AL East Positional Rankings: A Step Back in 2017 for Third Base

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers /
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4. New York YankeesChase Headley, Todd Frazier, Ronald Torreyes

In ranking the Yankees fourth in my preview, I said in Headley, you know what you are getting at this point.

However, 2017 was actually his best year in New York. He hit .273/.352/.406 with 12 home runs, 30 doubles, 61 runs batted in and 77 runs in 586 plate appearances. Headley spent a lot of time across the diamond at first base between the Yankees acquiring Todd Frazier and Greg Bird coming off the disabled list.

Headley’s defensive numbers were not great. His fielding percentage of .947 at third base was one of the worst numbers of his career. His range was better than the major league average, however. And, that’s not just the sabermetrics, as he did appear better defensively in 2017.

Frazier, a half-season rental, was acquired from the White Sox and started 61 games at third base. Frazier actually struggled a bit in 2017, hitting .222/.365/.423 with the Yankees with 11 home runs, four doubles, 32 runs batted in and 33 runs scored in his time in New York.

Frazier did provide stronger defense at the position and allowed the Yankees to bolster first base with his addition. Torreyes, of course, served as the utility player for the Yankees and was just that, a utility player.

Frazier is a rental, so he will be on the free agent market. Headley will be in the last year of his contract, so it will be the last year the Yankees are settled at the position (until they enter the Machado sweepstakes).