New York Yankees: Aaron Judge has been great, but don’t forget about everyone else

Apr 17, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; The New York Yankees react after defeating the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; The New York Yankees react after defeating the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

While Aaron Judge has received a lot of the attention, other players on the New York Yankees have been great this season.

In a young 2017 baseball season, the New York Yankees‘ success has been hyped around the standout play by rookie Aaron Judge. Don’t get me wrong, Judge has been fantastic but, let’s not forget how well everyone else has been playing.

Players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley have been having a solid season so far. Ellsbury is batting a solid .275 with an on-base-percentage of .358, higher than his career on-base-percentage. Headly has never been, outside of his 2012 season (31 home run with 115 RBIs), a game-changing batter. With that said, his .260 batting average would be his highest since that 2012 season.

The next few players mentioned, I give full credit to Brian Cashman and his ability to find players worth trading for. In addition to finding the players, he has been able to acquire them for next to nothing, which has bolstered the Yankees into the competitive team they have become.

Starting with Didi Gregorius, who became a Yankee in a 2014. Gregorius was apart of a three-team trade, where the Yankees only had to trade Shane Greene. Since then, Gregorius has become better and better each and every year.

In his first season with the team, Gregorius hit .265 with nine homers and 56 RBIs, which was respectable for a young player who plays great defense and was replacing arguably the best shortstop of all-time. Last year though, Didi raised the bar, hitting .270 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs. After missing the first 20 games of the 2017 season, Gregorius is hitting .297, and you can bet to see him stay around the .300 mark this season.

Starlin Castro was a part of a 2015 trade with the Chicago Cubs, in which the Yankees gave up Adam Warren (now back on the Yankees as a part of the Aroldis Chapman trade) and Brendan Ryan. Castro has always shown off the talent at the plate, but the Cubs didn’t feel comfortable with him being their everyday shortstop. So with Addison Russell on his rise up to the majors, the Yankees were able to get Castro for cheap from the Cubs.

The Yankees moved Castro over from shortstop to second base and last season had the highest fielding percentage (.980) of his career, not to mention his 21 home runs last season.  So far in 2017 Castro has been arguably the Yankees second best hitter, behind Judge, as he has a great batting average of .338,  with seven home runs and 25 RBIs.

Aaron Hicks has been arguably the biggest surprise for the Yankees this season. Hicks at one point was on the Minnesota Twin’s best prospects, but once being called up to the majors, Hicks was traded to the Yankees in 2015 in exchange for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy. In his first season with the Yankees, Hicks’s struggles at the plate continued as he batted a mere .217 with just eight home runs and 31 RBIs over 123 games played. Hicks in 2017 seems to have put the pieces together, as he is batting .317 with six home run and 16 RBIs.

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Lastly, the 2012 “blockbuster” trade where the Yankees traded Jesús Montero for Michael Pineda. At the time, both players appeared to be future stars but time has told a different story. Pineda missed two full seasons after being acquired by the Yankees and since then has gone through plenty of ups and downs.

Pineda in 2017 has been the Yankees best pitcher and has picked up the slack for a struggling Masahiro Tanaka. Montero spent 2016 in the minors and hasn’t played a game yet as he was suspended for 50 games for an illegal stimulant. Compare that to Pineda’s 3.27 ERA, 50 strikeouts over 41.1 innings in 2017 and its clear that it was another winning trade for the Yankees, that has paid dividends to them this season.

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Before the you call me an idiot, I just want to say that I’m not trying to take credit away from the fantastic season Judge has had, but to give credit to the players that haven’t gotten much.