Injuries have often opened up playing time for the Yankees’ Mike Tauchman, though he hasn’t always taken advantage of the opportunities. Looking at the difference in his production from 2019 and 2020 highlights that point:
- 2019 (296 PA) – .277 with 13 HR, 47 RBI, 46 R and 6 SB
- 2020 (111 PA) – .242 with 0 HR, 14 RBI, 18 R and 6 SB
After being a hot add during ’19 Tauchman completely fell off radars in ’20. Obviously his potential role is going to have an impact, and at this point it’s too early to tell exactly how the offseason will unfold. Brett Gardner had his option declined, so there could be an opportunity for AB, but will Tauchman be trusted by the team?
While we will have to wait and see about the playing time, there are two other questions that we can’t overlook:
- Will he be more than a platoon player?
- What happened to his power?
In regards to being a platoon player, things looked dramatically different in ’20. After holding his own against southpaws in ’19, Tauchman went 2-20 against them in 2020 with both hits being singles. With those types of numbers, would it really be a surprise if Tauchman is only used against righties?
In regards to his power, when he thrived in 2019 he posted a 20.6% HR/FB. The only time he showed anything close to that type of power was playing for Colorado’s Triple-A team in ’18 when he posted a 17.1% mark. That led to 20 HR over 471 PA, and given the home ballpark it’s nothing to get excited about.
Considering his 84.9 mph Exit Velocity and inability to hit the ball hard (27.1% Hard% in ’20, after a 33.7% mark in ’19) and what exactly is there to get excited about?
Tauchman managed to emerge as a strong option in ’19, when the AB were there, but it’s impossible to expect him to replicate that. Even if the AB are there, which appears to be unlikely, he simply won’t have anything more than short-term value.