The 2019 season did not end how the New York Yankees wanted. As a matter of fact, the entire 2010s decade did not go as planned for the Yankees, who failed to make the World Series in any of the ten years. That being said, they did have a lot of success, making the playoffs seven times and appearing in four ALCS. As a result, they have plenty of candidates to fill out their All-Decade roster.
The All-Decade roster was created by taking the best individual seasons at each position to fill out a 25-man roster. The only rule is that each player will be represented by their best season and cannot be used more than once. That being said, here are the best Yankees seasons in the 2010s.
Starting Pitcher: CC Sabathia (2011)
CC Sabathia retired after the 2019 season, putting an end to a probable Hall-of-Fame-career. One season that pads his resume came in 2011 when he finished fourth in the Cy Young award voting. Sabathia went 19-8 that season, when the win held more merit, and pitched to a 3.00 ERA.
With the help of his slider, Sabathia struck out 230 batters in 2011, the second most in his career, and the most he had as a Yankee. He pitched 237.2 innings, with a 1.226 WHIP and a 3.77 K/BB rate. He completed three games with one shutout, as well. Sabathia was one of the best pitchers in MLB from 2010-2012, and his 2011 season stands out enough to earn a spot on the All-Decade list.
Relief Pitcher: Dellin Betances (2014)
Dellin Betances had a superb 2014 season, which was also his first full season. Despite his rookie status, he pitched like a seasoned veteran, earning his first of four consecutive trips to the All-Star game. He pitched in 70 games and totaled 90 innings pitched.
In those 90 innings, he allowed 46 hits and 24 walks for a microscopic 0.778 WHIP. He struck out 135 batters, good for 13.5 K/9 and a 5.63 K/BB. This season came the year after Mariano Rivera retired and made the seamless transition from one dominant reliever to the next for the Yankees.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez (2017)
In 2017, Gary Sanchez showed that his 2016 debut, with 20 home runs in 53 games, was no fluke. Despite only playing in 122 games, Sanchez hit 33 home runs with 90 RBI. On top of that, his slash line was .278/.345/.531, all career highs.
While Sanchez did lead the league in passed balls in 2017, he still proved to be an above average defender as evident by his DRS of one. He also threw out 38% of base runners attempting to steal, 11% higher than the league average of 27%.
First Base: Mark Teixeira (2010)
In 2010, Mark Teixeira continued to play like one of the best first basemen in MLB. He hit 33 home runs and drove in 108 RBI. Additionally, he led MLB in runs scored with 113. Teixeira also displayed his patience at the plate with 93 walks, the second-most in his career and most as a Yankee.
Teixeira won a Gold Glove in 2010. That was earned by his DRS of six and limiting his errors to three total in 1,291.2 innings at the position.
Second Base: Robinson Cano (2012)
2012 featured Robinson Cano in his prime, and he displayed a mixture of great offense and defense for a fourth place finish in the MVP voting. He played in 161 games while slashing .313/.379/.550. He finished the year with 196 hits, including 33 home runs and 48 doubles, while driving in 94 runs.
Cano won a Gold Glove in 2012, the second of his career, with a DRS of 15. Additionally, he only committed six errors all year, and he turned 92 double plays. Altogether, he produced an All-Star season worthy of a spot on the All-Decade list.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez (2010)
By the time this decade started, Alex Rodriguez was past the prime of his career although that did not prevent him from producing seasons worthy of making this list. He was an All-Star in 2010, and he would finish the year with 30 home runs and 125 RBI, his 13th consecutive and final season of 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI. All of that came despite him missing 25 games.
Rodriguez also played a solid third base in 2010 with a DRS of three over the course of the season.
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius (2018)
It was tough not to include Derek Jeter in the starting lineup after he hit .316 and led MLB in hits in 2012, but Didi Gregorius tops the list with his 2018 season. Gregorius provided more of a complete package that season. That is evident by his OPS of .829, 27 home runs, and 86 RBI in 136 games.
Defensively, he only committed six errors and turned 54 double plays. Gregorius produced a fine all-around season that warrants inclusion on the All-Decade list.
Left Field: Brett Gardner (2010)
Brett Gardner had several seasons that could have made this list. He led MLB in steals in 2011, and a case can be made for his 2019 season to be the option for the center field. Ultimately, it is his 2010 season that gets the nod and for good reason too.
His slash line was .277/.383/.379. Although his slugging percentage left a lot to be desired, Gardner’s role was not to be a slugger. His role was to get on base and steal, which he excelled at. He stole 47 bases, and was only caught nine times for a success rate of 83.9%. He also scored a career-high 97 runs. Defensively, Gardner was exceptional with a DRS of 35 and 12 assists.
Center Field: Curtis Granderson (2011)
Curtis Granderson established himself as an All-Star center fielder with a good mix of speed and power with the Detroit Tigers. Once he became a Yankee, he broke out in a big way, specifically in 2011. He led MLB in runs scored (136) and RBI (119) that year. His power showed with 41 home runs and a .552 slugging percentage, and his speed showed with 25 stolen bases and ten triples.
Granderson finished fourth in the MVP voting that season and had a .916 OPS, earning his second All-Star game appearance in the process. The focus on this season is the 41 home runs, but Granderson had a great all-around season, which is why he lands on the All-Decade list.
Right Field: Aaron Judge (2017)
In 2017, Aaron Judge had one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time. While he did lead MLB in strikeouts (208), he also led in walks (127), home runs (52), and runs scored (128). At the time, his 52 home runs were the MLB rookie record.
His slash line was .284/.422/.627 (1.049 OPS) helped him win the AL Rookie of the Year Award unanimously, and he was the runner-up in the AL MVP race. Defensively, he was superb with five assists and a DRS of nine.
Designated Hitter: Giancarlo Stanton (2018)
Although Giancarlo Stanton did not replicate his NL MVP season from 2017 with the Miami Marlins, he still had a solid season in 2018. He played in 158 games and hit 38 home runs and drove in 100 RBI, both tops on the Yankees. Additionally, he slugged .509 and accumulated 314 total bases.
- LF-Gardner (2010)
- RF-Judge (2017)
- 2B-Cano (2012)
- 3B-Rodriguez (2010)
- CF-Granderson (2011)
- DH-Stanton (2018)
- 1B-Texeira (2010)
- C-Sanchez (2017)
- SS-Gregorius (2018)
- Betances (2014)
- Chad Green (2017)
- Mariano Rivera (2011)
- David Robertson (2011)
- Rafael Soriano (2012)
- Aroldis Chapman (2019)
- Zack Britton (2019)
The Yankees certainly had a plethora of options for their All-Decade team. While they fell short of their goal to win the World Series, they still put tremendous teams on the field year after year, and it will be exciting what kind of performances the team can put forth heading into the 2020s.
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