Should we have a season in 2022, Yankee fans will hope that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will repeat what they did in 2021. Judge hit 39 HR’s, Stanton bombed 35 out of ballparks and both of them stayed healthy for the majority of the season. It’s the reason why the Yankees were able to sneak into the postseason in 2021. They’ll need that again in 2022 for however long the season will be.
From 2018-2020, the Yankees played the majority of their games with one or both of them out of the lineup. Injuries and COVID did not help their cases. When they were in the lineup together, they were great and the Yankees won a lot of games.
Can we expect that in 2022? There’s a couple things to consider. It will be a longer offseason now that spring training has been delayed and regular season games have officially been canceled. The shorter season could be good as there could be less games to have to be available for, but it could also be a bad thing.
A longer offseason likely means a shorter spring training which means less time to get ready. We saw in 2020 with summer camp that a shortened time to prepare for a season, physically, led to a lot of injuries.
Another thing to consider is that Judge will be a free agent following the 2022 season unless he signs a long-term contract before then, which doesn’t seem likely at the moment. In 2021, He hit .287 with 39 home runs, 98 runs batted in, and an OPS+ of 149, nearly 50% above the league average. Although he had a healthy 2021 campaign, he hasn’t shown he can do it two years in a row. He couldn’t even make it through a 60-game COVID shortened 2020 season without getting hurt. In fact, he played less than half of that season. While he is a great player, sometimes availability is your best quality.
We shall see what comes out of 2022 with Stanton and Judge, but certainly there are still many questions to be answered.
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