Best duos in New York Yankees history

Written by:
May 16, 2022
Schyler // Wikimedia Commons

Best duos in New York Yankees history

In Major League Baseball, it takes more than one skilled player to field a championship contender. It takes talent all over the field at a variety of positions, both in terms of pitchers and hitters. While having a star pitcher and a star hitter at the same time is no guarantee of success, it does put your team in a position to have the type of season that fans will talk about for generations.

While it’s not quite the same as the NBA, where one standout duo can take a team from the cellar to playoff contention, it’s not uncommon for an outstanding season from a pitcher and position player duo to add 20 wins or more, according to Baseball Reference’s wins above replacement player metric. The number is designed to illustrate the difference between a star player and the type of player that would be considered “replacement level”—that is, one who could be easily signed as a midseason free agent or called up from the minor leagues.

The following is a list of the top pitcher/position player duos in New York Yankees history. Using wins above replacement, Stacker compiled a list of the seasons in franchise history that had a pitcher and hitter with the most combined value. Note that, for the purpose of capturing and examining the game's "modern era", only seasons after 1969 were used for this list.

#10. 2010 New York Yankees
- Robinson Canó: 8.1 WAR (#3 position player in 2010)
- CC Sabathia: 4.8 WAR (#15 pitcher in 2010)
- Total: 12.9 WAR

#9. 1999 New York Yankees
- Derek Jeter: 8 WAR (#1 position player in 1999)
- David Cone: 5.1 WAR (#10 pitcher in 1999)
- Total: 13.1 WAR

#8. 2017 New York Yankees
- Aaron Judge: 8 WAR (#2 position player in 2017)
- Luis Severino: 5.2 WAR (#8 pitcher in 2017)
- Total: 13.2 WAR

#7. 2012 New York Yankees
- Robinson Canó: 8.4 WAR (#2 position player in 2012)
- Hiroki Kuroda: 5.3 WAR (#7 pitcher in 2012)
- Total: 13.7 WAR

#6. 1997 New York Yankees
- Bernie Williams: 5.5 WAR (#16 position player in 1997)
- Andy Pettitte: 8.4 WAR (#3 pitcher in 1997)
- Total: 13.9 WAR

#5. 1985 New York Yankees
- Rickey Henderson: 9.9 WAR (#1 position player in 1985)
- Ron Guidry: 4.5 WAR (#18 pitcher in 1985)
- Total: 14.4 WAR

#4. 2007 New York Yankees
- Alex Rodriguez: 9.4 WAR (#1 position player in 2007)
- Chien-Ming Wang: 5 WAR (#16 pitcher in 2007)
- Total: 14.4 WAR

#3. 1975 New York Yankees
- Thurman Munson: 6.6 WAR (#11 position player in 1975)
- Catfish Hunter: 8.1 WAR (#3 pitcher in 1975)
- Total: 14.7 WAR

#2. 2005 New York Yankees
- Alex Rodriguez: 9.4 WAR (#1 position player in 2005)
- Randy Johnson: 5.8 WAR (#7 pitcher in 2005)
- Total: 15.2 WAR

#1. 1978 New York Yankees
- Willie Randolph: 5.8 WAR (#11 position player in 1978)
- Ron Guidry: 9.6 WAR (#2 pitcher in 1978)
- Total: 15.4 WAR

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