The stars were shining bright in Los Angeles on Saturday with the Los Angeles Dodgers hosting the New York Yankees. Everyone expected the storylines to revolve around the best players like Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts, Giancarlo Stanton, and Freddie Freeman. Instead, it was a former highly-regarded prospect who previously failed to live up to expectations who stole the show.
Yankees outfielder Jake Bauers gave New York an early 2-0 lead with a second inning two-run home run off of Dodgers pitcher Michael Grove. Bauers added another two-run homer in the fourth, giving him a pair of home runs and four RBI through the first four innings. It was the first ever multi-home run game for Bauers as well, per Yankees reporter Bryan Hoch.
As of this story's publication the Yankees lead the Dodgers 4-1. New York is trying to rebound with a victory after losing Friday's series opener. For Jake Bauers, however, Saturday's game will have been a success regardless of the outcome.
Jake Bauers: Yankees' X-Factor
Bauers began his big league career with the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay had high expectations for him, but he struggled in 2018 with the Rays. He was later traded to the Cleveland Guardians (Indians at the time) in 2019. Bauers continued to labor at the MLB level with Cleveland and he ended up with the Seattle Mariners during the 2021 season.
Bauers hadn't appeared in a big league game since 2021 before the Yankees gave him a chance this season. Through 25 games, the left-handed hitting Bauers entered Saturday with a .214/.333/.429 slash line and .762 OPS. Those numbers will certainly increase following his effort versus the Dodgers though.
Bauers could become an X-Factor for the Yankees as the season continues on.