The New York Yankees won the A.L. East with a 95-67 (58.6%) record, 2 games ahead of the Orioles. They were then 3-6 in the playoffs as they were thoroughly embarrassed by the Detroit Tigers in the A.L.C.S. Here is a look at the players who made the biggest impacts in 2012 for the Yankees, in my opinion:
Team MVP: Robinson Cano - I know that Cano had a rough time in the playoffs, but he was nails during the regular season. Cano played in 161 games for the Yankees in 2012 and he was 196 of 627 (.313 avg, .929 OPS) with 105 runs scored, 33 homers, 94 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.
Best Pitcher: Rafael Soriano - When Mariano Rivera went down to injury, the Yankees needed someone to step up and close games. 32-year old righty reliever Rafael Soriano was that guy. He pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Yankees last year and he was 2-1 with 42 saves, a 2.26 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He was outstanding to say the least.
Biggest Surprise: Andy Pettitte - 40-year old lefty starting pitcher Andy Pettitte took the 2011 season off, as he retired for a year. But, he got the itch to pitch and the Yankees gave him a shot. He was really solid when he was healthy in 2012. Pettitte pitched in 12 games (all starts) for the Yankees in 2012 and he was 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Biggest Disappointment: Ivan Nova - 25-year old righty starting pitcher Ivan Nova took a big step back in 2012 for the Yankees. He started 28 games for the Yankees last year and he was 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Nova gave up 194 hits (28 homers) and he walked 56 batters while whiffing 153 of them in 170 1/3 innings pitched. He was left off the playoff roster in both rounds by the Yankees, which says a lot about how they thought he pitched in 2012.