Yankees: 3 players who have proved us wrong beyond belief

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: Tyler Wade #14 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after he scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 2021 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Wade was a pinch runner for Luke Voit. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 22: Tyler Wade #14 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after he scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 2021 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Wade was a pinch runner for Luke Voit. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Wade #14 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

1. Tyler Wade

Again, even the most optimistic, delusional Yankees fans couldn’t have predicted any of this, and Tyler Wade’s performance tops the list. In the last 18 games he’s played in, the Bombers are 16-2. How?

Wade’s defensive contributions typically outshine his offensive ones. And it’s easy to see why. He’s a positive dWAR player and has filled in a second base, shortstop, third base, and all three outfield spots. He’s provided a lot more flexibility for Aaron Boone on that end.

And now the offense has come around. Wait, what?!

Yup. Wade is hitting .278 with a .698 OPS and 95 OPS+ in a career-high 79 games. He’s stolen 12 bases. With runners in scoring position, those numbers balloon to .318 and .808. What alternate universe have we been transferred to? This all comes after he had a career batting average under .200 through his first 200-something games.

What timing, too, because the Yankees will likely have a lot of tough roster decisions to make in the coming weeks. Wade has made it even more difficult on Cashman and Boone, both of whom would be hard-pressed not to view him as an integral piece down the stretch … and maybe even the postseason.