Yaz knows batting average must improve after awful ’23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Mike Yastrzemski blasted 17 home runs for the Giants during the 2022 MLB season, but the outfielder’s measly .214 batting average still left much to be desired at the plate.
But these days, far less emphasis is placed on average as a player evaluation tool. Yastrzemski, however, still believes he needs to improve in that area as San Francisco looks to bounce back in the NL West this season.
“I think for me, personally, [my batting average is] something that I feel has to be better,” Yastrzemski told KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” on Tuesday. “[Average is] obviously not what it used to be, but people still take pride in their work and what they’re doing to bring value to the team. So that’s kind of how I view it, as, ‘How can I help the team win today?’ “
Yastrzemski is a career .242 hitter, but his first two seasons with the Giants saw him bat .272 in 2019 and .297 in the 2020 COVID-shortened season. He posted a .224 average in 2021, when San Francisco won a franchise-best 107 games, but still managed to hit 25 home runs with a .457 slugging percentage.
The Giants love Yastrzemski for his glove as much as his bat, but his ability to deliver at the plate quickly made him a fan favorite when he finally made it to the big leagues in ’19. While his average hasn’t reflected those early numbers over the past two seasons, he isn’t getting into his own head about it.
“From a personal standpoint, I look at that and I’m very disappointed,” Yastrzemski continued. “From an overall team standpoint, I feel like I helped the team a lot more than what .214 showed. So, to an extent, I also don’t let it get to my head, but on another level, obviously, I want to play better because that will equate to more wins for the team.
“And that’s all that really matters.”
One year removed from winning the NL West, the Giants finished their 2022 campaign with another franchise first — a .500 record — and a third-place finish in the division.