One of the New York Yankees' biggest weaknesses in 2018 was their inability to play small ball and hit for average (ranking 16th in the MLB in that category at a .249 clip).
While the team set a record for most homers in a season, they also struck out a lot. Luckily for the Yankees, the 2019 free agent class includes some hitters with a great ability to put the bat on the ball.
Yankees need to sign Michael Brantley from the Indians.. need more contact hitters— Evan McKinnon (@E_Mckinnon) October 9, 2018
One player the Yankees should look at is Michael Brantley. He had just 60 strikeouts in 570 at-bats in 2018.
He'd make a great table-setter in the Yankees lineup, and is a reliable bat to come through in tough spots. In an era where .300 hitters are hard to come by, Brantley is one of the few left capable of doing this, as long as he's able to stay healthy.
Another free agent the Yankees could look at who fits the mold of a contact hitter is Daniel Murphy. Murphy brings pretty much the same abilities to the table as Brantley, but he's a defensive liability. A move to first base could minimize that issue, though.
Funny ...— Vince Ruggiero (@VINCE_RUGGIERO) September 28, 2018
When Daniel Murphy was a #nym, Mike Francesa trashed his abilities every chance he had.
Now ... Mike salivates over the possibility of free agent Murf signing with the #nyy & becoming Lou Gehrig at 1B in 2019.#wfan
In addition to being a great contact hitter, Murphy brings more power to the lineup. Murphy is also familiar with playing in the large New York spotlight from his time with the Mets.
So on top of starting pitching, the Bombers need to make sure they get their hands on a reliable contact hitter to help them avoid slumps.