By Christopher Raimondi on April 9, 2014
From a handful of MLB debuts to farewell parties for the captain Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees have had an exciting first week of the 2014 season. Nearly every player is under scrutiny and will be throughout the season. The team is 4-4 so far and has enjoyed production from a group of unexpected players. Here are five overachieving players for the Yankees thus far in 2014.
Pineda made his long-awaited Yankees debut against the Toronto Blue Jays and did not disappoint. He went six innings and gave up only one run on five hits while striking out five. Pineda’s fastball was consistently clocked in the low 90s and his dazzling slider that was on full display. He took the loss, but he left the game having only given up the one run. Pineda gave Yankees fans all the hope they needed in his pinstripes debut.
Ellsbury had a shaky first series against the Houston Astros where he went 0-for-7, but found his rhythm against the Blue Jays. Since the Houston series, Ellsbury has gone 12-for-22 with three runs scored and three stolen bases. Injury proneness was the speculation hanging over the center fielder but for now, he is enjoying a .414 BA and .469 OBP. Ellsbury is giving the Yankees everything they paid for and more early on.
Brian Roberts’ numbers are not astronomical by any means, but his aggressiveness is what makes him so valuable early on. He has yet to record an error and is laying out for ground balls regularly. Despite his .174 average, he’s getting on base consistently with a .345 OBP and six walks. Roberts also has two stolen bases, adding to his inspiring performance at the ripe-old age of 36.
Still part of trade rumors, Ichiro Suzuki has proven that nothing will affect his play. Suzuki has earned five appearances in seven games after being thought to be an expendable piece of the Yankees' roster. In those five games, he has a .429 batting average with four runs scored, one stolen base and an OBP of .429. The 40-year-old icon could still be on the move.
Yangervis Solarte was the biggest wildcard when the season began, but he has put together a stunning performance for a rookie by posting a .458 batting average, which is good enough for fourth in the league. He has seven RBIs and a .518 OBP, which is the sixth-best in MLB. He is the Yankees' cheapest player in terms of salary, but he is producing like he is part of the 8 million the team paid to four players in the offseason.
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