After the blockbuster trade for Juan Soto, the New York Yankees have a considerably better roster and lineup. The Yankees’ management will now need to decide the sequence of their 2024 lineup. What seems to be a given is that the Yankees will have Aaron Judge and Juan Soto bat second and third in the lineup, forming the core of the batting order. However, the question remains as to the rest of the lineup. This lineup will have many of the same players who significantly underperformed in 2023. The Yankees will require better performances from all players if they are going to make a run at winning the division, let alone a World Series.
“You hit Juan Soto in front of Aaron Judge… I’m taking the subway and I’m going to the game.” – @markdero7#MLBTonight weighs in on the potential of the Yankees lineup amid trade rumors for Juan Soto.@JonHeyman | @adnansvirk | @StevePhillipsGM pic.twitter.com/EAczu4fxQQ
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 6, 2023
The Yankees’ Potential 2024 Lineup
Batting leadoff will either be Alex Verdugo against righties or DJ LeMahieu against lefties. Both have the profile of leadoff hitters since they both hit for contact and do not strike out often. The lack of swing and miss in their games will be crucial to put pressure on opposing pitchers, especially with Judge and Soto following. Pitchers will be forced to pitch to them and try to get them out before pitching to the Yankees’ elite bats. Verdugo and LeMahieu will likely see a ton of good pitches to hit, and therefore could each have a strong bounce-back year.
Judge and Soto will be the core of the Yankees lineup and there is not much that needs to be said about them. Both will more than likely have strong seasons as they are arguably the two best hitters in baseball. Not to mention they will force opposing managers to either send out a lefty or righty relief pitcher to get one or the other out. This advantage should significantly help the Yankees late in games and consistently produce runs.
Gleyber Torres, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton should take up the 4-6 spots in the lineup. Torres offers much-needed experience and additional balance to the lineup. He would thrive in the clean-up spot, as he is good at driving in runs and is coming off a strong 2023. Rizzo before the concussion was one of the best hitters in baseball. He has made a full recovery, so one can expect a strong year from him. Stanton has to take a step up, as rumors are growing that the Yankees may pay him to be traded away.
The 2024 Yankees Lineup Part 2
Stanton is getting paid a lot of money, and as of last year was a net negative to the Yankees. He must perform, and chances are he will since he has less pressure to execute with the acquisition of Juan Soto. He needs to recover his swing and focus on staying healthy. If he can do both, watch out for a potential Comeback Player of the Year. The seventh spot could rotate between LeMahieu and Verdugo depending on the starting pitcher. In the 8-9 spots will be Austin Wells and Anthony Volpe. Both showed flashes of their potential last year and have great upside. If Wells and Volpe take their probable developmental steps forward, the Yankees’ lineup will be a dangerous 1-9. They both offer power at the plate and youthful energy which will significantly help to balance the lineup.
The Lineup 1-9
- Alex Verdugo LF
- Aaron Judge CF
- Juan Soto RF
- Gleyber Torres 2B
- Anthony Rizzo 1B
- Giancarlo Stanton DH
- D.J. LeMahieu 3B
- Austin Wells C
- Anthony Volpe SS
What is great about the lineup is how it splits almost evenly between lefties and righties, mostly alternating. Teams will struggle to navigate through the lineup and maintain focus with the many different ways the Yankees can hurt you. This team is no longer just power- and righty-reliant. These Yankees can hurt you with discipline to walk, hit home runs, make contact, and have good two-strike approaches. They’ll also run the bases well, making the lineup dynamic and three-dimensional. It would be hard for the Yankees to have a poor offensive showing, as the team addressed most of the major concerns. The lineup looks more akin to a traditional World Series-winning lineup with a now strong left-handed presence. As long as there are no shock injuries or horrific performances the Yankees should make the postseason at a minimum.
Photo Credit: © Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports