Left Field – This one was close; many will think Roy White deserves this spot. But maybe the second-best leadoff hitter of all time, Tim Raines, played three seasons in the Bronx. At 36 years-old, Rock joined the Yankees in 2006. By then, he was far from the man who swiped 70 or more bases in six straight seasons back in the 80s.
He might not have terrorized opponents with stolen bases, but he could still get on base better than most players, as evidenced by his .299 batting average, .395 on-base percentage, and .823 OPS. Raines .636 runs per game average with the Yankees was slightly better than his career .627. The Hall of Famer was part of the Bombers championship teams in both 1996 and 1998.
Center Field – This is the biggest no brainer in history. Mickey Mantle is the greatest center fielder in New York Yankees history (no offense to Joltin Joe) and possibly Major League Baseball history. He is also the absolute best switch hitter this game has ever seen.
Mantle’s career is almost impossible to sum up in a paragraph, and I will pass on the job. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, this is from his HOF Bio:
"Mantle retired prior to the 1969 season with 536 home runs, 1,676 runs scored, 1,509 RBI, 1,733 walks, and a .298 batting average. He was named to 20 All-Star Games, won a Gold Glove for his play in center field in 1962, and was a part of seven Yankees teams that won the World Series. He hit a record 18 home runs in his 12 appearances in the Fall Classic."
The numbers can be quantified, what Mantle means to the New York Yankees franchise can’t.
Right Field – Normally, someone who produced the way Nick Swisher did in a New York Yankees would get a little more attention. The right fielder spent four full seasons in pinstripes. In that time, he hit 134 doubles, 105 home runs, drove in 349 runs, and had an outstanding .850 OPS. Swisher was a member of the 2009 World Series-winning team and represented the team at the 2010 All-Star Game.
Subs – Aaron Hicks is a decent hitter but isn’t of the caliber many of the players on this team are. He can more than hold his own in the outfield. Combining his average performance at the plate, above-average play defensively, and ability to switch hit, it’s easy to see why Hicks is so vital to the current New York Yankees.
Roy White played his entire 16-year Major League career for the Bronx Bombers, The majority of that time he was part of the Yankees teams from the late 60s and early 70s that CBS ownership ran into the ground. His perseverance eventually paid off as White won a pair of rings with the Bronx Zoo era teams.
Maybe it’s due to when he played that White isn’t mentioned as one of the franchise’s better performers. He was a star when the team was terrible. By the time they started winning, White was in the periphery among a locker room full of strong personalities. He is in11th place on the Yankees all-time hits list with 1,803, and his 233 stolen bases are sixth.