The Yankees will need to score runs to make sure they achieve success in 2020. These three under-the-radar hitters could be crucial to New York’s efforts.
Playing a 60-game MLB season is going to remove any margin for error the New York Yankees might have enjoyed heading into 2020. In particular, Aaron Boone’s offense is going to need to hit the ground running.
Superstars like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will need to play a big role. The organization can’t just rely on its big names to carry the entire offensive load though. The Yankees will need contributions from players up and down their powerful lineup.
In particular, Boone will need the following three under-the-radar players to provide his team with big-time production.
No one expected Tauchman to play 87 games for the Yankees a season ago, but he took advantage of injuries to other outfielders to make a big impact for his team. Aaron Hicks’ continued recovery from Tommy John surgery is going to give him the same opportunity in 2020.
Tauchman doesn’t need to be a star with the bat in his hands, but he needs to be a positive offensive player at the bottom of the team’s order. The more times he can get on base the more opportunities the top of the order will enjoy to drive him in when the lineup turns over.
Tauchman might not start every day, but he’s a good bet to see significant action off the bench. Making his at-bats count will be vital for the Yankees’ hopes of making the playoffs.
Yankees fans have spent a lot of time and energy wondering how Andujar might fit into the team’s long-term plans. Much of that will depend on his ability to find a position he can defend at a reasonable level.
The team’s short-term concern will be making sure that he can hit at a high level in 2020. The team sorely missed Andujar’s ability to hit for extra bases during the 2019 campaign. Getting him up and running will be a priority for Boone and his coaching staff once players report to camp.
Gardner is the player who will benefit most from Hicks’ injury absence. The longest-tenured Yankee isn’t the same player he was back in his prime, but he still has the ability to be a productive offensive player anywhere in the team’s lineup.
The Yankees hope he can take advantage of the shortened season to increase his production across the board. In particular, they want to see last year’s OBP of just .325 increase significantly. If he can push that number closer to .400 it will equal a lot of extra runs for New York’s offense.
2020 might be Gardner’s last year in pinstripes but the team needs him to enjoy one more productive season before he hangs up his spikes.