Our grandparents grew accustomed to a different type of baseball: ‘hit it where they ain’t’, they said. Home runs weren’t as important back then as they are today. Our parents, when looking at statistics, often prioritized batting average, home runs, and RBI. And now, the game has evolved into more of a three true outcome approach, and the New York Yankees, as an organization, love their walks and homers as much as anyone else.
To say that home runs have been the key for the 2021 Yankees’ season is an understatement, because that’s probably true for every team. But it is a reality: according to data from the always reliable Bryan Hoch, the Yankees’ 32 home runs are tied for the lead in the American League, something that seemed far-fetched when the offense was struggling to get anything going and the club had a five-game losing streak.
Many of those long balls, however, were hit during the Yankees’ most recent road trip against Cleveland and Baltimore. They took five of those games and showed a version that resembles the team nickname, the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees’ sluggers are coming around
As expected, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge lead the Yankees in home runs, with six and five, respectively. Gio Urshela and Kyle Higashioka have four each, while Aaron Hicks and Rougned Odor have three apiece, and Gary Sanchez and Mike Ford are the other Yankees with more than one.
Surprisingly, Gleyber Torres hasn’t left the yard yet, but he is back making consistent hard contact and given his track record, they will come sooner than later. He hit .313 in the road trip.
So why do we say the Yankees live and die by the homer? When they have at least one dinger, they have an 11-7 mark, and when they fail to hit one, their record is 0-7.
For the New York Yankees, it is simple: home runs are good, and when they come together with walks, as has been the case in the last few years, the offense will be just fine.