Just imagine what could have been if these New York Yankees players from the 2010s lived up to their expectations and produced in the Bronx.
There’s a lot of disappointment in the world right now as the world waits for normal life to resume. For the New York Yankees, several players from the 2010s did not live up to their expectations leading to disappointment from the fan base.
Here’s a lineup complied with those who could’ve helped New York win a championship if they had performed their full capability.
C: Jesus Montero
With quality catcher play, it was hard to find someone to fill this position but will go with former top prospect Jesus Montero. Montero only played in 18 games for the Yankees hitting an impressive .328 with four home runs. Before even allowing him to compete for a starting job, New York traded him to the Seattle Mariners for Micheal Pineda.
While Montero flopped in Seattle, it’s disappointing not to know what could’ve been if the Yankees kept him around.
1B: Greg Bird
When top-prospect Greg Bird reached the majors in 2015, he looked as if he’d be the opposite of a disappointment. Bird took over for an injured Mark Teixeira and hit .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI’s in 46 games to help lead the Yankees back to the postseason after a two-year drought.
After missing 2016 with a right shoulder injury, Bird returned in 2017 when on May 2, he was again placed on the injured list due to an ankle injury. He would not return until August and finished the season batting just .190. In the playoffs, however, he did produce hitting two home runs, including a season-saving bomb off of Andrew Miller in Game Three of the ALDS to help lead the Yankees to a 1-0 victory.
The postseason outbreak would only give Yankees fans false hope as in 2018, he hit a horrid .199/.286/.386 with 11 home runs in 82 games. He had one final chance to produce in 2019 but suffered a season-ending injury after just 10 games ending his time with the Yankees and leaving his legacy to be a disappointing one.
2B: Rob Refsnyder
When Robinson Cano left for Seattle before the 2014 season, the Yankees hoped top prospect Rob Refsnyder would develop into his future replacement. He earned his first chance in 2015 and impressed as he hit .302 with two home runs to earn the start for the Bombers in the 2015 AL Wild Card Game.
This would be it for his production in Pinstripes as in 2016, he played in 58 games and hit just .250 without a home run. In 2017 he played in 52 games and hit just .170 and again did not homer. He was traded to the Blue Jays in July of 2017 and outside of a few MLB stints with Toronto and the Tampa Bay Rays have been bouncing around baseball’s minor league system.
3B: Kevin Youkilis
With Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira all injured, the Yankees signed former Red Sox corner infielder Kevin Youkilis to a one-year $12 million deal to help add some pop to their lineup. The addition would just lead to another name on the injured list as after just 28 games; he suffered a season-ending back injury.
In those 28 games, Youkilis hit just .219 with two home runs. He never played in the major leagues again following his final game in Pinstripes.
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
Like at catcher the Yankees have gotten plenty of production from the shortstop position the last decade. Thus, Troy Tulowitzki who New York signed in 2019 to fill in for an injured Didi Gregorius earns the nod. The former MVP who battled several injuries throughout his career attempted to make one more run in the majors with the team he grew up rooting for.
After a spring training that saw him hit four home runs, many believed he was finally healthy. He hit a home run in just his second game as a Yankee but would only get three more after as just five games into the season he suffered a left calf strain.
Tulowitzki would never return and announced his retirement in July, leaving Yankees fans to wonder what could’ve been if he stayed healthy.
LF: Giancarlo Stanton
The jury is still out on whether or not Giancarlo Stanton’s time in pinstripes will go down as a bust, but it’s safe to say his time with the team so far has.
Stanton hit a respectable .266 with 38 home runs in his first year in Pinstripes but struggled in the 2018 postseason as he hit just .222 in the Yankees four-game ALDS loss to the Red Sox. Just three games into the 2019 season, Stanton suffered a bicep strain that kept him out until June. Upon return, he suffered a knee injury after just seven games, which would keep him out until September.
All in all, the slugger played in just 18 regular season games. He returned for the postseason but was forced to miss time in the ALCS again as New York eventually lost in six games to the Astros.
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
No bust on this list is bigger than center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. After nearly winning an MVP in 2011 and helping the rival Red Sox win the 2013 World Series, the Yankees signed Ellsbury to a monster seven-year $153 million dollar deal. It’s safe to say he wasn’t worth it. Ellsbury never hit above .271 and only his 14 home run season of 2014 saw him more than 10.
Before the 2018 season, Ellsbury suffered several injuries and has not played since 2017. The Yankees ended up releasing the former all-star before the 2020 season to officially make him one of the worst free-agent signings in team history.
RF: Garrett Jones
The Yankees added slugger Garrett Jones in a five-player deal with the Marlins and hoped he’d produce in right field. Instead, Jones hit just .215 with five home runs and was released midseason.
SP: Sonny Gray
On the mound for the bust squad: Sonny Gray. The Yankees traded top prospects Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian to the Oakland A’s on July 31, 2017, hoping Gray could become the ace they badly needed.
Instead, Gray pitched went 4-7 in regular season 11 starts and struggled in his two postseason starts. In 2018, he made 23 starts and was eventually moved to the bullpen for the first time of his career.
He finished the season with a 4.90 ERA and was traded by the Yankees before the 2019 season.