Mid-season Report Card

It’s official…we are halfway through the 2015 MLB season. Games have been played, benches have been cleared and miracles have happened, on and off the field.

So now it’s time to look back and go over just how the first half of the season went for our favorite New York team.

Amidst the chaos of a Jeter-less squad, the Yankees have been pleasantly surprising when it comes to competing across the MLB. Just looking at their record alone, they have finished the first half strong.

With a 48-40 record, the Yanks find themselves in sole position of first place in the AL East division. While the division hasn’t been the most competitive, the Yanks have still found a way to pull ahead with a dominating 3.5 game lead in their quest for first.

The season has certainly had it’s ups and downs. The Yankees found themselves in the midst of both massive winning streaks and depressing losing streaks, but in the end, their positives certainly outweigh the negatives of this season.

Mid-season MVP (position player):
There are so many options when it comes to the Yankees MVP for the season thus far. You’ve got Teix and A-Rod, Gardy and McCann. But when it comes down to it, the real position player MVP so far has to be Stephen Drew.
Did you stop reading there? No, honestly it must be Brett Gardner.

Offensively, he’s picked up his game this season, ending this half of the season with an impressive .302 batting average. He has 15 stolen bases and 10 homers so far. He makes things happen on the basepaths and has a patient eye at the plate.

Defensively, he has proved to be a necessity in the Yankee outfield. Instead of using him as trade bait, the Yankees took a chance on him and it has paid off in dividends. Speed and strength in the outfield helped him develop into one of the most underrated outfielders in the game today.

Just imagine where the Yankees would be this season without Gardner? Can’t imagine it? Neither can I.

Mid-season MVP (pitcher):
Had Andrew Miller not gotten hurt, I would have easily picked him. But right now, the pitcher that has made the most difference is Dellin Betances.

It’s not just the blistering fastball. It’s the command and the presence he has on the mound. The 77 strikeouts isn’t so bad either.

Betances has made 41 appearances and while he has had some struggles, he has been mainly dominant each performance. He’s allowed 11 runs in 47 innings pitched and only given up two home runs. For all intents and purposes, he has been the one the Yankees have wanted on the mound.

Biggest Surprise:
Welcome back to the Bronx, A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez has been the most pleasant and exciting surprise for the New York Yankees and their fans.

Even without his presence at third base, A-Rod has proved to be a great addition to the plate, despite having an entire season off of baseball (not by choice, obviously). His .278 average is eclipsed by his staggering home run total (18). He hasn’t just hit homers though…he has knocked in 51 runs with timely singles. He has been the offensive push the Yankees needed this season.

While A-Rod still hasn’t had all #Forg1v3n, he certainly has proven that without PEDs, he is still a valuable player.

And congratulations on 3,000 hits!

Biggest Disappointment:
Well, I can just say one word (and it’s not Drew)…Sabathia.

Sorry, but the Southpaw has certainly gone downhill than in previous years. He started out the season 0-5 and is now 4-8 with a 5.47 ERA. I still will push for putting Sabathia as a long reliever in the bullpen, but he’s C.C. so that isn’t going to happen.

Not only are his stat lines disappointing, he also can’t seem to get lefties out…which was his specialty for a long time. He is just struggling. Is it because he is getting older or just because he doesn’t have it any more? We might not know, but he’ll be in the starting rotation because…who knows…even though he shouldn’t.

Now here are some quick awards as well:

Defensive Standout:
Mark Teixiera. 2 errors? Slick fielding? Most reliable first baseman in the game? Check, check and check. No doubt about this one…Teix is the defensive MVP.

Underrated Pitcher:
Adam Warren. He started for quite some time after Tanaka went down with an injury and proved his worth was not only in the bullpen but on the rubber to start the game. Warren was a pleasant surprise and currently posts a 3.65 ERA in the bullpen…you think he could come in for Sabathia? Joe Girardi, I hope you’re reading!

Underrated Hitter:
Brian McCann. Especially recently, McCann has picked up the bat and proven just why the Yanks picked him up. And no one wants to face Brian McCann with the game on the line…just ask the Rays. With 55 RBIs, McCann is especially a threat with runners in scoring position.

Mid-season grade: B
The Yankees certainly have room for more improvement. Hitters need to stop relying on the long ball and start focusing on scoring with runners in scoring position. They need to improve their starting pitching. But overall, this first half of the season was a great start for a team that has been counted out from the very beginning.

Here comes the second half of the season…and with home field advantage in favor of the American League, we can only hope the Yankees improve to make that push to the World Series once again.

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