Experts unveil how Yankees overcome Judge’s absence

Yankees players in action during the game over the Texas Rangers, on sunday, June 25.
New York Yankees

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Even without their star player Aaron Judge, who is currently sidelined for an extended period, the New York Yankees have managed to stay competitive thanks to the exceptional performances of their backup players, known as the “next men up.”

Despite the absence of Aaron Judge, Carlos Rodon, and Harrison Bader for significant stretches and a recent slump from veterans D.J. LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees maintain a strong position in the playoff race. They are expected to strengthen once their key players return.

Improving Yankees’ performance through scouting and analytics

Jake Bauer has proven to be valuable contributors to the Yankees when the star players have been injured.

To understand the Yankees’ consistent success and absence of losing seasons, their collaboration between pro scouting and analytics plays a crucial role. Andy Martino, an MLB Insider for, has noted that in the past five years, players such as Luke Voit, Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, Rougned Odor, Cameron Maybin, Tim Locastro, and more have proven to be valuable contributors to their team when the star players have been injured or underperformed.

The Yankees have had a remarkable season, thanks partly to the outstanding performances of players such as Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun, and Billy McKinney. During the offseason, all professional scouting departments can access minor league free agents and potential non-roster invitees for spring training.

However, the Yankees consistently excel at selecting the right players for their needs. The organization’s success in this area can be attributed to the collaboration between scouting and analytics, with team officials acknowledging the importance of working together. While challenges such as rigid analysts or closed-minded scouts may arise at times, the overall culture established by General Manager Brian Cashman emphasizes breaking down these barriers.

Hybrid expertise

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been criticized by fans.
Andrew Savulich / AP

The Yankees have fostered an environment where key personnel possesses data analytics and scouting expertise. For instance, Tim Naehring, Brian Cashman‘s top evaluator and a former infielder, is well-versed in data and technology, while assistant GM Michael Fishman regularly communicates with renowned scout Omar Minaya. Matt Daley, a former MLB pitcher, heads the pro scouting department and is knowledgeable in analytics.

Brian Cashman has sought individuals with hybrid skill sets like Daley since the department was established by current Mets GM Billy Eppler in 2005. Daley has been in charge of pro scouting since early 2019, when players like Urshela, Tauchman, and Maybin made significant contributions, popularizing the “next man up” concept. 

In the most recent offseason, the Yankees targeted players such as Bauers, McKinney, Calhoun, and Franchy Cordero, with scouting reports and qualitative evaluations guiding their decisions.

Identifying the right Players for success

McKinney has been the most productive among the group, displaying a .950 OPS with four home runs and solid defense. While Bauers’ performance has slightly declined recently, the team believes in his power potential. Cordero made valuable contributions with key home runs before experiencing a decline, and Calhoun delivered clutch hits before being sidelined with a quad strain.

The sustainability of their success varies for each player, but the primary objective of the team’s depth is to hold the fort while their star players are unavailable. Identifying the correct minor league free agents is a critical task undertaken by various members of the Yankees organization. 

Although not the most glamorous aspect, building quality depth is crucial for contending teams. A roster that combines star power with dependable depth is essential for making a playoff run.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

2 thoughts on “Experts unveil how Yankees overcome Judge’s absence

  1. This is all well and good but how many Championships have the Yankees won since 2009? How many ALCS have the Yankees won since 2009? Obviously, other MLB teams, like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and even Boston seem to do this better.

  2. great article, and they are definitely identifying players that can give us a 1/2 year/year/year and a 1/2 productivity.
    but are we spending too much time and resources on this after looking at our injuriy plagued, and offensively deficient
    starting 9 ?? and are they only looking at all bat and no glove players ??
    and with all this research, how do you explain such a bad Opening Day bench ??
    and how do you explain needing to play a guy like IKF ?? who is deficiemt in almost every aspect of the game ??

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