Entering the 2011 season, the New York Yankees knew that they'd have to rely on their lineup to get them back to the postseason.
While the patchwork starting rotation certainly overachieved, it was indeed the offense that led the team to a 97-65 record and an American League East crown.
The Bombers ranked second in baseball in runs and on-base percentage, while finishing third in slugging and seventh in batting average.
What was even more impressive was how the Yanks diversified their offense. A franchise known mostly for the long ball (they led the Majors with 222 home runs), also played a great deal of small ball. New York placed third in the AL with 147 steals—tied for the best stolen base rate (76 percent)—ranked fourth in sac flies and even laid down 36 sac bunts, three more than last year.
In the regular season, the offense definitely earned an A+, but the playoffs, as usual, were a different story. The Yankees once again resorted to station-to-station baseball, stealing only two bases in a five-game ALDS loss to the Tigers and failing to get the runner home from third with less than two outs.
Here are the 2011 grades for the Yankees' position players that had at least 300 at-bats: