2011 Bench Projections and Preview

This will be the last set of projections I post and it will be for maybe the most improved part of the team.  Rob mentioned something during the last podcast about how during the past two seasons, the Yankees have added to their bench to make it stronger throughout the course of the season, but that this year, they have a very strong from the start.  We’ll see if that has any effect on the way they play.  Here they are:

Francisco Cervelli

.258/.323/.343, 2 homers, 19 RBI, .297 BABIP

Although he will start the season on the disabled list, Cervelli will be back soon as the back up.  He should have a decent year, but with Jesus Montero knocking on the door, who knows how long he will last.  If Montero gets off to a good start in Triple A, it could only be a couple of weeks before Cervelli is traded or designated for assignment.

Eric Chavez

.237/.292/.365, 5 homers, 27 RBI, .293 BABIP

This is where the big improvement is from last season.  Chavez, if healthy can hit for power and contact and also has a very good glove at both first base and third base.  With an aging Alex Rodriguez and the seemingly large possibility that Mark Teixeira will have an awful April, he should see a lot of playing time early in the season.  He gives the Yanks some more depth, more power, and more experience off the bench.

Eduardo Nunez

.269/.298/.353, 4 homers, 47 RBI, .301 BABIP, 15 SB

Nunez will be the speedster off the bench just because he is the only guy here with above average speed.  He will also be the overall utility guy because he can play second, third, short, left, and right.  In this way he is very valuable.  Also, after working with Robinson Cano’s father over the winter, his hitting is much improved.  Look for a solid season out of him.

Andruw Jones

.224/.325/.423, 19 homers, 54 RBI, .249 BABIP

Jones is basically the 2011 version of Marcus Thames, but just a better fielder.  he can play all three of the outfield positions, although center is a bit of stretch, and as PECOTA projected he will hit a few more homers.  I do, however, expect a higher average, but the OBP being more than 100 points higher than the batting average is always good.

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