clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A statistical look at the Yankees hitting woes

New, comments

Can the team return to the offense of the championship years?

Jed Jacobsohn

As the season wraps up, the Yankees offense could be best described as dreadful.  For the second season in a row the team will miss the playoffs.  The once feared "Bronx Bombers," have been reduced to hitting mediocrity.  During the championship seasons, the Yankees were known for patience, on-base percentage, power and batting average.  The past couple of seasons, they have accomplished none of those things.  Looking at the chart below, it becomes even more obvious that the team has veered off the course.

Season

K%

BB%

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

AVG

HR

OBP

SLG

2014

18.50%

7.40%

0.305

91

0.281

0.245

139

0.307

0.378

2013

20.10%

7.70%

0.301

85

0.285

0.242

144

0.307

0.376

2009

15.70%

10.30%

0.365

117

0.306

0.283

244

0.362

0.478

2000

16.00%

10.00%

0.35

105

0.304

0.277

205

0.354

0.45

1999

15.20%

11.20%

0.358

111

0.309

0.282

193

0.366

0.453

1998

15.90%

10.10%

0.36

116

0.317

0.288

207

0.364

0.46

1996

14.20%

9.90%

0.348

103

0.315

0.288

162

0.36

0.436

It's apparent that the mix of players on the 2013 and 2014 teams are substantially different from those on the championship winners in the past. The sad part is that the front office failed to completely address this in the offseason.  Now that we have this info at our disposal, let’s break it down to players with at least 200 at-bats from the 2014 season.

Player

K%

BB%

wOBA

wRC+

BABIP

AVG

HR

OBP

SLG

WAR

Brian McCann

14.60%

6.00%

0.301

89

0.236

0.232

20

0.287

0.393

2

Mark Teixeira

21.10%

11.80%

0.318

100

0.234

0.216

21

0.317

0.395

0.7

Brian Roberts

15.20%

8.00%

0.294

83

0.269

0.237

5

0.3

0.36

0.1

Derek Jeter

13.30%

5.60%

0.276

71

0.288

0.254

4

0.302

0.308

-0.3

Yangervis Solarte

11.80%

10.40%

0.322

103

0.27

0.254

6

0.337

0.381

1.1

Brett Gardner

21.00%

8.9%

0.332

110

0.308

0.258

16

0.33

0.422

3.2

Jacoby Ellsbury

14.60%

7.70%

0.327

106

0.296

0.271

16

0.328

0.419

3.7

Ichiro Suzuki

18.00%

5.50%

0.293

83

0.346

0.283

1

0.323

0.33

0.3

Carlos Beltran

17.80%

8.20%

0.31

94

0.252

0.233

15

0.301

0.402

-0.5

Alfonso Soriano

29.80%

2.50%

0.265

63

0.288

0.221

6

0.244

0.367

-1.1

Kelly Johnson

22.00%

10.10%

0.304

90

0.26

0.219

6

0.304

0.373

0.6

The Good

Brett Gardner has had a nice season that would’ve been even better if he could cut down on his ugly strikeout percentage.  The four year contract that he just signed is already looking like a steal. Ellsbury had a nice first season in pinstripes putting up solid all-around numbers.

The Bad

Going into the season, everybody thought Brian McCann was going to take-off in Yankee Stadium.  Unfortunately, the first year hasn’t gone as planned.  His numbers have been disappointing, other than his home runs. He ended the season on a good note that will hopefully carry into next year.

The Ugly

Unfortunately other than Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Brian McCann the rest of the position players were a waste land.   Mark Teixeira continues to have injury issues, providing nothing more than his glove and home runs.  The last two seasons of that deal are going to be brutal.  Derek Jeter, as great as he once was, provided very little offensively.  Thanks to a nagging elbow injury, Carlos Beltran struggled all season.  Ichiro Suzuki, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Alfonso Soriano all received way too long of a leash, giving little in return.

Conclusion

Age and underperformance, absolutely destroyed any semblance of offense that this team has had.  The good news is that the team will turnover some of the roster this offseason.  Martin Prado will return for a full year and will most likely play second base. If he puts up similar numbers to the past couple of seasons it will be quite the upgrade in comparison to what they put out there this year.   For the first time in 20 years the Yankees will be looking for a new shortstop, which should also be an upgrade in offense.  Hopefully, Carlos Beltran can return to form after offseason elbow surgery to remove a bone spur, as his numbers have easily trumped Ichiro Suzuki’s.  With third base and shortstop openings this offseason, the Yankees need to look for players that fit the team’s offensive legacy.  It’s time to get back to what made the team dominant the past 20 years.  Acquire players that hit for power, average, are patient and get on-base.  Going forward it’s also important that the team be pro-active and cut underperforming players.

Stats courtesy of Fangraphs.com