Gio Urshela showed that 2019 was no fluke, and with a critical season for the Yankees in 2021, he’s emerging as a star in baseball.
In 2019 the presumed 3B of the future was Miguel Andujar, who came off of an impressive rookie campaign offensively. That was until the youngster went down before April even came around, and here came the unheard-of Gio Urshela. He stepped in and he took off with the opportunity. He posted a 132 wRC+ and 3.1 fWAR in 2019 despite only playing 132 games and having only 476 Plate Appearances. Urshela was amazing at the plate, but there was a huge question as to who would start at 3B in 2020. Could Gio Urshela replicate it? Is this just a fluke? Well, Gio Urshela had a 133 wRC+ and improved defensively with 6 DRS and a 13.2 UZR/150. He’s amazing, and he’s established himself as a star in the league.
Elite Offense At 3B
Gio Urshela since becoming a Yankee, He has put up amazing marks at the plate. A .368 wOBA and 132 wRC+ are amazing and are some of the best marks on the team. Compared to 3B from 2019-2020 with 650 PAs, he ranked 5th in wRC+, 8th in wOBA, and is 7th in SLG%. He’s been one of the premier hitters at 3B, and it’s incredible how much better he’s gotten. This isn’t a matter of overperforming either, as he also has a .356 xwOBA since 2019, which is again a very good mark. With sustainable offense at a high level, Urshela’s established himself as one of the best sluggers at his position.
Steady Defensive Improvement
In 2020 he had an increase in DRS and UZR drastically. I don’t know if it was comfort getting regular starting time or just improvement, but in 2020 despite only 357.2 innings at 3B, he had 6 DRS, which if scaled for his innings in 2019 (978.1) put him on pace for about 16 DRS. This was paired with a 13.2 UZR/150, an improvement over his -3.4 in 2019. If he continues to progress, he will become a top 10 3B in 2021. Gio Urshela is a rock for the Yankees, and he’s been awesome.
Gio Urshela is The Cheap Production the Yankees Need
Yes, the Yankees have a ton of money. They can spend and splurge everywhere, but getting great production for cheap is also important. You can’t pay everyone $20 million dollars or more and be flexible. According to Fangraphs’ WAR/$ calculator said Gio Urshela was worth over $37.8 million. What did he get paid? Virtually nothing. Gio Urshela isn’t Anthony Rendon, but he’s a very good 3B who’s alway gotten it done for the Yankees. Gio Urshela isn’t A-Rod, however, he’s an amazing player. Whether it was that grand slam in Cleveland or the defensive highlights, he’s been as lovable as it gets.