Once upon a time, Mark Teixeira was hitting below the Mendoza Line with little power and a lot of criticism. However, much has changed since May.
Teixeira is slowly turning his season around, producing the power numbers the Yankees expect, and need, in the middle of their order.
Although his average is still a bit too low (.256 entering Thursday), Texieira is on pace to finish with 30-plus home runs and 100-plus runs batted in.
Not bad for a guy who at one point was batting around .190 with only a few dingers.
With Alex Rodriguez’s power numbers down from where they usually are (or at least from where people expect them to be) Teixeira’s summer success has been vital to New York’s success.
And the Yankees have certainly been successful so far, posting the best record in baseball, with a mark of 59-34.
A big reason why the Yanks sit atop the majors—let alone their own difficult division—has been Teixeira’s recent production.
Over the last month, Teixeira is batting .352 with six home runs, 19 runs, and 21 runs batted in.
But while Teixeira continues to knock the ball out of the park and drive in runs, he’s far from the biggest contributor offensively in the Bronx.
And hint, hint: it’s not a guy named Alex, nor is it a fellow named Derek.
It’s actually American League MVP candidate Robinson Cano.
Cano’s increased power numbers—which have been sustained throughout the season—have helped carry the Yanks through Teixeria’s power struggles early, and A-Rod’s spotty surges.
On the season, the second baseman is batting .333 with 18 homers, 65 runs, and 63 runs batted in.
But also take into consideration that Cano runs the bases well, and stretches singles to doubles and can go from first-to-third on a single.
All season long, Cano has been creating scoring opportunities for the Bombers, and he’s not the only doing so.
Nick Swisher has been a huge part of New York’s success this season.
Entering Thursday, Swisher is batting .302 with 17 home runs, 60 runs, and 54 runs batted in.
He’s one of four Yankees players with 60 or more runs scored, and Brett Gardner has scored 58 runs.
And speaking of Gardner, the Yanks have valued his production as much as anyone's.
The speedy outfielder ranks among the league leaders in stolen bases, is batting right around .300 (.299 entering Thursday), and like Cano, creates scoring opportunities.
The Bombers are also hitting the ball out of the ballpark with the best of them, and might finish the season with four players with 30 or more homers.
The Yanks are getting it done offensively all the way through the order, and with Teixeira’s bat coming around, and a series against the lowly Royals looming, New York will look to expand on its division lead.