New York Yankees infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa has had a rough time in the Bronx since landing there before the start of the 2022 season.
He was part of the Gary Sanchez – Giovanny Urshela trade that netted the Yankees Josh Donaldson and Ben Rortvedt.
He struggled offensively last year with an 85 wRC+ (the league-average offensive performance is 100), and has a similarly bad 84 wRC+ mark so far in 2023.
For the year, he is slashing .243/.288/.378 with three home runs.
However, it takes a closer look to see how much he has grown in recent weeks.
Up until May 13, he was slashing .182/.232/.208 with no homers and a horrible 23 wRC+.
But something clicked from May 16 on: since that date, he is slashing .382/.417/.765 with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and a 224 wRC+.
Who would have thought he had that kind of offensive performance in him, even if it is for just a couple of weeks?
There is an explanation behind it.
“Isiah Kiner-Falefa credits his offensive success to a change in mentality. Basically, he’s swinging harder. Sounds simple, right? Last year, as the starting SS, he was trying to slap the ball around & make contact. Now: ‘I need to drive the ball to stay on the field,'” Yankees insider Bryan Hoch explained, after a chat with the utilityman.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa credits his offensive success to a change in mentality. Basically, he's swinging harder. Sounds simple, right? Last year, as the starting SS, he was trying to slap the ball around & make contact. Now: "I need to drive the ball to stay on the field."
— Bryan Hoch ⚾️ (@BryanHoch) May 31, 2023
He has found himself in the lineup often in these last couple of weeks, and as long as he is hitting like that, the Yanks will find a spot for him.
He can play shortstop, third base, catcher, and even center field.
The Yankees sure hope his recent offensive outburst can last.NEXT: A Yankees Infielder Is In The Midst Of Must-See Hot Stretch