Well, its that time in the season where the first half seemed to have flown by. Many teams have shown that they are contenders, early, and are winning their way to the top of their division. Unfortunately, the Yankees are second in their division, but are 1st in the Wild Card. Anyways, before I start grading the Yankees on their performance during the first half of the season, I would like to update you on the standings.
Now for the grading… I’ll start by grading the Yankees everyday position players, starting rotation, and bullpen. If there is anyone that I leave out that you would like to see graded, just let me know by commenting. Thanks
Mark Teixeira A
Teixeira was a great pickup for the Yankees over the 2008 off season. Through the first half of the season, Teixeira’s glove has really helped the Yankee’s infield gain confidence. They know that all they have to do is throw the ball in his direction and 99.99% of the time, Teixeira will scoop it, pick it, or stretch for it. Through 81 games played at first base, Teixeira has only made 1error! But not only is Tex a tremendous defensive player, but his bat also sparks the Yanks lineup. Teixeira is leading the Yankees in homeruns (21) , RBIs (63), and total bases (176), batting in the number 3 slot. Teixeira will be making his second appearance in the All Star Game and representing the Yankees for the first time.
Robinson Cano B
Cano had a great first half to the season. He is batting a high .309 and is leading the team in hits (109) and doubles (24). He has fielded 48 double plays, and in 86 games at second base has only made 3 errors.
Derek Jeter B
Jeter’s bat has really come alive this season. He leads the Yankees in batting AVG (.320), is second in hits, behind Cano (108), and second in stolen bases behind Gardner (17). Jeter has only made 4 errors in 80 games at shortstop and has turned 39 double plays. Jeter will be making his 10th consecutive appearance in the All Star Game as the starting shortstop.
Alex Rodriguez B-
Even though Alex is my all-time favorite player, I have to give him a B-. Even though Arod was out for more than a month, he is only batting .267. He has also committed 5 errors in 52 games this year at third base. I guess I have to cut him some slack since throwing from third base to first base isn’t as easy as he makes it look. But he has made up for lost time power wise hitting 17 bombs (2nd on Yankees) and driving in 50 runs in 57 games. He leads the team in OBP (.419) and slugging percentage (.562) Arod has also walked 48 times as well.
Jorge Posada C+
Posada, like Arod, was out for a while too. He has played 49 games behind the plate and 5 games as a DH. He is hitting .281 with ll homeruns and 38 RBI. He has called some great games behind the plate, and has thrown out 20 runners trying to steal. All he needs to do is stay healthy for the remainder of the season and get his swing going again.
Melky Cabrera B
I know Melky isn’t the greatest hitter in the Yankees lineup, but he has his clutch game winning hits and he comes through with his glove. Melky is batting a steady .280 with 8 homers and 38 RBIs. He has played 80 games for the Yankees this season (in the outfield) and has only made 2 errors. He has a very strong arm and can play pretty much anywhere in the outfield.
Nick Swisher B
Swisher was another great pick up for the Yankees. He has played 84 games for the Yanks (70 in the OF and 10 at 1B) and has made 4 errors. He is batting .238 with 14 homeruns and 47 RBIs. He has also pitched an inning for the Yankees striking out 1 and giving up no runs. (I loved watching that game!!!) He is a great outfielder and has made some tremendous plays through the first half of the season.
Brett Gardner A
I get chills whenever I watch Gardner play. He is probably the best rookie I have ever seen perform. He hits for average and runs like a cheetah. He leads the team in stolen bases (18) and triples (5). It seems like every time I turn on the TV Gardner is either on base or gets a nice hit down the line. He deserves to be rookie of the year. He has played 76 games for the Yanks this year (68 in the OF) and has made only 1 error.
Johnny Damon B+
I give Damon a lot of credit.. He has been hitting the ball with a lot of power this year and may be on his way to 100+ RBIs. You can tell that he has been working on his swing. He leads the team in runs scored (62) and is second in triples (3). He is batting .276 with 16 homeruns and 50 RBIs. Pitchers must see him as a power threat when he is up, especially if he is batting at Yankee Stadium. He’s played 81 games for the Yankees and has made 4 errors. if he can stay hot, he might even reach 30+ homeruns, which would be a career high.
Hideki Matsui C+
Matsui has been the Yankees DH this year. He is batting .266 with 14 homeruns and 40 RBIs this season and has played 77 games for the Yankees. I give him credit for going out there and still being capable to go yard with all the injuries he has had these past few seasons.
C.C. Sabathia A-
Sabathia seems to be settling in nicely with the Yankees. He it tied for first with 8 wins (along with
Burnett and Pettitte) and leads the starting rotation in ERA with 3.70. He has also pitched 2 complete games through the first half of the season, and is the only Yankees pitcher to do so, so far. He has 89 strikeouts while only walking 41. If he can keep up the good work, he could be in line for between 15-20 wins.
AJ Burnett B
Burnett was another great pickup for the Yankees. He has a record of 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He leads the team in strikeouts (101) but has walked 60 batters. Hopefully he can give the Yankees another 8 wins through the second half and help them win a playoff spot.
Andy Pettitte B
Pettitte has been a solid starter for the Yankees this season. This is probably going to be his last year in pinstripes but he has shown that he is still capable with an 8-4 record while posting a 4.85 ERA. He has struck out 70 but has allowed 15 homeruns.
Mariano Rivera A
Rivera has been “lights out” this season, tied for first with the most saves throughout the AL (23). He has struck out 43 batters in 37 innings and has allowed only 30 hits. He has a 2.43 ERA and seems to be the only consistent reliever in the Yankees bullpen this season. He will be representing the Yanks in the All Star Game as well.
So, there you have it. I know I left some guys out, but it was probably better that way (you wouldn’t want to see their grade). Let me know if you think the grading system is fair or unfair or if you’d like to see me grade any other Yankees player. Also, just a reminder, if you have a question about the Yankees, the All Star Game, Homerun Derby, or anything baseball, just comment on one of my posts and i”ll be happy to answer it. Thanks for the support and continue to comment!