Kevin Youkilis in Yankee pinstripes? Yup. According to Ken Rosenthal, Youkilis has signed a one-year, $12 million contract with New York.
Now, Youkilis is one of my favorite fantasy players. This is because I primarily play in leagues that count either walks or OBP and in those categories Youk can make up a lot of ground compared to other third basemen who thrive in more traditional fantasy categories..
However, Youkilis has been on a bit of a decline the past few seasons. Okay, that is a bit of an understatement.
The Greek God of Walks is fading, and fast.
At one point in his career, Youkilis look was looking like the next big masher at corner infield. Unfortunately, Youk has yet to make good on his burgeoning that we saw in 2008 (29 homers, 115 RBI) and 2009 (27 homers, 94 RBI). Why is that?
- Youkilis is injury prone, which is funny when so many people talk about how he is an old-school, tough-as-nails type. Youk has never played more than 150 games in a season, and he has failed to play more than 125 in each of the past three seasons.
- Youk is old. I mean 33 in baseball years is like being 66 years old. It’s all downhill after that. Which also means, that power probably ain’t coming, kids.
So what does going to the Yankees do to bring some life to this old fella?
Well perhaps enough to make him an intriguing pick up late in drafts, especially if your league requires an extra 1B/3B or CI position. If your league is 12 teams or less with only one 3B spot and a UTL spot as the ninth batter, you should have better options, unless your league is one that counts walks and or OBP. Then you can still probably make room for Youkilis. All of this comes for a few simple reasons:
- Yankee Stadium is a hitters park, but everyone knows that already. Hopefully it could help Youk get back to the right side of .280, heck .260 would be nice.
- The Yankees lineup, although reeling, still offers good protection in the form of Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and others We all know that Youk can wait for his pitch.
- The excitement of a new scenery can be just what the doctor ordered for some guys. Youk had a nice resurgence after being traded last year, and maybe moving to New York will give the same chance.
I won’t project Youkilis to have a huge spike in production going to the Yankees, however it can’t possibly hurt since his last year’s line was a pedestrian: 72 runs, 19 homers, 60 RBI, 0 steals, .235 average.
Here are my early projections: