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New York Yankees Starting Lineup 2009 Projections

Author: Aaron Marcus

With little attention on Planet Yankee being given to actual important information, here are my projections for the 2009 Yankees Starting Lineup (As of 2/17/09)


1. Johnny Damon LF: Johnny Damon had his best season in pinstripes last season he batted over .300 for the first time since 2005 stole 29 bases and hit 18 homeruns.  However last year may have been the peak of his career and we may see a descent in his batting stats.  According to the Westchester Journal – News, barring an injury, Damon will be the everyday Left Fielder.  He will have his chance as DH once in a while, but left field is a better fit for the former centerfielder who has no arm, whatsoever.  Given Damon had 555 AB last season I don’t think we will receive anything above a .300 AVG.  I also think playing the outfield everyday will take a toll on Damon, however he is a declining player in a contract year, given the lack of interest in older ballplayers this offseason, Damon should be motivated to perform.  2009 Projection: AVG 285 HR 18 RBI 65 SB 26 R 100


2. Derek Jeter SS: Derek Jeter will turn 35 this year, that’s right the man that represents youth, heart and integrity will be 35 year old come June. This means a lot to the franchise shortstop.  We have seen a steady decline over the past two seasons in all the major stat categories.  Jeter’s average has dropped 20 points consecutively since 2006, his run, RBI and HR totals are all down as are his SB totals.  However one thing remains certain, and that is that Jeter has a deeper love for the Yankees and more importantly baseball than any other player in the game.  I know that may sound cliché, but even though his appearance and play may be deteriorating, there is no better leader in the game.  This may be the last year that people do not question Jeter’s ability; he may not even make it the whole year.  But no matter what Jeter is the heart and sole of the Yankees.  He has proven critics wrong time and time again, and I believe he will do the same in 2009.  With the addition of Mark Teixeira his run totals will increase, as will his RBI due to a stronger bottom of the Yankees order.   2009 Projection AVG 305 HR 10 RBI 75 SB 13 R 105


3. Mark Teixeira 1B: The addition of this switch-hitting first baseman really closes a gap in the Yankees lineup.  With A-rod batting behind Tex, pitchers will be forced to pitch to this mammoth of an athlete.  Expect big numbers, most players crumble under the pressure their first two months in pinstripes, but Tex seems like he has kept his composure.  Tex is entering the prime of his baseball career he will turn 29 in April, and may be the future face of the Yankees. After Tino left the Yankees in 2001 the prominent position of Yankees first baseman has been tarnished.  Mark Teixeira will bring back into the position with stellar defense and the bat of a giant.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Tex’s stats went up in each major category this year.  2009 Projection: AVG 322 HR 38 RBI 135 R 105


4. Alex Rodriguez 3B: Given all the chaos A-rod has gone through over the past two seasons, I am actually expecting Rodriguez to improve his game.  He basically has nothing left to lose.  His wife has already left him, the opportunity to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is all but eradicated, and the records he so cherishes will no longer mean anything.  Since he has worried about all of those factors during his tenure in pinstripes, he may be relieved that he no longer has anything riding on his back.  Forget about Yankee fans booing A-rod; get ready for the little girl on the street that doesn’t even know his profession to boo him as well.  A-rod has nothing to worry about, everything is now out in the open, and that must be a relief, embarrassing or not for the three time MVP* and 12 time All Star*.  I am expecting big numbers from the slugger, besides since 2000 he always performs better in odd years.  2009 Projections: AVG 310 HR 50 RBI 145 R 110


5. Hideki Matsui DH: Matsui should have a comeback season, although he is also aging, Matsui should be looking to outperform the 4 other Yankee outfielders this year due to it being a contract season for the Japanese Slugger.  After missing most of last season with injures, Matsui should be ready by opening day and should be ready to produce as well.  Batting behind A-rod, he may see more pitches but will most likely rotate the number 5 spot with Xavier Nady, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano.  The number 5, 6, 7 and 8 spot for the Yankees should be played with throughout the season and each should produce in their respective spots.  2009 Projections: AVG 295 HR 23 RBI 110 R 90 SB 3


6. Xavier Nady RF: Another Yankee outfielder who is in a contract year, and who could be the focus of trade talk all season should perform well this season as the most likely candidate for everyday right fielder.  If Nady wants to keep his value up he will do his best to perform, however I still consider Nady an extremely underrated outfielder.  I would love to have him as my everyday right fielder for the next 3-4 years, especially since he is just getting better.  Nady is a great ballplayer, who give 110% everyday, I do not understand why the Yankee front office is so keen on trading him, however I would like to see him get more at bats this season than Nick Swisher.  Nady never really settled in last season with the Yanks, which contributed to a mere .268 batting average.  With Pittsburgh however he hit .330, some may say that is part of the Yankee package, you come to New York and pressure gets to you.  I think once Nady settles in this season he will be a .300 hitter with mid 20’s HR power.  2009 Projection: AVG 290 HR 24 RBI 100 SB 3


7. Jorge Posada C: Posada is another Yankee coming back from a season ending surgery.  His age will also be a major question mark on his season performance; most importunately we should entertain the question as to whether or not he will be able to return to his typical form at this stage in his career.  Benji Molina was a decent backup but cannot be counted on to be a semi-threat at the plate.  Posada must return to decent health, and play in at least 110-120 games this season.  The chances of Posada returning to his 2007 form are slim, look for a similar season to the one he had in 2005 and 2006.  Another major question mark is whether or not his defense will be on par with that of Molina’s if it is not even close Girardi will be faced with some tough decisions during the season.  2009 Projection: AVG 265 HR 17 RBI 80 R 70


8. Robinson Cano 2B: Cano is a potential sleeper this season for the Yanks.  A traditional slow starter, Cano must come out of the gate running this year, or Yankee fans and the Yankees front office may begin to second guess that 4 year $30 million contract they gave him at the end of 2007.  Cano has been working on his bat all off-season showing great strides and is working towards getting out of that slump before it starts.  I don’t think it will be dramatic but I think there will be a some increase in average and a bit more pop in his bat.  Cano’s job however is not guaranteed throughout the season, and although he is the starting second baseman he should not let down his guard this season, and get too comfortable with his role.  As long as he performs he will be fine, but if he slips and can’t get up, I guarantee the Yankees will replace him with someone who can.  2009 Projections: AVG 285 HR 20 RBI 85 R 80 SB 2


9. Melky Cabrera CF: This is the position that will get he most attention during spring training, Cabrera is not the guaranteed opening day starter, but Brian Cashman has reiterated numerous times that he thinks Melky has made improvements and will show them off in spring training.  I still favor dealing Melky, for a   veteran centerfielder that can patrol the storied position until Austin Jackson is ready to make it his own: 2009 Projection AVG 255 HR 10 RBI 40 R 52 SB 10



  1. thats the best lineup money can buy

  2. You are a retard. You project the starting 9 hitters to produce 835 rbi's. Last year the entire team had 758 rbi, and that included 96 from Giambi and 100 from Abreau, and they are gone. Ignoring A-rod's injury, these numbers are a fantasy. You forgot to include as a projection that Damon will cure cancer in the laboratory located in his locker. Idiot.

  3. I would like to see bret gardner in cf. he's been playing really well in spring training. its looking good for him

  4. yes,jeter should bat first. damons abilaty to steal,in front of your best hitter, will pay off.

  5. johnny damon cant cure cancer u idot

  6. Now, whose the stupid one? Aaron did his job, and they won the World Series with this lineup!!!! So quit judging him!