The New York Yankees in April – Part One – The Batters (2022)

The 2022 season, as you will be aware, started late because of the dispute between the owners and the players. Once an accord was reached, everybody worked really hard to pretend that there’d never been a problem.

But there are some things you cannot cover up, so the Yankees’ season started on April 8th rather than a week earlier.

When the season started the Yankees were slow out of the blocks and after 10 games, they were 5-5 and third in the table. From then it was onwards and upwards and they closed the month at the head of the division.

Some players were settling into the groove and others did not. Let’s look how it shaped up offensively by the end of April.

Aaron Hicks of174981500142109.306.426.367.793
Isiah Kiner-Falefa ss1963121940062411.302.333.365.698
Aaron Judge of20751422506131822.293.361.600.961
DJ LeMahieu if2073132150270611.288.358.438.796
Anthony Rizzo 1b217714214092121113.273.391.6751.066
Giancarlo Stanton dh/of2078521104140327.269.289.436.725
Gleyber Torres ss195931431290312.237.277.424.701
Tim Locastro of1113730012324.231.333.462.795
Marwin Gonzalez if/of89321002014.222.273.333.606
Jose Trevino c1024351002122.
Josh Donaldson 3b/DH2069814502501223.203.329.362.691
Joey Gallo of216151110230829.
Kyle Higashioka c15425620040312.
Miguel Andujar of/if11000000000.
New York Yankees – Batters in April 2022 in order of Batting Average


One thing that seemed clear in Spring Training was that the Yankees no longer needed to keep Gary Sanchez around and so, Sanchez was traded to Minnesota. Part of this was based on what the Twins were offering in return (catcher Ben Rortvedt, 3B Josh Donaldson and infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa who had been a Twin for around 24 hours), but also based on the fact that Kyle Higashioka was looking like he could hit a solid groove with the bat as well as defensively.

What the Yankees had not taken into account was that Higashioka had flattered to deceive on previous occasions. In short, he always seems to struggle at the plate when he is most likely to be called upon. In Spring Training, he hit to a .423 batting average with 7 homers which gave the Yankees more than enough evidence that he could cut it as first-choice catcher. In the April portion of the regular season, he hit a .143 BA with 2 extra base hits (both doubles). That wasn’t the plan.

Ben Rortvedt arrived from the aforementioned Twins and was soon on the injured list which says something about the Yankees need to do due diligence. Consequently, with Sanchez gone, the Yankees went to the Texas Rangers and gathered in Jose Trevino for the vacant 2nd catcher’s slot. In exchange, they gave up the inconsistent Albert Abreu and minor league pitcher, Robert Ahlstrom. Trevino didn’t give much more to the Bronx Bombers than Higashioka. He hit .208 with 1 double.

The Yankees seem to have started the season with two strong defensive catchers but both need to deliver more at the plate. Frankly, this wasn’t a lot different than how things were in 2021.


Re-signed free agent, Anthony Rizzo was by far the most used at the first-base corner and he led the team in extra base hits, home runs, slugging percentage and OBP in April. He is solid and dependable and if he can retain anything like this form in the rest of the season then he will have been a wise signing indeed.

After a very disappointing season in every respect in 2021, Gleyber Torres has moved back to a regular booth at second base and is showing a good deal of improvement already – not only defensively but with the confidence being back at his favoured position, offensively as well. He has 6 extra base hits so far but will need to concentrate on hitting for average.

Josh Donaldson has got off to a very slow start. The signing of Donaldson is obviously a risk for the New York team. He comes in adding a large salary to the Yankees’ burden and they will carry his $21m next year whatever happens – and there is no doubt that there is more than a suggestion he is in the declining years of his career. His batting average of .203 in April will need to see some considerable improvement if the deal that brought him to the Yankees is to prove to be a wise one.

There was a great deal of surprise across baseball when the Yankees, rather than bringing in one of the headlining free agents, settled on Isiah Kiner-Falefa who had made that short stint in Minnesota after leaving Texas. However IKF has shown fine form so far, both in his defensive role, and with a .302 batting average and 4 doubles.

The incoming of Donaldson meant that Gio Urshela was surplus to requirements and heading in the opposite direction. Because of Donaldson’s recent form and because of the dependability of Urshela whilst in the Yankees’ uniform, this was no small chance to take. It meant that Donaldson most work out well and as importantly that DJ LeMahieu must settle to a roving infield role. It is possible that having to play a different role every day was something that added to LeMahieu’s struggles at the plate in 2021, although there has also been some suggestion that he was carrying a lingering injury which limited him. Only time will tell, but so far, so good. He has 7 extra base hits and a .288 batting average in April. We’ll see.

Another interesting signing for the Yankees, was utility man and non-roster invitee to Spring Training, Marwin Gonzalez. On the plus side, his performance in the brief sample of Spring games meant that he deserved his chance and he can play in up to 7 positions. On the other side of the coin, he was a member of the notorious 2017 Houston Astros with all the baggage that brings and the Yankee faithful will need some persuading. Used in occasional infield appearances in April, he has made a steady if unspectacular beginning.


As with the infield and designated hitter situations, the Yankees are rotating a group of players in the three outfield positions.

Given that Aaron Hicks was put on the paternity list and they were allowed to carry 28 players until May 1st and an extra player for double-headers, the Yankees have used 6 players in outfield positions already. In addition, they have the previously mentioned Marwin Gonzalez who can play all three outfield roles, but was not used in that capacity in April.

Pick of the bunch was probably, Aaron Judge who brushed aside the inability to settle a contract extension with the Yankees’ front office and delivered 11 extra base hits (including 6 home runs). But, I say “probably” because an equally good argument could be made for Aaron Hicks who was hitting .306 when he was called away to attend to the small one who increased his family.

Giancarlo Stanton was used in the outfield as well as splitting time at designated hitter with Josh Donaldson. He was second in the team behind Rizzo in RBIs and level second (with LeMahieu and Rizzo) on 21, one behind Judge.

Tim Locastro only had 13 at-bats stretched across 11 games and his .231 batting average continues to show that he is stronger defensively than offensively. He does add speed to the team though, and leads the roster in stolen bases in April.

Leftfielder Joey Gallo continued with his on-going struggles at the plate which he has carried since he joined the New York team in 2021. In addition, Miguel Andujar had a brief call-up from Scranton (AAA) (during Hicks’ absence), but was only given one at bat.

Designated Hitter

As previously mentioned, this role was divided between Stanton and Donaldson.

New York Yankees – Top batters – April 2022 – (LtoR) Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge,
Aaron Hicks, DJ LeMahieu, Isiah Kiner-Falefa

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