Yankees player grades for ALDS sweep of Twins
Bottom of the batting order
It’s almost unfair to call the Yankees six through nine hitters the “bottom of the lineup,” when you consider who they are and what they’ve accomplished, but that’s how good the Bombers are up and down the lineup.
Gleyber Torres (A+) — If I were a teacher and could give the score of 100 plus another 20 points for extra credit, that’s what I would hand the 22-year-old. Torres became the youngest Yankees infielder since Derek Jeter (1996) to hit a postseason homer in Game 3. Perhaps the most integral part of the Yankee lineup, Torres finished the ALDS going 5-for-12 with five runs scored, three doubles, four RBIs and swiped four bases. His 1.378 OPS was astronomical, and his fantastic second base play proves he’s a star.
From his quickness of turning double plays to a sliding grab in short right field and the wherewithal to throw out Eddie Rosario at first base to help Chad Green escape a third inning Game 3 jam, Torres is my series MVP.
Gary Sanchez (C-) — In Sanchez’s eight official at-bats, only once did he look comfortable — and low and behold, he ripped a line drive past the shortstop. Otherwise, El Gary was contained, although he did manage to walk three times, score one run and sport a .417 OBP. Perhaps Sanchez’s strongest showing of the ALDS came behind the plate. Although he did allow one past ball, overall, he called three wonderful games, made some spectacular blocks and kept his pitchers focused for all 27 innings.
Didi Gregorius (B+) — Batting in an unfamiliar eighth spot, manager Aaron Boone was looking to take as much pressure off Gregorius as possible. And it worked, especially in Game 2 when Sir Didi hit a mammoth upper deck grand slam to put the contest out of reach. Gregorius would finish 4-for-10 with two runs scored, six RBIs and a 1.200 OPS. Hopefully, this is just the start of Didi’s breakout postseason performance. He also excelled with the glove, making several athletic plays at shortstop.
Gio Urshela (C-) — While there is never any doubt about Ursehla’s glove, coming off a groin strain, his bat during September never got going. However, with a glut of other offensive producers, the Yanks can manage to start the surehanded Ursehla and wait for his stick to come around. During the three games, Ursehla went 3-for-12 with a run scored, a double and two strikeouts.
Cameron Maybin (B) — The only position player used off the bench, Maybin slugged a late-inning home run in Game 3. Other than that, he got up three times, scored two times, struck out twice and stole two bases. While the stolen bases are a plus, Maybin’s primary use is as a defensive replacement for Stanton. So as long as Maybin plays a solid left field, there’s nothing more to say.