2. Boone Doesn’t Make His Players Confident
Another deficiency of Boone’s management style is that he fails to instill confidence in his players. Most of the fielding and hitting problems that several Yankee players are experiencing should have been fully addressed and mostly resolved before the regular season. There are a few examples of this.
Gleyber Torres has had problems with his fielding and throwing early on as a second baseman. Boone was aware of this and should have made sure those problems would not be carried over to his switch to shortstop when the season began, especially since shortstop is a much more challenging position to play than second base.
As a consequence, Torres’ play at shortstop throughout most of the regular 2021 season has been inconsistent and has hurt the Yanks. It almost appears that Torres received little or no extra work on his fielding and throwing during the offseason and Spring Training. Boone should have anticipated this and made sure that his new shortstop received enough instruction during the offseason and Spring Training so that he was ready to field his new position.
Torres has seemed quite unsure playing shortstop until recently, and he has appeared to lack confidence in the field. It took him about 35-40 games into the 2021 season to show improvement at the plate after growing comfortable with his throwing and fielding.
There are other examples of Boone’s inability to instill confidence in his players. Gary Sanchez is still struggling as the Yanks’ backstop, and his hitting continues to suffer. He is still insecure in the batter’s box and behind home plate.
While Clint Frazier seems to have gained confidence in the field (and has made several remarkable catches), he has struggled in the batter’s box (with a slash line of .172/.284/.305 in 2021 compared to .267/.394/.511 in 2020). His hitting has been erratic most of the season, and he lacks self-assurance at the plate, taking strike three more often than we can count. Boone needs to help Frazier reduce his self-imposed stress in the batter’s box to get a hit and learn how to relax at the plate. Then the hits will come. What has he done to set these players up tp succeed?
Pitchers Deivi Garcia and Michael King, two promising young starting pitchers for the Yanks at the beginning of the 2021 season, threw erratically against the Tigers, one of the worst hitting teams in MLB. The two pitchers seemed uncertain about what to throw, and they lacked poise and self-assurance on the mound against the Tigers. They have regressed instead of advanced as major league hurlers in 2021.
As has nearly everyone Boone touches.