Catcher – Advantage Yankees
With a total of105 games played in 2019, Martin Maldonado only played 27 games in an Astros uniform. His yearly average of .212 and OPS of .671 is nothing to write home about, but in those 27 games, he hit six out of his 12 home runs for the season yielding him an average of .202 and an OPS of .781 with the ‘Stros. There is something to be said for that emotional drive when a player is part of a team on which he feels at home.
Gary Sanchez is a power hitter who hit 34 home runs with an OPS of .841 in 2019. But Maldonado definitely wins out over Sanchez defensively speaking.
Starting in 86 games, Sanchez had a fielding percentage of .982 and caught 11 runners stealing. On the other hand, between the Royals, Cubs, and the Astros, Maldonado started a total of 98 games with a fielding percentage of .993 and 10 runners caught stealing.
Because of the offensive differences in this position, the Yankees take the advantage at catcher.
DH – Advantage Astros
Our 2019 Rookie of the Year, Yordan Alvarez, led the MLB overall in a majority of offensive categories. He had chart-topping numbers with an average of .313, an OBP of .412, a slugging percentage of .655, and an OPS of 1.067. In 313 ABs, Alvarez homered 27 times and ended the season with a WAR of 3.7.
And while he wasn’t with the Yankees but for 44 games, Edwin Encarnacion ended 2019 with an average of .244, an OBP of .344, slugging at .531, and an OPS of .875. In 418 ABs, he had 34 HRs and a WAR of 2.7. Encarnacion recently signed with the White Sox for 2020, with an option for 2021. For now, advantage Astros.
Look for comparisons of our outfielders coming soon. Once Spring Training gets underway and we have more information, we’ll also do some pitching analyses.
Admittedly, the loss of Cole caused me a certain amount of concern and initially clouded my thinking about the 2020 squad. These comparisons have helped to restore my hope that 2020 is going to be another awesome year.
The Yankees may have improved their starting pitching by spending way too much money, but we’ve witnessed this behavior before, and it’s a known fact that history tends to repeat itself.
I don’t know about you, but I’m counting the days until catchers and pitchers report for Spring Training, exactly 40 days away, and then Opening Day 2020 is just a mere 84 days away.