Better or Worse: Hitting EditionBy
Today and tomorrow I’m going to take a look at some core Yankees and whether I think they will be better or worse in 2011 than they were in 2010. I’ll start with the hitters today, come back tomorrow as I review the pitchers.
2010: .248/.357/.454, .357 wOBA, 18 HR.
2011 Outlook: As a full time DH that is certainly a line we can live with from Posada. Despite his advanced age I think he has a shot to improve on that line as he won’t have the same wear and tear he did as a full time catcher. While the final line was a little subpar for Posada, it’s easy to forget he was OPS’ing over 1.000 heading into June (though with limited time due to injury). The one issue I could see is that Posada will have trouble adjusting to the DH position as many players have in the past (and he has struggled in 90 games as the DH in his career). Overall I expect a slightly better performance from Jorge if he is, as expected, the full time DH.
2010: .256/.365/.481, .367 wOBA, 33 HR.
2011 Outlook: 2010 was the worst year of Tex’ career since his rookie season. He’s turning 31 just after Opening Day so there’s no age related concerns. He’ll be better next year than he was this year, book it.
2010: .319/.381/.534, .389 wOBA, 29 HR
2011: I can’t see Cano improving much on his 2010, it was truly a special season, but if he can sustain his walk rate he just might do it again next year. His BABIP on the year was consistent with his career levels, his power was very similar to his 2009 season and he continues to remain healthy. I would guess he’ll have a slight regression in 2011 but still put up the second best season of his career. If the walk rate sustains or even improves though, look out.
2010: .270/.340/.370, .320 wOBA, 10 HR
2011: While Jeter’s age is working against him I expect (hope) him to improve in 2011. While I don’t know if he’ll return to his 2009 level ever again, I think he can definitely be better in the next few years than he was in 2010. I guess somebody should have told him it’s a contract year. Seriously though I think he’ll improve, but he’ll be 37 in June so there’s no guarantee. Players like Jeter have fallen of a cliff before, let’s hope he doesn’t for a few more seasons.
2010: .271/.341/.506, .363 wOBA, 30 HR
2011: While A-Rod’s 2010 was great, it was pretty poor based on the insane standards he has set. He’s regressed every year since his monster 2007 but I’d expect a little bit of a bounce back in 2011. He may never bat .300 or slug .600 again, but I would expect him to get on base at a better clip than he did this year. The good news is he continues to move further away from his serious hip injury but the bad news is that he’s getting up there in age. I don’t think he’ll be an MVP candidate, but he’ll be better.
2010: .277/.383/.379, .358 wOBA, 47 steals
2011: Gardner did all that could have been asked of him in 2010. I do worry that what we saw last year was pretty close to his ceiling though. If he can plateau there for a few years I’ll be thrilled, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him regress to the .265/.350/.360 range next year. While I don’t advocate trading Gardner I certainly would see what his value is on the trade market.
2010: .247/.324/.468, .346 wOBA, 24 HR
2011: Aside from his big early season homerun off Jonathan Papelbon, Granderson was a disappointment for quite a while with both ineffectiveness and injury. It also didn’t help that while Granderson was struggling, Austin Jackson was off to a great start in Detroit. Once Granderson took a few days off in the summer to work with Kevin Long however, he turned it on in a big way. Something clearly clicked (some may even say #cured) and I expect big things from Granderson next year.
2010: .288/.359/.491, .377 wOBA, 29 HR
2011: As we all know, Swisher seemed to substitute some walks for hits this year on his way to one of the best seasons of his career. Swisher, aside from his one year in Chicago has been pretty consistent throughout his career so I would expect something similar in 2011. I don’t see him getting a lot better than this year, nor do I see him getting worse.