Giving Drew His Due

Since his acquisition last summer, Stephen Drew has served as the punching bag of the Yankees lineup for fans and media alike - and for good reason. He batted .150/.219/.271 (33 wRC+) in 155 PA with the team last season, and this season started much the same, with Drew hitting .157/.225/.301 (41 wRC+) through his first 170 PA (a conveniently selective endpoint of June 1). Drew's line has improved markedly as the season has progressed, but his slow start has left him with a still awful line of .199/.269/.383 (77 wRC+) ... and solid defense and a knack for big home runs only help so much. Were the season to end today, keeping Drew in the lineup all season would quite likely be perceived as a complete and utter failure. Lost in the ephemera of this, however, is the simple fact that Drew - like Didi Gregorius - has actually been a reasonably good hitter over the last three months or so.

Since June 1 (in 202 plate appearances), Drew is hitting .235/.307/.453, good for a wRC+ of roughly 106. Small sample size caveats apply, of course, but that 106 wRC+ would put him 13th among qualified second basemen; factor in his strong defense, and he may actually be a bit above-average for the position right now. He has slowed a bit this month, with a 93 wRC+ thus far - but even that low standard represents a far cry from the 'burn him in effigy' level of production Drew established in his first 325 PA with the team.

With the season all but certain to come down to the wire, it is difficult to point to second base as an area of weakness right now. Drew has been an asset for the better part of three months, and Rob Refsnyder has not produced well-enough to force the issue (particularly with his still-shoddy defense). In fact, with the Yankees defense rounding into form, the drop-off from Drew's glove to Refsnyder's would likely negate whatever gain made by the potential upgrade on offense. And, given Drew's last three months, I'm not entirely sure that there is an organizational upgrade to be found.