Despite sitting a hefty 9.5 games back of the Red Sox for first place, 2018 has certainly treated the Yankees kindly. With a 74-33 record, they’re off to their best 117 game start since the 2009 championship club, who put up an identical 74-33 mark to this point in the season.
So how do the 2018 New York Yankees compare to the World Series winning 2009 team? Starting at catcher, we’re going to take a look at how the two clubs stack up, position by position without counting postseason statistics.
Catcher: Jorge Posada vs. Gary Sanchez
Posada’s 2009 stats: .285/.363/.522, 22 HR, 81 RBI, 126 wRC+
Sanchez’s 2018 stats: .188/.283/.416, 14 HR, 42 RBI, 89 wRC+
First of all, Sanchez is absolutely a better player than his 2018 slash suggests. Coming off a .278/.345/.531 2017 campaign, there’s no reason to believe Gary just forgot how to hit at the major league level. Possibly due to a low BABIP of .194, the 25-year-old has gotten very unlucky through an injury-shortened 66 game season thus far. However, it’s hard not to give the upper hand to ’09 Jorge Posada who put up very solid numbers in his age 38 season.
Verdict: Jorge Posada
First Base: Mark Teixeira vs. Greg Bird
Teixeira’s 2009 stats: .292/.383/.565, 39 HR, 122 RBI, 142 wRC+
Bird’s 2018 stats: .216/.305/..408, 9 HR, 28 RBI, 92 wRC+
This one, however, isn’t up for discussion.
Verdict: Mark Teixeira
Second Base: Robinson Cano vs. Gleyber Torres
Cano’s 2009 stats: .320/.352/.520, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 124 wRC+
Torres’ 2018 stats: .269/.338/.513, 18 HR, 52 RBI, 128 wRC+
Although Gleyber has put up a very solid rookie campaign, the nod has to go to Cano, who posted stellar numbers as he began his ascension towards being the best 2nd baseman in baseball.
Verdict: Robinson Cano
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez vs. Miguel Andujar
A-Rod’s 2009 stats: .286/.402/.532, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 141 wRC+
Andujar’s 2018 stats: .296/.329/.511, 17 HR, 55 RBI, 126 wRC+
Just like his teammate Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar has had an outstanding breakout season in the big leagues. However, despite undergoing hip surgery that caused him to miss over a month, Alex Rodriguez certainly is the winner between the two.
— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) September 22, 2017
Verdict: Alex Rodriguez
Shortstop: Derek Jeter vs. Didi Gregorius
Jeter’s 2009 stats: .334/.404/.465, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 130 wRC+
Gregorius’ 2018 stats: .268/.333/.474, 20 HR, 66 RBI, 116 wRC+
This one really isn’t a contest. As solid as his successor has been, Jeter’s ridiculous age 35 season comes out on top.
Verdict: Derek Jeter
Left Field: Johnny Damon vs. Brett Gardner
Damon’s 2009 stats: .282/.365/..489, 24 HR, 82 RBI, 122 wRC+
Gardner’s 2018 stats: .246/.337/.379, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 98 wRC+
Another easy pick.
Verdict: Johnny Damon
Center Field: Brett Gardner vs. Aaron Hicks
Gardner’s 2009 stats: .270/.345/.379, 3 HR, 48 RBI, 91 wRC+
Hicks’ 2018 stats: .246/.358/.483, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 116 wRC+
With better offensive numbers along with better defensive metrics to go with it, Aaron Hicks is the suitable choice, giving the 2018 Yankees their first selection.
Verdict: Aaron Hicks
Right Field: Nick Swisher vs. Aaron Judge
Nick Swisher’s 2009 stats: .249/.371/.498, 29 HR, 82 RBI, 125 wRC+
Aaron Judge’s 2018 stats: .285/.398/.548, 26 HR, 61 RBI, 157 wRC+
After a historic rookie season, Aaron Judge lived up to expectation, posting very solid numbers up until he fractured his wrist two weeks ago. Compared to Nick Swisher’s 09’ campaign, Judge is the easy nod.
Verdict: Aaron Judge
Designated Hitter: Hideki Matsui vs. Giancarlo Stanton
Hideki Matsui’s 2009 season: .274/.367/.509, 28 HR, 90 RBI, 127 wRC+
Giancarlo Stanton’s 2018 season: .279/.346/.525, 30 HR, 76 RBI, 132 wRC+
Out of all nine positions, the DH spot is the toughest to choose from, especially if you consider the postseason performance of Hideki Matsui. However, since we aren’t including playoff numbers, 2017 NL MVP beats out Matsui for the final spot on our positional lineup.
Verdict: Giancarlo Stanton
C: Jorge Posada
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
LF: Johnny Damon
CF: Aaron Hicks
RF: Aaron Judge
DH: Giancarlo Stanton
2009 Yankees: 6
2018 Yankees: 3
Now, of course, this isn’t an exact representation of how good one club is compared to the other, but it does give you an idea of how they match up. With that said, all signs and stats point to the 2009 championship team having the upper hand.