Jake Bauers of the New York Yankees can’t get this RBI single off the wall by Justin Turner of the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Fenway Park on June 18, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
New York Yankees outfielder Jake Bauers has walked a long road to become a regular in the Yankees lineup.
Bauers, 27, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2013, was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014, and made his MLB debut with them in 2018.
He was acquired by the Yankees from the Cincinnati Reds last year on June 3 for cash considerations. Bauers finished the 2022 season with their Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and began the 2023 season there as well.
Bauers injured his left rotator cuff on July 7 on a diving catch 14-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. The injury was diagnosed as left rotator cuff inflammation. They left signed autographs and took pictures with fans on July 24 at Ross Brewing Company in Belford, N.J.
“I’m excited to be back and glad to be healthy. I’m looking to get hot here at the end and put together a good little stretch,” Bauers said at the event.
Bauers returned from the Injured List on July 23 against the Kansas City Royals and went 1-3 with a single and a walk in the Yankees’ 8-5 win. He hit two home runs in three rehab games with the Scranton RailRiders.
The Yankees are 53-47, and three games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final American League Wild Card spot.
Bauers caught the Yankees’ attention quickly with a hot start, hitting nine home runs with an OPS of .812 in 21 games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and was called up by the Yankees on April 29. Bauers talked about the swing adjustments and the transition he’s made to the outfield this season.
“Swing-wise, I was in a good spot coming into this year, and I just looked to keep it rolling. As far as the outfield goes, I’m just trying to get better every day,” Bauers said.
Bauers had some bad luck, getting injured in the first inning of his Yankees debut when he crashed into the wall against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field, leaving the game with a bruised right knee. Bauers was able to return on May 3rd and a hit home run against one of his former teams, the Cleveland Guardians.
Bauers has hit seven home runs with an OPS of .784 in 137 at-bats with the Yankees this season. He’s also driven in 19 runs and stole two bases. The Yankees’ outfield depth has been tested with injuries to Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Harrison Bader. Bauers has also provided lineup balance with his lefty bat.
He doesn’t take being a Yankee lightly and is thankful for the opportunity that they’ve provided him.
“It’s been an honor. I’m super excited to play in the Bronx, play in Yankee Stadium, and put the pinstripes on, everything like that,” Bauers said.
Bauers has spent parts of four seasons in Major League Baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians, Seattle Mariners, and New York Yankees. His career stats include 34 home runs, 129 RBI, and 17 stolen bases with an OPS of .671
Bauers was happy to attend the event at Ross Brewing Company that was put together by Frank Luna.
“It’s been great. Anytime you get a chance to come out and meet the fans, it’s a blessing,” Bauers said.