The New York Yankees always expect to be the best team in baseball and to win the World Series. 2012 is no different, as the Yankees are set to continue the trend of New York teams winning championships.
After looking at a starting pitcher (Sabathia) and an outfielder (Swisher), we will turn the attention to the infield, with Yankees' starting first-baseman Mark Teixeira. "Tex" is one of the most important players on the Yankees because of his elite fielding and offensive production.
Mark Teixeira was a powerful slugger the instant he appeared on the MLB scene. He made his debut with the Texas Rangers in 2003, at the age of 23. Since his debut he has been with four different teams in his nine MLB seasons.
He won two gold glove awards with the Rangers in 2005 and 2006.
Teixeira's stats with Texas:
Total: 693 games, .283 AVG, 153 HR, 499 RBI
Average (not including 2007): 154 games, .282 AVG, 35 HR, 112 RBI
The Rangers traded Teixeira to the Braves in the middle of the 2007 season and he responded well to the change of scenery.
Teixeira's stats with Atlanta:
Total: 157 games, .295 AVG, 37 HR, 134 RBI
The Braves then traded Teixeira to the Angels at the 2008 trade deadline.
Teixeira's stats with Angels:
Total: 54 games, .358 AVG, 13 HR, 43 RBI
The Yankees shocked the baseball landscape by signing Teixeira to an eight-year deal before the 2009 season.
Teixeira's stats with New York:
Total: 470 games, .266 AVG, 111 HR, 341 RBI
Average: 157 games, .266 AVG, 37 HR, 114 RBI
Mark Teixeira has been able to stay healthy throughout his career with no major injury issues. He averages 153 games a season, which is impressive and shows he is a durable player.
In his three seasons with the Yankees he has missed only 16 regular season games. There is no reason to believe that injuries will play a factor for him in 2012 season.
This offseason, "Tex" has apparently lost some weight and is in "the best shape of his life." He has used the juice diet and hopes to eliminate nagging injuries and increase his batting average.
After an excellent 2009 season in which Teixeira finished second in MVP voting, he has had back-to-back disappointing seasons.
He will look to keep his defensive play and power numbers where they have been while increasing his batting average. A key to the success of his 2012 season will be reversing his career trend of getting off to a slow start.
Totals: .237 AVG, 30 HR, 99 RBI
Average: .237 AVG, 3.33 HR, 11 RBI
2012 Prediction: .278 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 79 AB, 22 H
Totals: .289 AVG, 55 HR, 189 RBI
Average: .289 AVG, 6.11 HR, 21 RBI
2012 Prediction: .292 AVG, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 113 AB, 33 H
Totals: .266 AVG, 54 HR, 167 RBI
Average: .266 AVG, 6 HR, 18.56 RBI
2012 Prediction: .271 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 96 AB, 26 H
Totals: .288 AVG, 52 HR, 161 RBI
Average: .288 AVG, 5.78 HR, 17.89 RBI
2012 Prediction: .315 AVG, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 108 AB, 34 H
Totals: .301 AVG, 64 HR, 204 RBI
Average: .301 AVG, 7.11 HR, 22.67 RBI
2012 Prediction: .286 AVG, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 105 AB, 30 H
Totals: .296 AVG, 58 HR, 197 RBI
Average: .296 AVG, 6.44 HR, 21.89 RBI
2012 Prediction: .319 AVG, 8 HR, 24 RBI, 91 AB, 29 H
Overall 2012 Prediction:
.292 AVG, 36 HR, 117 RBI, 592 AB, 174 H
I think that the weight loss will help Mark Teixeira in 2012. His batting average and range in the field could increase which will put him in both the MVP and Gold Glove discussion.
As you will see in the Robinson Cano 2012 season outlook, which will be coming in the near future, I project Cano to have a huge season and be the 2012 AL MVP. Teixeira will lose some MVP votes to his fellow infielder, and because of this I think he will finish third or fourth in the MVP voting.
Teixeira is a four-time Gold Glove winner and I think he will win his fifth in 2012.
According to my 2012 projections, Teixeira will record his 1500th career hit and end the season with 350 career home runs.