The Yankees have wild plans for the IKF assuming he loses the shortstop job
The Yankees’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa has provided a completely polarizing narrative, with which I’m sure a lot of fans would agree. However, it doesn’t matter what fans think, as Aaron Boone will continue to tinker with his abilities – even if there is more lack than actual talent there.
The Yankees may have an interesting plan in store for IKF, even if his time here hasn’t been fun. The IKF experience has been fun while it lasts, but it looks like this season could see him get just as much playing time if not more. Chris Kirchner of The Athletic stated a very interesting comment Boone made at spring camp.
If Oswald Peraza wins the SS job at the end of camp, Aaron Boone said, Isiah Keener-Valeva could have a lot of different roles on the team, including playing the field.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa doesn’t really bring anything to the table for the Yankees:
Now, IKF has fans who strongly defend him and swear by the fact that he is a good player in a particular role. However, this is not the case. He posted 85 wRC+ last season, which was good for the worst on the team out of all players qualified with the required amount of PAs. He can’t play full-time shortstop, hasn’t played 2B or outfield, yet Boone fancies him as a potential utility man. In order to be a quality roleplayer, one usually has to actually play other roles—and play them well. The Yanks already have two standouts for the role, in both DJ LeMahieu and Oswaldo Cabrera, so why would they need a third?
IKF’s 85 wRC+ came from the back of the ability to hit for contact and medium. The beloved Joey Gallo actually posted the same WRC+ as the IKF in the 85, and it was booed so much that he had to request a trade and leave the state altogether. However, IKF defenders lined up around the building, and for what reason? 261 last year, was a roller coaster. 261 average, although as a contact hitter he was wildly inconsistent. It doesn’t work, as evidenced by its BB rate of 6.6%, and even with its K rate of 13.6% it comes with an empty bat.
It was pretty clear he couldn’t handle the short stuff every day, and yet Boone now expects him to throw him down the field and figure it out as he goes. Even with the NRIs for both Ortega and Calhoun, I’d feel better with one of them on the list for IKF. He was promptly signed again to a $6 million deal with overseas start-ups, and I can’t help but feel like he received special treatment from the organization, both Boone and Cashman seem to love his abilities. He posted 0.642 OPS and 1.3 fWAR last season in his first year at the pinstripes. Uber disliked and somewhat undeserved, Josh Donaldson posted a 682 average and 1.7 fWAR in the worst season of his career.
The IKF didn’t do enough to justify a team change attempt to get it from the PA:
Essentially, Donaldson’s worst season to date has been better than one of IKF’s best seasons. His basic style helps save some of his value, because, thankfully, he manages the bags well and has some quality speed to his name. However, that should not be enough to justify not just keeping him on the list, but actively looking for ways to fit him into the lineup. He hits the third-lowest hard hitting percentage in baseball, at just 20.0%, and he pairs that with the second-highest home field percentage in the league, hitting home runs 54.9% of the time.
I cannot continue to justify Boone’s decision making when it comes to IKF if what he said is true. If the Yanks were more willing to give a guy who hasn’t played a second by an outfield than to use the other talents in the system or simply sign Jurickson Profar, I’d be at a loss for words. I understand not to send death threats to the guy, because that’s a reaction too remote to the game, but I also understand that the team has to play to win. If the Yanks were to hypothetically start in October and run IKF at outside corner, no opposing team would take that seriously.
IKF really brings next to nothing value on this team, and their inability to kick the ball when it hits them directly leads me to believe that lines and volleys to the left, or left-center, would be absolute nightmares. He’s not doing anything well enough to justify him getting more playing time than many of the other players fighting for a spot, and the Yanks should look to turn the $6 million owed him in favor of playing other players and use that money in getting a signing opportunity. on deadline.
IKF must be transferred to another organization before moving abroad
I know Kiner-Falefa is a good person, and it’s a pity that his play should get him the abuse he doesn’t deserve. However, I can’t justify him playing even Aaron Hicks in the corner. Last season, despite Hicks’ blunders and lackluster moments there, he still hit 8 DRS and 1 OAA in 413.0 innings pitched left. It’s a much better option than the IKF, and oh yeah, it also posted better WRC+ (90 to 85), and fWAR (1.5 to 1.3) than the previous. The same player who was benched in the postseason in favor of two rookies is now being field tested and announced as a “good utility player”.
Hopefully, these comments are nothing more than a smokescreen to increase other teams’ interest in IKF. If he’s starting at LF on Opening Day, that’s worse than having a short-duration job, because at least he’s been in that position for some time. We’re not talking about a Jazz Chisholm-esque athlete who could possibly handle the court full time thanks to his raw talent and athleticism, but instead, a guy who immediately walks into the slums when he makes a mistake or gets lashed out. road.
I’m sick of the IKF experience and I’d much rather the guys get their shot – Dunham, Pereira, even Dominguez’s dream – or the NRIs from Ortega and Calhoun there.