Travis Hafner Finds the Fountain of Youth with New York Yankees

By Bryan Lutz
John E. Sokolowski – USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people – including myself – wrote off the New York Yankees coming into the 2013 season. Considering every one of their key players outside of Robinson Cano was either injured or coming off an injury, it was hard to imagine the Yankees having any kind of success, especially in the rugged American League East. However, with April coming to a close, the Yankees are right in the thick of things in the division, standing 2 1/2 games back of the Boston Red Sox. The reason why the Yankees are still competitive is because of the great play they are getting from the veteran castoffs they acquired during the off-season, most notably Travis Hafner.

When the Yankees signed Hafner to become their new designated hitter, I thought it was a perfect fit for both parties involved. When healthy, Hafner has shown that he is still a formidable DH option due to his on-base percentage. Moreover, the Yankees have proven they can extend any left-handed hitter’s career because of the ballpark. Raul Ibanez was a perfect example on how that park can prolong careers last season. Ibanez wasn’t great by any means for the Bombers, but if any lefty still has some power in his bat, it’s very likely that they can put up an ISO of around .150 in Yankee Stadium.

Entering today, Hafner’s triple slash line (.300/.417/.660) resembles one that earned him a huge contract with the Cleveland Indians. It’s also a triple slash line that is carrying the Yankees’ offense. If Hafner remains healthy, there is zero doubt in my mind that he will continue his success this season, giving the Yankees one of the scarier lineups in baseball when their injured stars eventually return.

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