The 2018 season is all wrapped up for the New York Yankees, so let’s take a look at how their first basemen performed this past year.
Its time yet again to grade the positions of the 2018 New York Yankees. The first base position was in a pretty tough spot in 2018. Greg Bird severely underperformed which caused the Yankees to go with Luke Voit at first. The first baseman role seemed to be headed in a similar direction to start the season. Did it end better than how it started? Let’s find out.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Austin
Tyler Austin didn’t end his season in pinstripes. Austin was traded on July 30 with Luis Rijo to the Minnesota Twins for Lance Lynn and cash. That being said Tyler Austin did play in 34 games for the Yankees before getting shipped off. He hit an underwhelming .223 average with eight home runs and 23 RBIs. Tyler Austin was not the answer at first base and the potential that was promised was not seen. Austin played slightly better for the Twins but nothing to shake a stick at. Lance Lynn didn’t play much better at the pitching side but we’ll get to that in the Pitchers article.
Grade – D+
Speaking of potential that never came to fruition, no name comes to mind more than Greg Bird. Bird is the epitome of a “what could have been” story. The first baseman had all the tools to be a great ball player but injuries have derailed this train and it’s not getting back on the track anytime soon.
Bird put up a .199 batting average in 82 games is the definition of Greg Bird nowadays. The question isn’t “Will Greg Bird turn it around” and become “How long until the Yankees let Bird go”. I think a Greg Bird release or trade is in the cards and those cards will be on the table soon. We all love to hear Sterling say “Bye Bye Birdie” but its time for the organization to say the same.
Grade – F
Babe Ruth who? Luke Voit is the greatest baseball player of all time. Of course, I’m kidding but the name Luke Voit would raise eyebrows of who that even is. Cut to now where Voit’s name is being used as the Yankees answer at first base.
The breakout star came as an afterthought in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals for Chase Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos. In his 39 games, Voit hit a shocking .333 batting average with 14 home runs and 39 RBIs. Compared to Bird’s 11 home runs and 38 RBIs in 82 games, Voit’s performance is jaw-dropping. Are the rumblings of Voit becoming the every day first baseman premature? Possibly, but with his performance in the regular season and a fantastic postseason run, I say Voit earned it.