Astros: Comparing the 2020 outfield lineup against the Yankees
By Karen Watson
Right Field – Advantage Yankees
MLB aired its top 10 right fielders for 2019 on Jan. 18. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to see Aaron Judge at number three in these ranks with his fielding percentage of 1.000 over his 92 games in right field. And even though he has yet to meet his rookie-high offensive numbers, his average of .272, OPS of .381, slugging percentage of .540, and 27 home runs prove he is still a very relevant force to be reckoned with at the plate.
There are a lot of critics saying it’s time to trade Josh Reddick even though he didn’t have the worst year, either offensively or defensively, when comparing his 2019 stats with his career averages. Although he didn’t hit for a lot of power this past season, with a notable 14 homers, he did end the year with an above-career batting average of .275, an on-base average of .319, slugging of .409, and OPS of .728. He only struck out a total of 66 times over his 141 games, which is notably one of his best showings in this category over his 11-year career in the majors.
Like his offense, Reddick’s defense was average to above average over his career numbers in many of the graded categories. His fielding percentage was .981 with nine defensive runs saved in right field and nine saved in other outfield positions for which he played in 2019. Like Springer and Brantley, Reddick will become a free agent going into 2021.
With only a small sample size – 11 games to be exact – the numbers for Kyle Tucker are promising. With a fielding percentage of 1.000 and four defensive runs saved, chances are pretty good he gets quite a few starts in 2020, especially with his offensive promise. In only 67 at-bats, Tucker hit four homers, had an average of .269, 11 RBIs, 5 stolen bases, a slugging percentage of .537, and an OPS of .857.
While the start of 2020 weighs in favor of the Yankees in right field, this position could prove to be an edge for the Astros as the season wears on.