New York Yankees

New York Yankees: Grading Each Yankee Hitter After a Third of the Season's Games

Arad MarkowitzContributor IIIJune 3, 2011

New York Yankees: Grading Each Yankee Hitter After a Third of the Season's Games

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    Jeter and Teixeira
    Jeter and TeixeiraNick Laham/Getty Images

    At exactly 54 games played this year, the Yankees have competed in exactly one-third of their games. They have a record of 31-23 and lead their division by three games, above their long-time rival the Boston Red Sox. 

    The Yankees lead baseball with 5.26 runs per game. The Reds and Cardinals are the next best at 4.91 runs per game. They have the best run differential in baseball and also lead the majors in home runs, with 83.

Derek Jeter, SS

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees hits infield single to load the bases in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 31, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Im
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Yankees captain recently signed a four-year deal(player option, but he'll take it) and is  having his worst full year, statistically. Jeter has been on the decline since the beginning of 2010, and as a Yankee fan, it's very hard to watch. His defense has been below average as well.

    Stats:

    .264 BA

    .328 OBP

    OPS+ of 82

    2 Home Runs

    16 RBI

    5 Stolen Bases

    Overall Grade:

    D+

    Jeter needs to step it up at the plate, and if he can't, it's going to be a painful four years.

Curtis Granderson, CF

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31:  Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees hits a two run home run in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 31, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Through the first 54 games of the season, Granderson has been arguably the second-best player in baseball. He is undoubtedly the MVP of the Yankees so far. He is second in home runs, third in RBI and fourth in OPS+. He also has the second-most stolen bases on the team and has been showing some stellar defense out in center. Also, he is having a better year off of lefties, something he has not been able to do his entire career.

    Stats:

    17 Home Runs

    41 RBI

    .278 BA

    .348 OBP

    8 Stolen Bases

    .612 SLG

    OPS+ of 157

    Overall Grade:

    A

    Granderson has been the best player on the Yankees this season and doesn't look like he'll slow down anytime soon.

Mark Teixeira, 1B

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30:  Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees bats against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 30, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Teixeira has probably been the second-best Yankee hitter of the season. He is second on the team in home runs and third in the league. Teixeira is usually known for his slow starts but 2011 was different. He also leads the team in OBP. He started the year off with a bang, hitting a home run in each of his first three games. He is also a Gold-Glover at first and his defense has been great thus far.

    Stats:

    16 Home Runs

    38 RBI

    .257 BA

    .367 OBP

    .535 SLG

    OPS+ of 143

    Overall Grade:

    B

    Teixeira is having a great year, but one thing I would like is for him to raise his low batting average.

Alex Rodriguez, 3B

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees hits a two run single in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 31, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    After going on a huge tear and hitting in the mid .350s in the first few weeks of the season, A-Rod cooled down. He not only cooled down but fell into a huge slump where he had just two hits in 18 at bats. He has since gotten back to a normal pace. A-Rod has been good this season and has come up clutch for the Yankees. He has also been playing above-average D at third.

    Stats:

    .292 BA (leads the team)

    9 Home Runs

    31 RBI

    10 Doubles

    .361 OBP

    OPS+ of 129

    Overall Grade:

    B-

    If A-Rod continues at his current pace, he'll have his best offensive season since his 2007 MVP year.

Robinson Cano, 2B

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees bats against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 30, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Last year's Yankee MVP (third in the league) has been doing okay, by his standards. He leads the teams in hits and has shown quite a bit of batting power, thus far. His fielding has been shoddy, as he's already doubled his error total, and it's only June.

    Stats:

    11 Home Runs

    37 RBI

    .284 BA

    .324 OBP

    OPS+ of 125

    5 Stolen Bases

    Overall Grade:

    C+

    It would be a great year for the average second basemen, but Cano is not an average baseball player. After showing us what he could do last year, Cano needs to step up his game.

Nick Swisher, RF

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30:  Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees bats against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 30, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    After having arguably his best overall season of his career, Swisher has been slumping big time. He still has a fairly high OBP, but his other stats are terrible. He has the second-lowest BA of any Yankee in the lineup, and he has hit with little power. His defense has been below average in right as well.

    Stats:

    4 Home Runs

    23 RBI

    .215 BA

    .338 OBP

    OPS+ of 84

    Overall Grade

    D

    That D could turn into a C- if he continues this little hot streak he has going.

Jorge Posada, DH

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13:  Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees in action against the Boston Red Sox during their game on May 13, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    In the last year of his contract, Posada has been straight-up awful. He basically has the lowest average in every team stat. It's not a slump either, Posada has just looked awful almost all season. He did have a much better May than April though, so maybe, just maybe, he can turn it around and have a decent second half.

    Stats:

    6 Home Runs (none in May)

    .169 BA

    .285 OBP

    OPS+ of 70

    Overall Grade:

    F

    Posada has been all kinds of awful on the season, and the Yankees have started to platoon him at DH with the rest of the bench.

Russell Martin, C

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    NEW YORK - MAY 21:  Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees watches his two run home run in the bottom of the second inning against the New York Mets on May 21, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty I
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    After the Yankees signed Martin to a contract in the offseason, most fans, including me, didn't really know what to expect. He'd been great before but constantly gets injured. In 2011 Martin has been great. Offensively, defensively and on the basepaths. After having a huge April, he's slowed down, but he has still been productive.

    Stats:

    9 Home Runs

    26 RBI

    .352 OBP

    .248 BA

    OPS+ of 120

    6 Stolen Bases and no Caught Stealings

    Overall Ranking:

    B-

    Nobody expected Martin to be this good, and it has been quite awesome to finally see a good defensive catcher for the Yankees.

Brett Gardner, LF

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    DETROIT, MI - MAY 02:  Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees scores a run past Alex Avila #13 of the Detroit Tigers during the second inning at Comerica Park on May 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    After having a terrible March/April, Brett Gardner had a great May. He was better all-around in May and had an OBP of .371 to go with a .301 BA. His overall numbers don't reflect how good Brett has been playing lately. Brett's defense in left has been great.

    Stats:

    3 Home Runs

    13 RBI

    10 Stolen Bases

    6 Caught Stealing

    .248 BA

    .329 OBP

    Overall Grade:

    C-(B+ for May)

    If Brett continues to do as well as he did in May, he'll have a great year. He just needs to steal more bases.

Bench

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05:  Andruw Jones #18 of the New York Yankees hits a solo homerun against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Coming into the year, the Yankees' bench was a strength. It still is, although, there have sustained a few injuries. Eduardo Nunez, Andruw Jones, Fransisco Cervelli and Chris Dickerson make up the current bench, while Eric Chavez is on the DL. 

    Jones has shown the most power, popping four home runs. Cervelli was injured and since coming back, he has hit a grand slam after showing no offense. Nunez has been very good at the plate, but his arm at short is questionable. Dickerson has been good, albeit, in a small sample size of games. Chavez was great before getting injured as well.

    Overall Grade:

    B- considering all the injuries.

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