The most historic franchise in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, have had a plethora of extraordinary talents play for them. Which players have had the greatest single-season performances?
Some of us have only heard of the great players to wear pinstripes and bring home 27 World Series championships. Now it is time to take a look at the best players at their positions over their careers with the Yankees.
I had to do this piece after a couple of Yankee fans I follow on Twitter tweeted out some interesting posts about an all-time greatest lineup. The question was initially posted by Justin Diamond, “A Yankees fan who doesn’t hate the Mets,” according to his profile.
Quote this tweet with your all-time lineup. DH included in the lineup.
Tell me your pitcher.
— Justin Diamond (@justinddiamond) February 14, 2018
Then, the analytical Zachary Abate, who I recommend you follow if you want impressive stats on your Twitter feed, decided to post his most excellent lineup opinion. Each player that Abate picked had the highest WAR performance at each position in franchise history.
I’ll stick with Yankees:
SS Derek Jeter (1999)
LF Babe Ruth (1921)
1B Lou Gehrig (1927)
CF Mickey Mantle (1957)
3B Alex Rodriguez (2007)
RF Aaron Judge (2017)
2B Robinson Cano (2012)
C Thurman Munson (1973)
DH Don Baylor (1983)
SP Ron Guidry (1978)
RP Mariano Rivera (1996) https://t.co/iWvRJmJJuD
— Zachary Abate (@zabate) February 14, 2018
Now before I reveal my picks for the players with the best season in club history according to position — and therefore plug them into a Yankees’ lineup, I would like to remind everyone that so many great players have played for the Bronx Bombers. And it was hard to pick these players out by their corresponding calendar year, but I tried my best.
How I determined the roster
To provide a different lineup than Abate’s, I did not make my decisions based off of WAR. Even though I think WAR is a vital attribute to consider when comparing players, I’ll instead rely on others.
The slash line (AVG/OBP/SLG) was critical to my calculations for hitters, and I gave a boost to Gold Glove fielders. For pitchers, I relied heavily on FIP, ERA, WHIP, innings pitched and strikeouts.
Similar to Abate, I’ll get very analytical and crunch the numbers to put the very best team forward representing a monster season. However, I will also factor in the legacy and clutch performances each of these players had with the organization.
After highlighting which player I choose for my starting lineup, I’ve listed off the reserve players. And to be honest, creating this list puts things in perspective for me, as a die-hard Yankees fan. Maybe it will do the same for you.