Tim Locastro is the perfect 2022 Yankees bench player


For the haters clicking this well-crafted piece: Tim Locastro, New York Yankees outfield burner, is not a perfect baseball player. I know that now. I knew that when I started.

For the lovers: Tim Locastro is an absurdly perfect fit for the 2022 New York Yankees bench, putting bat on ball, diving around the outfield with reckless abandon, showing off sneaky pop, setting fires on the base paths, and — most importantly — REPEATEDLY CHOOSING TO STEAL.

Because that’s what’s most important about Locastro. His attitude manifests in his moving feet. He is in the top 5% of fast runners across Major League Baseball, and he does not wait around.

When he’s on first base, he’s thinking of ways to get to second. He’s not thinking for very long, though. Because, one — maybe two — pitches later, he’s already there.

After a long line of plodding additions to the Bombers, and a somehow even longer line of quick players who seem to have no idea they’re quick, Locastro understands that his speed is a weapon, and he hammers it into the ground like a Season 4 Family Guy cutaway joke.

Locastro is different from those who came before him, and he’s different from the entire rest of the offense. He’s like if a September call-up pinch runner had a bat, too. He’s extremely impressive, and he’s the kind of force who can produce haphazard runs by design in any season.

A curve in the dirt, a fastball outside, a grounder, and one loose pitch to the backstop … and you have yourself an insurance run.

Yankees speedster Tim Locastro is the perfect 2022 bench piece.

Locastro doesn’t need to pile up extra-base hits to reach the extra bases. This article is not being written because of his early-season 241 OPS+. It’s because he brings the attitude and intensity Yankee fans have been outright begging for for two decades, and he also brings the skills to match his instincts.

When you frustratedly yell, “GO!” he’s already going.

Locastro was a bullet during Aaron Hicks’ paternity leave, scoring from first on Marwin Gonzalez’s looper in Thursday’s matinee and walking twice/stealing his third base of the year/jetting home on a wild pitch minutes later.

His trip around the bases to kickstart the Yankees’ scoring, in fast-forward, will be the highlight that gets replayed often from this one, but do not sleep on his Superman slide into home. In just one game, there were four or five superlative Locastro moments.

You know the best part about the story Locastro is writing? If not for some paperwork shifting, he could easily be on the 2022 Red Sox, another down-roster swipe for Chaim Bloom’s acolytes to brag about.

Boston added Locastro in November as he rehabbed from the ACL tear that ended his 2021 season, then let him loose a month later, reportedly “hoping to re-sign him.” Spoiler alert? Brian Cashman intervened, just a few weeks after Bloom went public endorsing his new toy, stating, “With his speed and athleticism, he’s great depth for us to add at the beginning of the off-season.”

Instead, he’s great depth for the Yankees, yet again. After a year-plus of Garrett Whitlock face-rubbing (and rightfully so), it feels good that this strike at the margins may actually have paid off for a Yankees team that desperately needed an infusion of exactly what Locastro provides.