Constructing the Ideal 2018 New York Yankees Lineup

Aaron Boone is in uncharted territory, and it is not because he is a first-year manager of the New York Yankees that has never held a coaching position.

Rather, he is a first-year manager of the New York Yankees that has never held a coaching position who will never be scrutinized for the formulation of his starting lineup.

Any way you slice it, the batting order rolled out on a daily basis–if everything comes to fruition–will be second to none.

Adding the National League MVP to a lineup with a 25-year-old who is fresh off a 52-homer campaign, a catcher who slammed 33 round-trippers in five months, a shortstop with serious pop, and a first baseman with a swing tailor-made for Yankee Stadium creates numerous exciting possibilities.

However, everyone drooling over the idea of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez slotting 2-3-4 should take a more practical look at the incredibly fortunate situation the Yankees are in.

They have those three sluggers. They are the three-headed monster. They will be on every t-shirt, wallpaper and screensaver.

That much has been well-established.

With that said, if Boone wants to maximize the team’s potential and make the lineup virtually impossible to navigate, he will space them out in a way that allows the Didi Gregorius‘, Greg Bird‘s, Aaron Hicks‘ and Brett Gardner‘s of the world to have career years of their own.

The lineup should look something like this:

  1. Aaron Hicks – CF
  2. Aaron Judge – RF
  3. Greg Bird – 1B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton
  5. Didi Gregorius – SS
  6. Gary Sanchez – C
  7. Brett Gardner – LF
  8. Gleyber Torres – 2B (provided he wins the job)
  9. Miguel Andujar – 3B (provided he wins the job)

“Gary Sanchez in the No. 6 spot? Are you nuts?”

Conventional baseball wisdom needs to be thrown out the window in this scenario.

Spacing lefties and righties is as imperative as ever when it comes to the 2018 Yankees.

Should Bird stay healthy, his swing creates immediate 40-homer potential with Stanton waiting in the on-deck circle. The same goes for Gregorius, who slammed 25 long balls in 136 games a season ago. With arguably the best hitter on the team behind him, there is no telling what that number could be this season.

Pitch around Judge to get to Bird? Well, his untapped potential could create issues, but Stanton behind him will most definitely create issues.

This does not make mention of the looks Aaron Hicks could receive in the leadoff hole.

Stacking the trio is glamorous; it looks sensational on paper.

Spacing them will result in a sensational product and, in the process, even more praise for the rookie skipper. Who knows? Perhaps even championship No. 28.

Disclaimer: This is purely subjective. I am not the manager of the New York Yankees, nor will I ever be. Disagreement is welcomed. Let’s get the conversation going.

4 Responses

  1. Jim

    I like Hicks in the leadoff spot too, but I would like to bat Judge and Stanton back to back as they both hit righties. That would also allow Gary to bat ahead of Didi who’s never going to be a high OBP guy as he doesn’t draw many walks.

    1. Aaron Hicks – CF
    2. Aaron Judge – RF
    3. Giancarlo Stanton – DH
    4. Greg Bird – 1B
    5. Gary Sanchez – C
    6. Didi Gregorius – SS
    7. Gleyber Torres – 2B (provided he wins the job)
    8. Jacoby Ellsbury – LF (ideally, Gardner would be traded to free cap room for Darvish)
    9. Miguel Andujar – 3B (provided he wins the job)

    • Mike

      Ideally Ellsbury would be traded, not Gardner. Gardy is more clutch, he’s better on defense, he’s the longest tenured Yankee and he’s not a baby who’s refusing to be traded. Oh and his contract is far more reasonable than Ellsbury’s.

      I love the overall theory here though, as I’ve said it before myself.

      However, I think if we’re looking to put up video game style stats, the following also makes sense:

      Aaron Hicks – CF
      Brett Gardner – LF
      Aaron Judge – RF
      Greg Bird – 1B
      Gleyber Torres – 2B (provided he wins the job)
      Giancarlo Stanton – DH
      Didi Gregorius – SS
      Miguel Andujar – 3B (provided he wins the job)
      Gary Sanchez – C

      Yes, putting Stanton sixth and Sanchez ninth seems batshit crazy at first, but the principal remains the same. The reason this works is that now there’s no way a pitcher can get through an inning without facing one of our three most dangerous hitters. Also, you still have protection for your three big bats – Bird backs up Judge, Didi backs up Stanton and Hicks backs up Sanchez.

      • John Reed

        Gardner should lead off because he is a tough out to begin with and having all that power behind him will make pitchers to have to pitch to him, thereby giving Gardner the chance to really increase his stats. Being the tough out he is will also make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches to start the game.

  2. James

    I love this line up. Hicks is great for lead off because he is fast, has a high OBP, and will make pitchers pay for a steady diet of fastballs in light of Judge coming up next (see Gardner career high HRs last year for reference). Bird is also great at 3 because it gives him the best chance to succeed, which is sonething all Yankee fans want desperately. Things don’t seem right unless we have a good power hitting left-handed 1B (e.g. Mattingly, Tino, Giambi, Texieria…etc.). I’d prefer Sanchez at 5 to keep teams from pitching around Stanton. I’d also prefer an Ellsbury/Frazier platoon batting 9th and trading Gardner for a Darvish signing as mentioned earlier. Any combination of the possibilities mentioned here will be fun to watch this year…I can’t wait!


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