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Sunday, November 4, 2012

WHY TORII HUNTER MAKES SENSE


There is a hole in right field and now that Nick Swisher will most likely not return to the Bronx, there are a lot of different options that the Yankees will explore. Some fans already like the idea of Ichiro, BYB has written about him a lot, but he’s not the only name out there.


What about Torii Hunter? Sure, he isn’t a young spring chicken anymore (he will be 38 in July) but he has value. I know a lot of Yankee fans would prefer to see the team get younger, it’s a common theme and we don’t disagree but he is still an above average hitter with a good glove. The Yankees can likely sign him to a short-term deal now that the Angels did not make him a qualifying offer. It sounds like a win-win situation to me….

When it comes down to it, there are a lot of reasons why the Yankees are interested in Hunter. He is still an above average hitter and his nine gold gloves prove he is capable out in the field. He may not be the same player, but his experience has a lot to offer this team.


 If the Yankees can get Hunter to the Bronx, I think he would do some damage.  Hunter has consistently hit 20+ home runs and although he fell short of that this year, I don’t think it is because he is “declining.” Hunter has been a consistent hitter throughout his career with a .277 BA and is coming off of a career high year where he hit .313. Angel stadium is not an easy stadium to hit homeruns in and it never has been, so put him in Yankee stadium and that could give the Yankees a lethal bat. I also like the idea of putting Hunter in the #2 spot in the lineup. I like Hunter in this spot because he is a very patient hitter, and he will take a walk when needed. He is not easy to strikeout which was an issue with the number two spot last year. If he hits in front of Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano he will be sure to see a lot of fastballs which will only help his already impressive numbers.

I’m sure the Yankees also like Hunter’s clutch hitting abilities, so if the Yankees chose to hit him lower in the order he could help drive in runs. Hunter is crafty, and he is also a good situational hitter which is also something that the Yankees struggle with, despite all of the hitting drills. It is no secret that the Yankees struggled with runners in scoring position, and last year he had an impressive .344 BA. If the Yankees are serious about making changes, it is hard to look at the numbers he has and say that he would not be an improvement.


I will admit that I never really considered Torii Hunter until recently. I have been on the Ichiro / Raul Ibanez train, and I still really like what they did for our team in 2012. But after really analyzing what Hunter has done, he could be a solution to some of the ongoing challenges our team has. Maybe Hunter is the mix-up we need! 

Think about it…. I am.
 



--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ


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