David Dellucci: C-
Dellucci was acquired midseason from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for the much-maligned Raul Mondesi. Never expected to be a starter, Dellucci didn't start and only found his way into 21 games. He hit .176 with a .263 OBP and terrible .255 slugging percentage as a Yankee. But he did the job that was set up for him, by running the bases well and playing excellent defense. He stole three bases successfully without being caught and didn't make an error in 32 chances in the outfield.
Karim Garcia: C+
Garcia turned into a pretty good pickup for the Yankees, filling in in right field in place of Mondesi as the every day starter. As a Yankee, Garcia hit .305 and posted a .799 OPS. He clubbed six homers, drove in 21 runs and played adequate defense in the field. Acquired from the Indians at the end of June along with Dan Miceli, Garcia ended up leaving a sour taste in the mouths of Yankee fans by being a focal point of the almost-fight at Fenway Park during the playoffs. Later in the series, Garcia was involved in a bullpen fight and the incident is headed to court.
Hideki Matsui: A-
Matsui capped his 2003 campaign by finishing as the runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting. Many thought he should have won the award, but questions about his eligibility likely cost him the win. Godzilla finished third on the Yankees in batting average (.287), fourth in homeruns (18) and second in RBI (106) and played excellent defense in both left and centerfield. Matsui was also one of the only Yankees to consistently hit with runners in scoring position, putting up a .335 batting average in that situation. The way the Yankees hit this season, a contact-hitter with gap and line power was just what the doctor ordered.
Juan Rivera: C+
Rivera's career has been marked by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The youngster came up at a time when the Yankees have continually had a few too many outfielders. That being said, Rivera has produced in his limited action. He hit .266 and hit seven homeruns in just 173 at bats (that's 22 homers over a 550-at bat season), so he's got pop. He came on strong in September especially, posting an enormous 1.215 OPS in 40 at bats, but Rivera's future probably lies somewhere other than New York.
Ruben Sierra: B
Sierra was surprisingly effective in his latest stint as a Yankee. Acquired from the Texas Rangers in early June for Marcus Thames, Sierra got off to a hot start by hitting homeruns in back to back games on June 13 and 14. He cooled down after that and with the acquisition of Garcia was relegated to pinch-hitting duty. Sierra became a highly useful player off the bench for Joe Torre, particularly in the postseason, due to his switch-hitting ability. He came up big in the playoffs too, going 2/8 with a homerun and two walks. His game-tying, two-run triple in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the World Series was probably his defining moment this season.
Bernie Williams: B
Williams' season was marred by injury in the beginning and end. He needed knee surgery and missed most of May and July and cast a cloud over the rest of his season. After batting .353 in April, Bernie didn't top .286 in any month thereafter until the postseason. With his knee and shoulders clearly out of sorts, his power numbers were sapped. His .411 slugging percentage was his lowest since 1993, as was his .367 OBP. Bernie still managed to make contact and put the ball in play, but he lost his ability to drive the ball consistently. The knee surgery cost him some range in centerfield as well, and it's likely he will be moved from there next season.
Yankees Final Report Cards, Part 2
Pinstripes Plus Top Stories
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