While one recent New York Yankees fan favorite in Masahiro Tanaka remains overseas in Japan after the minute chance of him returning to the states this offseason dissipated, he’s not the only 2019 Yankee currently opening eyes in Asia.
The latest edition of Ex-Yankees Small Sample Size Theater is incredible, and it comes courtesy of Mike Tauchman, who put up valuable bench reps on the 107-win San Francisco Giants last season before taking the money in Korea with the Hanwha Eagles this offseason.
So far, so extremely good, as Mike has consistently Tauch’d that Tauch since the curtains rose on the 2022 season.
In his first six games in the KBO, Tauchman hit .478 and piled up nearly a full 1.0 WAR in under a week of action, clocking in at 0.95.
Is this at all predictive of how the rest of his season will go? Will the Yankees rue the day they let Tauchman blossom overseas?
Settle down. No, no, no. It’s just … amazing theater.
Former Yankees OF Mike Tauchman is destroying baseballs in the KBO
Tauchman was … how can we put this … quite bad when the dust settled on his 2021 season, though he did display the “clutch gene” from time to time. He ripped a come-from-behind grand slam in the eighth inning of a battle in Texas and endeared himself to Giants fans, but … the numbers don’t lie. He wrapped the year batting .178 in 64 games with four bombs and a 56 OPS+, unable to match his breakout 2019 season or even approach it.
That year, of course, the Yankees might’ve had a hefty playoff run ahead of them, but lost Tauchman in a Sunday Night game at Fenway Park after he’d posted a 128 OPS+ in 87 games.
When Giancarlo Stanton also went down in the ALCS in Houston, with Tauchman unable to replace him, that might’ve been the death blow to the Yankees’ depth.
Safe to say we’d rather see him thriving and piling up coin overseas rather than playing for a Yankees rival, consistently rubbing his departure in their faces. Win-win here for both parties.