Often I’ll be doing research or looking for something in particular and come across something else completely unrelated that grabs my attention. In today’s edition of out of left field, I am here to tell you…
Wade Boggs was MUCH better as a Yankee than most Yankee fans realize. He wasn’t an aging player past his prime who contributed a little to some very good teams, although the first two parts of that sentence are true. He was a very, very good player in pinstripes and was a big-time contributor to some very good teams.
In 1994, when the Yankees were the best team in the American League, Boggs posted a .433 OBP and a 142 adjusted OPS. For some perspective, Gio Urshela posted a .355 OBP and 133 OPS+ last season – DJ posted .375 OBP and 136 OPS+ last season. His 4.5 WAR in two-thirds of a season in ’94 would have put him in the neighborhood of a 7 WAR season, which usually gets players in the MVP discussion (DJ had 6.0 WAR last season, for comparative purposes.) Then Bud Selig tried to kill the sport – so we’ll never know what would’ve happened with Boggs and the rest of the ’94 Yankees.
Overall, in five seasons with the Yankees, in his age 35 through 39 seasons, Boggs averaged 3.7 WAR, a .396 OBP and a 112 OPS+. He was also above league average defensively over that span (dWAR) and in runs above average as a baserunner. He basically played at an MVP level one season and close to all-star level the rest of the time while in pinstripes.
Ah…remember when Joe Torre had him split time with Charlie Hayes? Good times. Charlie Hayes of the career 89 OPS+ (77 in 1996 with the Yankees)? But Hayes’ glove was good enough to keep Boggs on the bench in the World Series (…checks notes…no it wasn’t…).
Well, that series worked out, partially due to Boggs’ incredible pinch-hit at-bat against Steve Avery in game four of that series. But Boggs still doesn’t get the credit he deserves from Yankee fans.
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