Mike Tauchman was a pleasant surprise for the New York Yankees in 2019. He still has a lot to prove in 2020 to show last year wasn’t a fluke.
Mike Tauchman became a New York Yankee when they made a trade with the Colorado Rockies to acquire the outfielder. Due to injuries to Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, Tauchman earned a lot of playing time. The Yankees were not disappointed.
Last year, Tauchman played in 87 games for the Yankees. In those 87 games, he had 72 hits, 13 home runs, 47 RBI, 34 walks, and a .277 batting average. He filled in for the injured outfielders and proved that he is capable of being a starter for the Yankees in 2020.
However, the outfield scene for New York is very crowded. Judge, Stanton, and Hicks should be back and healthy enough to play this season. Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andujar are also going to make a case that they should be starting along with Tauchman.
Tauchman has a lot going for him because he is a left-handed power bat in the lineup so he will take advantage of that short porch in right field. Not only is he a capable bat in the lineup that will hit for average and power, but Tauchman is also an excellent defender. His best catch as a Yankee came last year against the Orioles when he robbed Pedro Severino of a home run last August.
I was very impressed with Tauchman’s performance last season, and I think he deserves to start for the Yankees in 2020. The only thing that can hold him back is the injury that shut him down for the rest of the season and including the postseason. He strained his calf against the Boston Red Sox, and it came a bad time because the playoffs were around the corner. His presence was missed because the offense struggled in the postseason, especially against the Astros.
The three outfield jobs will be won by those players who deserve it, and I think that Tauchman played well enough last season to prove that he can still be a consistent bat and glove in the lineup.