Yankees: Selecting the ideal Opening Day lineup
The ideal Yankees lineup: 4-6
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Stanton drew the ire of most Yankees fans last season due to his inability to remain healthy. His productivity was limited over just 18 games, but the former home run champion is geared to have another stellar season if he can remain on the field.
In 2019, Stanton had 32 at-bats from the cleanup spot, his most out of any position in the lineup. There he batted .313, with one home run and six RBIs. In 2018, the 6’6 slugger hit cleanup during 71 games, clobbering 21 home runs while also hitting .321.
In other words, Stanton is your ideal middle of the order at-bat. Not only will a healthy Stanton increase the Yankees already impressive production, but his bat in the fourth spot of the order deepens the Yankees already formidable lineup.
Gleyber Torres SS
With the loss of Didi Gregorius to the Philadelphia Phillies, Gleyber Torres’s full-time switch to shortstop already comes with a newfound pressure, but I believe he will also slide up in the order into the five-hole. The 23-year-old had at least one at-bat in all nine lineup spots in 2019 but was by far the most potent out of the fifth spot in the order.
Torres is a phenomenal hitter in any spot in the order, but he found his most success in the five-hole. Not only did he hit .281 in his 135 at-bats, but he also mashed 11 home runs and racked up 24 RBIs, paving the way for his best MLB season.
The young five-tool player may very well be the Yankees best hitter, and if he bats fifth, he will surely come to the plate with runners on base more times then not, giving him a chance to increase on his 38 home runs and 90 RBIs from the prior season.
Aaron Hicks CF
Aaron Hicks is another member of the Bronx Bombers who struggled to get off of the injury bus in 2019, playing just 59 games during the regular season. Battling Tommy John surgery this offseason, the COVID-19 delay has definitely lessened the time Hicks will be missing.
In his minimal appearances last season, the center-fielder hit just .235 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs, with all categories coming in lower than his 2018 numbers. Still, Hicks is a switch hitter, something the Yankees desperately need to offset their righty heavy lineup.
We already know about the California native’s defensive prowess, but since joining the Bombers his bat has come a long way as well. Look for Hicks to capitalize on batting behind such a talented hitter in Torres, and regain the offensive capabilities he displayed just two seasons ago.