3 New York Yankees players who'll be better in 2023 and 2 who won't

New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers
New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages
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Josh Donaldson, 3B

Eyesight doesn't get better with age. Despite high-quality hard contact numbers in 2021 that portended good things for a move to Yankee Stadium, Donaldson's offensive profile got markedly worse, even as he maintained solid exit velocity.

The main issue? He didn't hit the ball very often.

He swung and missed harder than ever, falling in the eighth percentile for whiff percentage, 15th for strikeout percentage, and seventh for expected batting average. That is brutal, and unlike a fine wine, it probably won't get better with age.

That's what Donaldson is, after all. He's fine. And he whines. His defense remains exceptional, and occasionally he'll tattoo a walk-off grand slam into the short porch and make everyone think he's en route back to consistently bringing rain.

Unfortunately, Donaldson's age-37 season is likely to include some defensive regression, too. His ability to make consistent contact disappeared almost overnight, so why wouldn't his range and agility decline, too?

When the Yankees traded for Donaldson, they were prepared to absorb a hefty salary alongside the benefit of vicious slugging with baked-in injury concerns. The slugging rarely materialized in 2022, and there's very little reason to believe everything will turn on a dime next season, when he will likely be wearing this uniform once again.