Yankees starting outfield projection for 2022 season

The New York Yankees are heading into the 2022 season with a strong outfield squad, despite losing Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade this offseason. There’s a chance veteran OF Brett Gardner will make a comeback, as he usually does at the end of the offseason, but the team should be in a good place if he chooses to retire.

The projected outfield has plenty of depth and quality, but management needs to make an interesting call in left field with Giancarlo Stanton.

The Yankees planned to start the outfield for the 2022 season:

RF: Aaron Judge

Judge went 158 ​​innings last year in center field, but the star hitter will likely start the 2022 season in his natural position in right field. With over 4,000 innings of experience and a .987 fielding percentage, Judge has one of the best weapons in all of baseball in the outfield. Along with his defensive prowess, Judge is also an elite offensive player, hitting .287 last year with 39 home runs and 98 RBIs. His strikeout rate at 25% was the lowest of his five-year career since 2017.

The big question is, where will the Yankees introduce Giancarlo Stanton?

It’s possible that Judge will feature in center field on Aaron Hicks, which would allow Stanton to take over in LF or RF. However, management may want to maintain Stanton’s assist at all costs, making him their designated hitter on a daily basis.

CF: Aaron Hicks

As Aaron Hicks returns from injury after being stopped with a wrist problem last year, he plans to be the starting centre-back on April 7. Hicks played in just 32 games last year before heading to the disabled list, hitting .194 with four home runs and 14 RBIs. In fact, Hicks hasn’t played in more than 59 games in the last three straight years, so having depth is key for the Yankees.

Nonetheless, Hicks has the most experience at center, with over 4,800 innings. His .993 field percentage is also exceptional, so the Yankees can be confident of their defensive production in CF. When it comes to Hicks, however, it comes down to health, which means the Yankees need to have a contingency plan in place.

LF: Joey Gallo

Joey Gallo has experience on the left and right side, but with Aaron Judge expected to sign a massive extension in the coming weeks, he is being moved to the left side so Judge can keep his normal position. Gallo has 1,583 innings of LF experience, recording a .983 faceoff percentage. He is a multiple Gold Glove winner, after a disappointing campaign in 2021, despite making the All-Star match.

During the first part of the year, he recorded 25 home runs and a .223 average, but his effectiveness dropped significantly when he joined the Yankees at the deadline. He’s hit just .160 with 13 homers in the last 58 games of the season with streaks, but the Yankees see him playing a big role going forward, and he’ll effortlessly fill the left field spot.

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