Insider examines five Yankees lineup possibilities to meet next year’s challenges

Yankees captain Aaron Judge

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As Spring Training approaches, Aaron Boone finds himself equipped with the depth he desires to lead the Yankees to success, courtesy of a revamped lineup. The once glaring void in left field has been effectively addressed with the acquisitions of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo. Alongside Aaron Judge, this trio is anticipated to rank among the top four hitters in MLB, offering a substantial boost to the team’s offensive capabilities.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic has proposed five different lineups for the 2024 Yankees

Yankees Opening Day lineup (vs. Verlander)

DJ LeMahieu3B
Juan SotoLF
Aaron JudgeCF
Giancarlo StantonDH
Gleyber Torres2B
Anthony Rizzo1B
Alex VerdugoRF
Jose TrevinoC
Anthony VolpeSS
dj-lemahieu-new-york-yankees
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In this lineup, there are two potential MVP candidates in Soto and Judge, and Stanton’s power continues to pose a significant threat. However, Verdugo gets the nod to start in right field in this scenario due to his superior defensive abilities compared to Soto, which is particularly advantageous in the expansive Houston ballpark during the opening series against Justin Verlander.

Yankees lineup against lefty-led rotation

DJ LeMahieu3B
Juan SotoLF
Aaron JudgeCF
Giancarlo StantonDH
Gleyber Torres2B
Anthony Rizzo1B
Trent GrishamCF
Jose TrevinoC
Anthony VolpeSS

When facing left-handed pitchers, Grisham steps in for Verdugo because of his reverse splits and stronger performance against lefties. Stanton, despite encountering challenges overall, remains a formidable presence against left-handed pitchers, while Rizzo also excels when facing them.

Yankees lineup against righty-led rotation

Alex VerdugoLF
Juan SotoRF
Aaron JudgeCF
Giancarlo StantonDH
Gleyber Torres2B
Anthony Rizzo1B
DJ LeMahieu3B
Austin WellsC
Anthony VolpeSS
New York Yankees captain Aaron Judge is flanked by new signings Alex Verdugo and Juan Soto
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Last season, the Yankees ended up tied for the 26th position in wRC+ when facing right-handed pitching. This statistic placed them among the bottom performers in the league, sharing the ranking with teams like the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and Colorado Rockies. It’s not the kind of standing a team aiming for a championship should find themselves in across any category.

In this lineup configuration, LeMahieu shifts down to add depth, enabling Verdugo to resume his familiar leadoff position against right-handed pitchers. Depending on Boone’s preference for the catcher, Wells might also get some starting opportunities.

Volpe leading Yankees lineup

Anthony VolpeSS
Juan SotoRF
Aaron JudgeCF
Giancarlo StantonDH
Anthony Rizzo1B
Gleyber Torres2B
Alex VerdugoLF
DJ LeMahieu3B
Jose TrevinoC
anthony-volpe-new-york-yankees
VolpeParm11

Although Anthony Volpe possesses the attributes of an ideal leadoff hitter in the long run, his current on-base percentage (OBP) indicates the need for further development. It is imperative for him to prioritize enhancing his OBP, even if it means compromising some power, as it could significantly impact his success on the field.

Yankees lineup changes after Dominguez’s return

Anthony VolpeSS
Juan SotoRF
Aaron JudgeCF
Jasson DomínguezLF
Giancarlo StantonDH
Anthony Rizzo1B
Gleyber Torres2B
DJ LeMahieu3B
Austin WellsC

The anticipation reaches new heights with the impending return of Jasson Domínguez from Tommy John surgery. As a potential cleanup hitter, his addition to the lineup alongside Soto, Judge, and Volpe could create a formidable top four, adding another layer of excitement to the team’s future prospects.

Jasson Dominguez in his New York Yankees uniform, standing confidently on the baseball field, representing the team's top prospect according to Major League Baseball rankings.
AP

The key to Yankees success

While these potential lineups offer exciting prospects, the Yankees’ true challenge lies in their ability to:

Maintain Health: Injuries significantly impacted their performance in 2023, making injury prevention a top priority.

Strike a Balance Between Power and On-Base Skills: It’s essential to find the optimal blend of Stanton’s power and LeMahieu’s ability to get on base.

Foster Anthony Volpe’s Development: Transforming Volpe into a consistent leadoff hitter is critical for their long-term success.

Incorporate Jasson Domínguez: Effectively integrating Domínguez upon his return will be pivotal for the team’s success.

The Yankees possess the potential to dominate in 2024. By prioritizing health, achieving a harmonious balance, and nurturing their young talent, they can translate their potential into championship triumph.

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