The New York Yankees struggled through a long 2014 season, finishing with a middling 84-78 won-loss record and missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Still, every team has players that contribute to its success during the course of the year. Here is a look at who were the Most Valuable Players of the 2014 Yankees.
5) Brian McCann, catcher: McCann started slowly at the plate but still finished with 23 home runs and 75 RBI’s, both of which led the team. He also handled the pitching staff well, and threw out 37% of runners attempting to steal, above the league average of 27%.
4) Hiroki Kuroda, starting pitcher: Kuroda was steady, providing 32 starts and 199 innings for a starting staff that was decimated by injuries. He finished with an 11-9 record and 3.71 ERA.
3) Masahiro Tanaka, starting pitcher: Tanaka was the closest thing to a sure win in games during the first half, before a partially torn ligament in his elbow shelved him for the second half of the season. The Yankees would have finished under .500 without him. He posted a 13-5 record and 2.77 ERA in 20 games and 136 innings.
2) Jacoby Ellsbury, centerfielder: Leading all position players with 149 games played, 156 hits, 27 doubles, and 39 stolen bases, Ellsbury batted .271 with 16 home runs and 70 RBI’s. He also was steady defensively.
1) Dellin Betances, relief pitcher: His first year in the bullpen proved to be a huge success. Betances shut down opposing hitters when the Yankees had a close lead in late innings of games. He finished with a 5-0 record, 22 holds, an unbelievable 1.40 ERA, and set a team record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher, with 135 in 90 innings. He gave up only 46 hits, and batters managed a measly .149 average against him. Dellin Betances is the Yankees’ Most Valuable Player for the 2014 season.