Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Potential DFA Candidates To Monitor
By Noah Wright
Outfielder Mike Tauchman
The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies in a very small depth-for-depth deal. However, Tacuhman ended up being one of baseball’s more notable rookies in 2019. Through 297 plate appearances, Tauchman batted .277/.361/.504 with 18 doubles, 13 home runs and a 128 wRC+. While he did have a 24% strikeout rate, he also drew a walk at a 11.5% rate as well. He was also a good base runner with +1.2 base running runs above average.
While Tauchman was putting up good hitting stats, he was putting up outstanding fielding stats. Despite only playing 694.1 innings in the outfield, the lefty batter had +16 DRS, a 14.4 UZR/150 and 7.2 range runs above average.
Like Aquino, Tauchman was a likely regression candidate. He only had a 112 DRC+, .331 xwOBA and an expected slashline of .253/.340/.422, which is more akin to an Adam Frazier type hitter than a Trevor Story or Trey Mancini type hitter. However if he could hit like that while having put up double digits, he’d still be a very worthwhile player.
Tauchman managed to put up a similar batting average and on base percentage to his expected stats with a .242 and .340 mark, but his power completely disappeared. His slugging percentage dropped to just .305 and his isolated slugging percentage dipped into the double digits at .63.
His defense also slipped. Tauchman had 0 DRS, a -2.2 UZR and -2.5 range runs above average. He still was a plus defender in terms of outs above average, but overall it was a far cry from his elite numbers the year prior.
The 30-year-old outfielder is in heavy competition for the 4th outfielder role. The Yankees brought back veteran and career Yankee Brett Gardner, but also brought in corner outfielder/first baseman Jay Bruce and utility man Derek Dietrich. While the Yankees do have a handful of outfielders with extensive injury history, Tauchman is out of options. Although the Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot of competition for outfield roles, having a player who was an elite defender just a year ago would be nice as one of the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders.