Bring on Bauers... now
Two weeks into the regular season, it appeared the Yankees had caught lightning in a bottle with Franchy Cordero in pinstripes. He hit four homeruns in a short period of time, and won a couple of games for the Yankees.
Fast forward a few weeks, and that lightning has escaped the bottle. His average is down to .160 with an OBP of .192. He hasn't hit a homerun since his early streak. Defensively, Cordero has been average at best. With injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Harrison Bader, the team needs offense now more than ever.
Jake Bauers has entered the chat. All indications are that the Yankees training and development teams have unlocked him in Triple-A.
Bauers is posting career bests in average, OBP, and slugging percentage. Just 20 games in, he is just five off from his career high in homeruns (14) with nine. Better yet, he has struck out just 15 times while walking 18. He is currently sporting a .328/.476/. 859/1.335 quad slash.
The best news, however, is that his average exit velocity has improved to 94 mph, which is 7 mph higher than his career average. He also has a max exit velocity of 113.5, and has reached triple digits with consistency this season.
Jake Bauers was once a top 100 prospect. He came up with the Rays and has had a disappointing career so far. Something has clicked though and he deserves a shot in the majors again.
The Yankees are currently sending Aaron Hicks, Franchy Cordero, and Willie Calhoun to the plate for regular at bats. Of the three, the light hitting Willie Calhoun has the best statistics. He has a .226/.273/.258/.531 line. Aaron Hicks and Franchy Cordero are far worse.
Calhoun and Cordero are also below average defenders, while Bauers is slightly above average overall. Bauers can also spell time for Anthony Rizzo at first base if needed.
There is no doubt the Yankees are still looking to trade for a left-handed hitting left fielder, and they should continue. In the meantime, however, Jake Bauers should get a crack at the job. He has earned his shot. He could even be this year's Matt Carpenter.
The Yankees need a shot in the arm while they are waiting for some of their bigger bats to come off the IL, and leading up to the trade deadline when I'm sure they will make a move for a left fielder. Before then, Bauers should be called up and in the lineup until he proves he shouldn't be.