Second baseman – Robinson Cano (2012)
Robinson Cano will go down as the most significant Yankees’ second baseman ever. It’s a damn shame he is playing for another organization, but he wanted the big payday. I don’t blame him for walking away for the money since it’s his trade, but imagine if Cano was in the 2018 lineup?
The Yankees wouldn’t be able to afford him unless GM Brian Cashman made some crafty moves. His departure hurt the organization for several years, but it would lead to higher draft picks and trading away veterans to start the rebuild. I guess we can be thankful that he is gone.
His swing reminded me of Ken Griffey Jr.’s. It was interesting watching him come up, within the organization and develop into a star.
Cano had a bunch of terrific seasons for the Yankees, especially between 2009-2013. However, his best season was 2012. He slashed .313/.379/.550 and hit 33 home runs with 94 RBI.
Backup second baseman
Choosing Cano’s 2012 was the obvious choice. I didn’t have to think too long and hard about this one, but there is another player worth having on the roster.
Willie Randolph (1980)
Willie Randolph’s career season in 1980 helped him rank 15th in MVP votes, make the All-Star team and win the Silver Slugger. He slashed .292/.427/.407, stole 30 bases and walked a league-high 119 times. Out of all the players I named so far, he brought speed to the ball club. That may be enough to earn him a backup spot on my roster.
Tony Lazzeri (1929)
A vital member of the Yankees’ ‘Murderers Row’ in the late 1920s, Lazzeri cannot be overlooked because he is a Hall of Famer! In 1929, he had a better slash line than Cano did too. However, I preferred Cano’s power and slick fielding over Lazzeri.
Lazzeri, in his career-year, batted a career-high .354/.429/.561 with 18 homers and 106 runs batted in.
Joe Gordon (1942)
I will be honest; I didn’t know who Joe Gordon was until I read this article from Pinstripe Alley. Shame on me, because he is a Hall of Famer too.
Gordon took over the position for Tony Lazzeri in 1938. He had an impressive slash line in his 1942 career year, batting .322/.409/.491 with 18 home runs and 106 RBI.