As we highlighted on April 30th, the Yankees offense was exactly league average when measured by wRC+ for the month of April. Individually, let’s see who was the team’s best and worst performers. We used a minimum of 50 PAs to help limit the impact of already small sample sizes. Sorry, John Ryan Murphy.

Three Best Hitters

As measured by wRC+ (recall that 100 is average), the Yankees three best hitters in April were:

1.) Yangerivs Solarte, 143 wRC+ in 89 PA: Anyone who thought Solarate would put up numbers like this should be promptly canonized for miraculous deeds. The replacement to everyone’s favorite backup infielder has been remarkable, with a wRC+ that places him in the Top 20 of the AL. While Solarte has undoubtedly benefited from a high BABIP (.349), his plate discipline has been a strong positive to date: his .404 OBP is currently 9th-best in the AL. As unlikely as it is for Solarte to be in this top slot at year end, his showing so far has been a very welcome surprise.

2.) Jacoby Ellsbury, 121 wRC+ in 103 PA: One of the Yankees biggest free agent splashes has been pulling his weight in the early going and has added clear value at the top of the lineup. While Ellsbury also boasts a sky-high BABIP (.372), his speed makes this number slightly more sustainable over the long haul, though a regression should be expected (career .327 BABIP). Jacoby’s SLG and OBP are also above his career marks and have fueled his success to date. There’s very little to add here. So far, so good. Here’s hoping health remains a non-issue.

3.) Carlos Beltran, 119 wRC+ in 103 PA: Jokes about his age aside, Beltran has been a welcome addition to the Yankees’ lineup and has added some much-needed power to an anemic offense over the course of the season’s first month. Unlike the first two entries on this post, Beltran appears poised to benefit from some love from the BABIP gods as his .282 mark to-date is below his long-term norms. The one worrisome factor here is an uncharacteristic lack of patience: Beltran’s OBP is significantly below his career figure in that category and his 19.4% strikeout rate is almost 3% higher than his career average. Those trends will likely need to reverse to maintain productivity and, as always, health with an aging player remains a key question.

Three Worst Hitters

As measured by wRC+, the three worst hitters in the month of April were:

1.) Brian McCann, 66 wRC+ in 90 PAs: This is not what you want to see from your other major free agent signing and it’s safe to assume that the Yankees organization and the broader fanbase can best be described as “having a sad” in response to McCann’s difficult April. His wRC+ currently places him in the bottom ten among qualified hitters in the AL. It’s tough to find something that¬†has gone right for McCann so far: he’s walking less, he’s hitting for less power despite being a lefty in Yankee Stadium, his BABIP is a measly .229 — the list goes on and on. McCann does not have a reputation as a slow starter and his career splits seem to back that up. Perhaps the switch in leagues is to blame. Either way, the Yankees offense will need a turnaround from their backstop if they wish to remain competitive.

2.) Brian Roberts, 73 wRC+ in 85 PAs: The karate master has already covered this turd. 

3.) Derek Jeter, 88 wRC+ in 92 PAs: The Captain’s swan song has been a mixed bag at the plate. The patience is still there as Jeter’s OBP is a passable .352, though there is still room for improvement relative to his career averages. The power is most definitely not. Jeter’s current SLG (.306) and ISO (0.37) are outrageously far removed from his career marks in those categories (.364 and .133, respectively). Jeter’s current SLG is the 8th-worst in the American League, just barely ahead of noted big bats Elvis Andrus and Abraham Almonte (yes, that guy). There’s little to be said here…age had to take it’s toll sometime.