0.38 $2.5 0.3














Team 6117 .318 0.36 0.01 -0.05 0.08 2.90 #### 21.8

Looking at the chart, a couple of things caught my attention. First, if these numbers are close to reality, the Yankees will be close or slightly above league-average in wOBA. Second, the team only has five position players that are projected to be league average or above in WAR and they are Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Martin Prado.

So using Sky Kalkman’s chart as a jump off, I created a chart to show the Yankees return on their investment for each player at their position. Here are the meanings for each category on this chart:

Pos=Position

FA$= The value of each player’s projected production priced at $7.0 MM per win above replacement (the going market rate).

ACV= Actual Contract Value

ROI= Return on Investment

Player Pos FA$ ACV ROI
Brian McCann CA $23.50 $17.00 $6.50
John Ryan Murphy CA $3.90 TBD TBD
Mark Teixeira 1B $11.60 $22.50 ($10.90)
Martin Prado 2B $15.10 $11.00 $4.10
Jose Pirela 2B $2.50 TBD TBD
Didi Gregorius SS $8.80 $0.51 8.29
Brendan Ryan SS $0.40 $2.00 ($1.60)
Chase Headley 3B $24.90 TBD TBD
Brett Gardner LF $22.10 $12.00 $10.10
Jacoby Ellsbury CF $22.10 $21.11 $0.99
Chris Young OF $8.10 $2.50 $5.60
Carlos Beltran RF $8.10 $15.00 ($6.90)
Alex Rodriguez DH $2.50 $21.00

($18.50)

When you look at this chart objectively, it’s clear that as expected A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran are all on the downhill, overpaid side of their careers. Those contracts are unfortunately on the books for the next couple of seasons and the team will have to live with them. On the positive side, Brian McCann, Martin Prado, Didi Gregorius, Chase Headley and Chris Young, should all be steals in 2015, when you compare cost versus projections. Until the contracts for Pirela and Murphy are settled for the 2015 season, the Yankees are currently projected to receive a $0.72 million return on their offensive investment.

With offense around the league being down, it doesn't appear that the Yankees will score like the teams of the '90s and 2009. However, with full seasons from Prado, Gregorius, Headley and Young, the offense should be much improved in comparison to the 2014 team. I once again would like to thank Sky for allowing the use of his awesome spreadsheet.

*All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs

** All contract info courtesy of Baseball Prospectus

Give Sky Kalkman a follow on Twitter @Sky_Kalkman