Saturday, February 2, 2013

State of the Yankees: Third Base

With Alex Rodriguez's return in 2013 seeming to be more and more unlikely by the day, this post will focus on the Yankees third baseman of 2013: Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis was acquired by the Yankees via free agency on a one year contract to fill the void left by A-Rod's unexpected hip surgery. Youkilis will be getting paid $13 million by the Yankees for one year. The third baseman took the contract with the Yankees over the Indians offer because despite getting more years from Cleveland, Youk can build his value over one year with the Yankees and demand a larger deal in free agency after the 2013 season. Youkilis was not playing at full strength last season with the Red Sox and White Sox. His numbers have been declining over the last several years and he suddenly finds himself to be a shell of his former self.

Youkilis sat down with Jack Curry of the YES Network and informed Curry that he has been working hard to be his former self that garnered so much respect while in Boston. Youkilis is 33 years old and his defense is suspect, but one thing that you can take to the bank is his ability to perform with the lights shining brightly. He proved in unforgiving Boston that he was a clutch player, before a falling out with the manager, Bobby Valentine, which signaled his ultimate departure from Boston.

I expect a re-energized Kevin Youkilis this season who will help the Yankees offense. He is an on-base machine. He draws plenty of walks and has the ability to hit the ball out of the park. His improved hitting mechanics should bring him back to something of his former self after watching video of his 2008 season where he mashed 29 homers and drove in 115. Youkilis can be a valuable asset to the Yankees this year, and I sure can't wait to see what happens the first time the Yankees visit the Red Sox is Beantown.

My 2013 predictions for Kevin Youkilis: .260 BA, 18 HR, 72 RBI

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